SHERIDAN — Beer enthusiast and brewer Rob Miller has almost everything he needs to launch Dangerous Man Brewing Company, a destination tap house brewery focused on small-batch craft beers.
He has a business plan, investors, a potential space and the support of area businesses. The only thing standing in his way is a city regulation that says his desired location is too close to a church. But Miller isn’t taking no for an answer. With the help of City Council Member Gary Schiff (Ward 9), he’s working to change the law so he can open his business in Northeast Minneapolis.
Miller wants to move into the building at 1300 2nd St. NE, an old bank currently occupied by Spinario Design. “The landlord wants to bring another business in there that’s more like a bar or restaurant,” said Miller. “This was our dream street to be on. We really wanted to be in Northeast. It’s a beer-drinking community.”
However, the location is directly across the street from a church, which violates an ordinance stating that liquor stores and bars must be more than 300 feet away from religious institutions.
Miller believes his tap house plan is different enough from traditional bars or liquor stores that it should be exempted from the rule. Dangerous Man Brewing Company would sell on-tap pints and growlers for “to-go” beer, a model only recently legal thanks to changes in city and state beer laws.
The Sheridan Neighborhood Organization and several neighboring businesses have written him letters of support, including restaurants such as The Anchor Fish and Chips, the Modern Café, Maeve’s Café and more. Because Dangerous Man would offer only minimal food, Miller hopes Dangerous Man would be a boost to the restaurants in the area. “We really want to work with local businesses and do some takeout menus,” said Miller. “Ideally we’ll do some Dangerous Man specials.”
“The Microbrewery thing is I think a perfect match for the neighborhood,” said Maeve’s Café owner Mary Colon. “It complements everything else that we’re all doing. Nobody is copying anything else on the strip, and it’s just kind of one more thing that adds to jobs, to a vibrant community, and I just think it’s time this city really started to reexamine some things.”
Council Member Schiff agrees. The current law prohibits microbreweries within 300 feet of churches, as well as restaurants with the standard 60/40 mix of food and alcohol. There are many restaurants in the city that were established before the rule or granted exemptions, so Schiff’s proposal would level the playing field for Miller and other aspiring small business owners.
“It’s all about jobs,” said Schiff. “I can show you a vacant building within every city ward within 300 feet of a church that’s correctly zoned for a small restaurant. If this bill passes to eliminate this restriction, they would be eligible for a neighborhood restaurant again. It’s really about leveling the playing field so all small businesses can operate on the same field. We will reduce vacant buildings if this bill passes.”
There will be a hearing Nov. 7 at City Hall on Schiff’s proposed ordinance change.
If approved, Miller thinks Dangerous Man can be open with about eight months of its passage. He’s excited to share his beers with the community, including classic varieties like an American IPA and more exotic recipes.
“My chocolate milk stout is probably my favorite. Nice and dark but sweet,” Miller said. “I kind of want to educate people on different styles.”
Schiff also singled out Miller’s chocolate stout as one destined to become a neighborhood favorite. He recently hosted an event featuring Miller’s beers as well as several other local brews. “It stole the whole event,” said Schiff. “It was everybody’s favorite beer. Everybody was raving about it.”
Say hello to yumMi Banh Mi
NICOLLET MALL — New street food vendors are still popping up in downtown despite the dropping temps. Vietnamese sandwich truck yumMi Banh Mi first appeared at 11th and Nicollet on Oct. 13, and owners James Schanen and Hoa Nguyen said business has been good, despite the colder weather.
“It’s been steady, considering the weather,” said Schanen. “We want to get sponsored by North Face. Then we’ll just go all winter long.”
Schanen and Nguyen decided to start a street food business together when Schanen took a voluntary severance package from his previous employer and Nguyen finished her culinary education at the Arts Institute on Hennepin Ave. The duo originally planned to hit the streets in late August, but the delays gave them time to develop their business plan and get advice from other street food vendors. They are considering moving into downtown delivery should the cold push their customers off the streets.
