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Food news: Pracna to reopen, Cosetta's to expand

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There's food news to report from a few old favorites in the Twin Cities as well as a newcomer to the market. Here's the scoop:

Pracna on Main to reopen

The historic northeast Minneapolis restaurant and bar, Pracna on Main, will reopen its doors soon after closing down abruptly in January.

It will offer a "very limited" food and beverage menu, building owner John Rimarcik tells the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal, while he continues to work on a larger upgrade of the space.

Pracna, which was called the oldest bar on the oldest street in Minneapolis, shut its doors on Jan. 6 with no advance warning to its customers.

Just a week later, Rimarcik announced it was only a temporary closure and he had plans to give the place a makeover, including a bigger kitchen, a refreshed menu and new equipment.

He also planned to link the bar and the Saint Anthony Main movie theater next door and was going to seek a license that would allow patrons to take their drinks into the theater with them.

It's not clear whether those specific plans are still on the table. But Rimarcik told the Business Journal he is still pursuing a larger project. He said didn't want the restaurant to "go dark" for spring and summer.

An early May reopening is expected.

Cosetta's to expand offerings

Cossetta Italian Market in St. Paul is planning to expand its food offerings again.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says Cosetta's will add a rosticceria – offering a selection of roasted meats – to its existing market on West Seventh Street.

Owner Dave Cossetta said the new area will have items like rotisserie chicken, roast beef, pork and lamb on its menu, some available by the pound or in sandwiches. It will also include a small area for on-site dining, according to the Pioneer Press.

The new rosticceria will open within the next few months.

Cosetta's went through a major expansion two years ago. In addition to the market, the three-story complex includes a casual eatery and pizzeria, a pasticceria (pastry shop) and a full-service restaurant called Louis Ristorante & Bar.

Moe's Southwest food chain to enter Twin Cities market

Moe's Southwest Grill, a fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain, is planning to expand in the Twin Cities market.

The company, which is based in Atlanta, announced the news this week.

Moe's has one location in the area now, in Bloomington near American Boulevard and Penn Avenue.

The company didn't say specifically how many locations it is aiming for, but said it is "seeking experienced multi-unit restaurant operators to help expand Moe’s presence in the market through multi-unit development agreements."

Moe's is comparable to Chipotle, which has nearly 60 locations in Minnesota.

The Bloomington Moe's was intended to be the first of five Minnesota locations the company was planning in 2012, but the other four didn't materialize at that time, the Business Journal notes.

Company officials say the time is now right to try the Twin Cities market again.

"Minneapolis and St. Paul are an obvious next step in our contiguous growth plan. We are making our way west across the Mississippi River, building loyal fans along the way,” said Steve Corp, a vice president with FOCUS Brands Restaurant Group, which owns Moe's.

Moe’s currently operates 580 restaurants in 37 states including D.C., and several foreign countries.

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