Minneapolis lost a little gem when Salty Tart's Harriet Avenue location closed abruptly in March, just six months after opening.
But if there's one thing that could fill the brioche-shaped sadness cavity its departure left, it's this: The pay-what-you-can Provision Community Restaurant will move into the space. And soon.
Anna Wienke first told us about her plans for Provision—which will be the Twin Cities' only pay-anything eatery—last September. "I can't believe this is something that doesn't already exist in Minneapolis, anyway—we're so about it," she said then. After months of pretty damn successful fundraising, the team told us last week that they'd secured their location.
Wienke says the building at 2940 Harriet Ave. is "even bigger and better than what we had envisioned, as we have the opportunity to foster the growth of aspiring entrepreneurs in the food industry through our shared commercial kitchen." This will be one of only a few-dozen pay-what-you-can cafes around the country. The nonprofit One World Everybody Eats—which built the model Wienke & Co. plan to use—says there are about 60, though many more are in the works.
But it's not an easy business, either: After opening five pay-whatever restaurants in nine years, Panera closed its only remaining Boston location in February.
Luckily, here in Minneapolis, things have been going so well for Provision that they're already hiring a copywriter to help share all the good news. If you're interested in supporting them, there's always the option to donate funds or food to the cause. They'll be at Open Streets Lyndale on June 2, where you can sign up to become a monthly supporter (incentives include vases, pitchers, and aprons). There's also a mural project planned for the building's south side, led by artists Laura Mann Hill, Daren Hill, and Spencer Graber.
Otherwise, you won't have to wait much longer to check it out: "We still have a build-out of the dining space to undertake," Wienke says, "but hope to be open by July."
Provision Community Restaurant
2940 Harriet Ave., Minneapolis