St. Paul's Schmidt Brewery to become new food destination

- For more than a hundred years, beer was brewed there. In the early 2000s it was an ethanol plant. But for the last decade, it has sat vacant.

The old Schmidt Brewery on 7th Street West in St. Paul will undergo its final phase of transformation, becoming a food destination and marketplace.

“Looking at it now, this could be the coolest place in our state for a dynamic food experience,” Twin Cities restaurantuer Nick Rancone said. 

Rancone and his partner, Thomas Boemer, own Minneapolis favorites Corner Table and Revival. This latest venture will center on a huge wood burning fire pit that will act as an open concept oven.

“I really wanted it to be food driven and find some creative restauranteur to share that vision,” developer Craig Cohen said. 

Cohen bought the property two years ago. The property was last operable as an ethanol plant in 2004.

“It had everything I was looking for,” Cohen said. “All the huge windows, big grand openings, a 20-foot train door opening.”

Rancone says besides the anchor restaurant, there will be 30 other vendors, along with a bandshell, farmers market and ice rink outside.

Hola Arepa and Five Watt Coffee have already signed on as tenants.

Cohen says the building is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and they plan on honoring the historic features by keeping the building as close to original as possible.

“I don’t think there is a building that is more embedded into the subconscious of most St. Paulites,” Rancone, who grew up in St. Paul, said. 

Rancone says they plan to break ground this fall with a projected opening of Summer 2017.

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