France 44 Undergoing a Massive Expansion

Two-story expansion will have classrooms, private rental, more outdoor seating

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During the pandemic, France 44 has sort of become a home for wayward wine experts. As restaurants closed temporarily or permanently, many sommeliers and wine stewards found themselves working for the giant liquor store at the intersection of Minneapolis and Edina (also the home of one of the best cheese shops in the state).

If you’ve visited there over the last week or so, you may have noticed there are changes. And now we’ve learned about their giant, 8,000-square-foot expansion.

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Southwest Voices first reported about the application France 44 filed with the city, which laid out a lot of these plans, and here is a website that goes over them.

There’s a boring part (new entrance, renovated parking lot, expanded warehouse), and there’s an exciting part: new classroom and event space for corporate groups and nonprofits; demo kitchen to fill some of the gap left with Kitchen Window going out of business; herb garden; cocktail lounge for 15 people; and a 1,100-square-foot rooftop patio overlooking Linden Hills (think grilling classes and private parties).

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It’s going to take a bit to get this done while keeping France 44 open the whole time. Right now they’re getting things ready, but according to France 44 they’ll be doing demolition in late April and exterior work all summer. Hopefully it’ll be ready to rock by October or November, in time for pre-holiday classes at the end of 2022!

Do I want to take a class on the amazing wines of Germany from Amy Waller (like the one I took a couple years ago when she was at the Bachelor Farmer)? Do I want to learn more about French wines from the amazing Karina Roe? Or cheese from Benjamin Roberts? Yes, I do!

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