Here’s some happy news: Be’Wiched Deli, the chef-driven deli by Matthew Bickford and Mike Ryan, is opening a second location this fall.
It will be called Icehouse, and it’s going into the former Sindbad (the misspelling was theirs) on Nicollet Avenue. “The concept is a little bit of a shift for us,” Matthew Bickford told me, “but a bit of a culmination for me. I’ve always wanted to do a neighborhood bar with good food, and good music, and now I am.”
The good food: Small plates, sides, salads, and of course good sandwiches, available either with sit-down service at tables, or to-go from a front counter stocked for take-away service.
The good music: “It will have an underground jazz slant” says Bickford, with an eye toward cultivating a group of musicians who want to play there. As part of the music, there will be a Sunday Gospel brunch. “I think there’s a vacuum in this market—people want to go on a Sunday, and feel like they can tie that into their praise, get dressed up, hit mass, and then come down for some good food.”
With the good food and good music, what else? Good drinks. Bickford told me he is meeting this week with La Belle Vie’s bar wizard Johnny Michaels to talk cocktails. Finally, for the night-owls in the audience, please note they’ll also have good hours. Bickford tells me they plan to serve till midnight, to complement the music. Projected opening: October.
What to do till October? Track all the other Eat Street developments. For instance, sometime in the near future you’ll be able to stop in to Quang for a drink. The Vietnamese stalwart restaurant got approval from the city this week for a beer and wine license, as well as a sidewalk café. Pho and a beer? Hooray! The former Taco Morelos space on 26th Street is also a-changing—that’s where Eat Street Social, the second restaurant by the Northeast Social folks, will debut, likely in September. A Dunn Brothers is going into the former A25/Anemoni Sushi/Garage D’Or/whatever-you-want-to-call-it space. The big unknown: The former Azia space on the corner. As of today, the Blue Door Pub has dropped out—no Jucy Lucys for us. Azia is also out. But who is in? And when will the K-Mart go away, blocking Nicollet? Wish I knew. Still, this much is sure: Eat Street’s getting eatier!