Restaurant roundup: Openings, closings, new menus abound

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Lots of food news in the Twin Cities metro area lately. Here's a quick roundup.

Closing:

Chiang Mai Tai in Uptown Minneapolis is going out of business after 17 years, KSTP reports. The owner, Charles Lodge, said he's ready to take a break from the heavy workload of running a restaurant, which is located in Calhoun Square. Its last day is Dec. 23.

Other restaurants that have already announced plans to close this year include Nye's, Republic, La Belle Vie, Vincent and Masa.

Opening:

Taco Cat, a bike-only taco delivery service in Minneapolis, is getting its own permanent storefront space. City Pages says they'll be taking over the El Burrito Mercado space in the Midtown Global Market on Lake Street. Taco Cat has been sharing the kitchen in that spot already. The new space should be open by the end of November.

Community Keg House, which is setting up in the old Grain Belt building in Northeast Minneapolis. The place will be a little different than your usual craft brewery, in that patrons will be able to pour their own pints from a 16-tap "pour room."

Tap tenders will help customers choose the right brew, and then they can pour it themselves. The Keg House will also serve food, according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. A mid-December opening is planned.

Revamping:

Four mainstays in the metro area have shaken things up a bit in a bid to attract more customers, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.

Highland Grill in St. Paul's Highland Park neighborhood did a major update of its decor and its menu. About half the offerings are new, and focus on more healthy, fresh items, like roasted chicken enchiladas, Thai peanut chicken and chicken meatball spaghetti.

Joseph's Restaurant in Stillwater has always been known as a breakfast and lunch spot. But owner Joseph Kohler is aiming to draw in a dinner crowd, so he recently remodeled the place to get rid of the "diner" feel. He also took out the breakfast counter, added a bar and is now serving alcohol along with beer and wine.

St. Clair Broiler in the Macalester-Groveland neighborhood in St. Paul revamped its menu to add more than a dozen new burgers and malts, as well as eight new craft beers to its lineup.

Chino Latino in Uptown just marked its 15th anniversary, the Pioneer Press notes, and refreshed its menu in an effort to keep up with the competition in the trendy neighborhood.

The new dishes were inspired by recent trips the chef took to different places around the world, and are in keeping with Chino's mission to serve "street food from the hot zones," from tropical countries that straddle the equator.

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