Rainforest Cafe, Five Guys top busy week for Twin Cities eating scene

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The return of an iconic favorite to the Mall of America is among several developments in what has been a busy few days in the Twin Cities' eating and entertainment scene.

KARE 11 reports that just under a year after closing at the Mall of America, The Rainforest Cafe opened Friday in its new location on the third floor under new management, complete with an updated menu, a patio and "even more animal interaction."

The restaurant has been a distinctive feature of the mall since 1994, becoming an attraction for diners for its animal displays, but announced last January it would be shutting down temporarily and moving to different unit.

The Star Tribune reports it is now situated opposite the Bubba Gump restaurant, and will be adjacent to Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, which is opening this spring.

One change that diners might not welcome however, is that the large tropical fish tank at the entrance to the former restaurant didn't make the move to the new premises.

Five Guys, bowling alley announcements

Elsewhere in the Twin Cities, the fast-growing, handcrafted burger chain Five Guys is planning to open more restaurants in the metro area.

On its website, it says "Coming Soon" are new restaurants in the RBC Plaza at 555 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, at 2026 Ford Parkway in St. Paul, and on Southbridge Parkway in Shakopee.

The chain already has 11 outlets in the metro area – but doesn't currently have any in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. There are no dates yet for when they will open.

And The Business Journal reports The Shops at West End in St. Louis Park is going to get a new tenant – the Punch Bowl Social bar and restaurant.

It will occupy a 23,000 square-foot space featuring eight bowling lanes, three private karaoke rooms, bocce ball courts, an outdoor patio, skeeball and pinball in what is described as a "food/entertainment hybrid."

Over in St. Paul, the Pioneer Press has put together an extensive list of new restaurants scheduled to open this year.

This includes "red sauce restaurant" Mucci's on Randolph Ave., due to open by the end of this month, and Brake Bread, which will open a bakery on W. 7th St. to add to its bicycle-delivery service following a successful Kickstarter campaign.

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