The menu of banh mi sandwiches is simple and clear, offering up beef, pork, chicken and tofu sandwiches under cute names like “moo mi” and “oink me.” The beef sandwich we sampled was hot and tasty, with nice crisp vegetables and nice, chewy bread. Because the food is prepared beforehand at a prep kitchen, the sandwiches can be assembled quickly, a fact that might make customers brave the weather for as long as yumMi Banh Mi stays on the streets.
Fulton Beer launches bottles, opens brewery to the public
NORTH LOOP — Almost exactly two years after serving its first keg, Fulton Beer is now available in liquor stores around the Twin Cities, and its brewery is ready to the public. Certain elements will not be ready for the Nov. 18 launch, such as the taproom. But the brewery at 414 6th Ave. N will open regardless.
“The bar and tables and chairs won’t be built out for the opening,” said Fulton’s Brian Hoffman. “The opening is really to get people in to see the production facility, to welcome people to the space, because no one’s really seen it since we got here, and to start growler sales.”
During the opening weekend, the brewery will be open for tours and sales of growlers and Fulton merchandise.
“We’re thinking about doing it open house style,” said Hoffman. “Having the doors open, having a couple of us back there, letting people wander around.” The company will formalize its tour system later and continue to sell growlers and merchandise on site. Once the taproom is completed, Fulton will begin pint sales, as allowed by The “Surly bill” which passed in the last legislative session.
Hoffman and the rest of Fulton Beer are excited for the opening of the brewery, and also for the in-store sales of the beer. Fulton bottles rolled out to a couple hundred liquor stores in the last week of October, and the initial reception of the local beer community has been quite positive.
“It has been humbling, the reception the bottles have had,” said Hoffman. “It’s flying off the shelves as far as we can tell.”
Turmeric Trail Indian spice blends launch
MIDTOWN — Raghavan Iyer, author of acclaimed books such as “Betty Crocker’s Indian Home Cooking” and “660 Curries,” has launched a new a new line of Indian spice blends under the brand Turmeric Trail. Each of the four spice blends, Chai Masala, Garam Masala, Madras Masala and Mumbai Masala, is ground by hand at Kitchen in the Market in the Midtown Global Market.
Turmeric Trail spice blends will be available at local specialty food stores and online. The official website, turmerictrail.com, features recipes and serving suggetions for each blend, and a upcoming Turmeric Trail iPhone App will feature videos with guidance on various Indian cooking techniques.
Boutiques unite for Holiday Crawl
EAST HENNEPIN — A number of Northeast shops will come together for a holiday shopping event on Saturday, Nov. 19.
The Holiday Boutique Crawl will take place from noon to 5 p.m. and include special sales, giveaways, strolling Victorian carolers and a “Holiday Window Display Contest.”
Participating shops include Artistic Indulgence, Bibelot, Bone Adventure and Parc Boutique.
Farmers market goes indoor for winter
NORTH LOOP — As winter approaches, Local D’Lish is gearing up for their Indoor Winter Farmers Market, beginning Nov. 19.
Every third Saturday of the month through April, D’Lish, 208 N. 1st St., will host new and returning vendors selling meat, cheese, apples, honey, baked goods, all natural skin care products, jams, chocolates, granola, coffee and more
D’Lish is based on the idea of a farmers market in a retail setting, mostly selling items produced in Minnesota or the upper Midwest. For more
information on the Indoor Winter Farmers Market, call 886-3047 or go to localdlish.com.
The Turtle Bread location on the skyway level of One Financial Plaza has closed. The restaurant was offered a 10-year lease extension, but declined. The two remaining Turtle Bread locations in the city will remain open.
Becker Mattress has opened in the former Video Stardom location in Northeast’s Quarry Center. The store is a smaller, mattress-focused offshoot of the Becker Furniture World chain.
Reach Jeremy Zoss at email@example.com.