Northern Taphouse Is Cooking From Scratch

by | Feb 2024

Northern Taphouse Woodbury

Photos: Lincoln Hospitality Group

Northern Taphouse brings a curated menu and culinary expertise to Woodbury.

Woodbury is welcoming a new locally owned restaurant: Northern Taphouse opened late January with a menu packed full of tried-and-true bites, fresh ingredients and over-the-top drinks.

“We have always liked Woodbury,” says Kent Letnes of Lincoln Hospitality and Northern Taphouse co-owner. “The people there seem like they’re looking for something local, something different.”

With locations across the Metro in Lakeville and Plymouth, plus its flagship location across the border in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, the Northern Taphouse team says its the menu that brings people back time and time again.

“We don’t outsource our menus,” says Anna Musbach, Lincoln Hospitality director of marketing and sales. “Nobody knows our food scene better than our staff. They know trends in the area. Within each location, we have imaginative and inspired chefs … As a staff, we hold ideation meetings, we put things together in the kitchen, take the best ideas and create them for our menu.”

Kent and Matt Letnes are the brains behind the restaurant and together run Lincoln Hospitality Group, a conglomeration of three restaurant brands in 13 locations. But it was their father who fired up the creative culinary engines. Curt Letnes started his first restaurant in 1975, so its no surprise that Kent and Matt grew up in the kitchen perfecting the craft. The brothers went on to open Milwaukee Burger Company in 2008, followed by Omaha Tap House and Northern Taphouse.

“Curt kicked off all of these restaurants. Each of his sons have started their careers working for him as a dishwasher, host and bartender before becoming part of the ownership,” Musbach says. “It’s truly a labor
of love that’s being passed on from father to son[s].”

Though Kent recognizes there may be some competition in the area, he says Northern Taphouse stands out for multiple reasons. “We’re obsessed with the quality of our ingredients; we’re constantly trying to keep on our game,” he says. “A lot of people like drinking at breweries and tap rooms, and that was our idea of ‘Let’s make a brewery-tap room feel, but let’s make it a sports bar with quality ingredients and from-scratch food.’”

Many of the ingredients come in fresh, and the team sources them locally—when possible. “We’ll do some local when we can,” Kent says, noting that Minnesota’s climate makes it difficult to get fresh local ingredients year-round. “There are times of the year that we get more Minnesotan [ingredients].”

The menu includes an array of burgers, such as smashed, truffled or Jack-infused burgers. For those who’ve visited its other locations, they’re familiar with the Sasquatch Smash Burger (four smash patties, smoked pepper aioli, smoked cheddar, pepper jack cheese, pickles and caramelized onions) and the Brown Sugar Bacon Burger (candied applewood smoked bacon, smoked cheddar cheese, house barbecue sauce and caramelized onions).

The over-the-top burgers can be paired with its 40–50 beers on tap. “With all the great local breweries in town, we feature the big ones but also the smaller specialty beers,” Musbach says.

Or, look toward its even larger Bloody Marys for a drink like no other. “[We have] the classic Bloody Mary … and the Fiery Bloody features a Nashville Hot rim to complement the hot pepper-infused vodka,” Musbach says. “There’s [also] a new Bloody of the Month each month.”

Started in its Plymouth location, the Bloody of the Month brings Instagramable Bloody Marys’ to life. “Our bar manager in Plymouth came up with the Bloody of the Month, so he started that and it took off,” Kent says. “Now, people are begging us to know what the next month brings.”

The first Bloody of the Month landed last February. It was created with bacon-washed Grey Duck vodka, smoked barbecue Bloody mix, a dry rub rim, two Nashville Hot cheese curds, deep fried bacon, fried pickles, brown sugar bacon, two dry rub chicken wings and the classic Bloody skewer.

Other Bloody of the Month drinks have included the Breakfast Bloody, made with classic Bloody mix, bacon-washed vodka, the classic skewer and topped with jumbo bacon cheddar chive tots, a Belgian waffle, a deviled egg, candied bourbon boneless wings, brown sugar and applewood bacon and a shot of maple syrup; plus the Thanksgiving Dinner Bloody, made with a Thanksgiving rim seasoning, a slider with turkey, stuffing, cranberry aioli, lettuce and tomato, caramel apple dessert bites, fried corn bites, fried green beans and a shot of gravy.

“It’s become a life of its own a little bit, [but] it’s been really fun,” Letnes says.

Northern Taphouse
7325 Currell Blvd
Facebook: Northern Taphouse- Woodbury
Instagram: @northerntaphouse


Recent Stories

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This