Nominate the Travail Collective!

Hey Travailians! The Growler Magazine’s 2019 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Awards are a really big deal! We humbly ask for your nominations by midnight on 9/6 in these important categories:

Chef of the Year: Mike Brown, James Winberg, Bob Gerken
Bartender: Nathaniel Smith
Fine Dining: Travail
Pizza: Pig Ate My Pizza
Brewery Kitchen: Pig Ate My Pizza
Barbecue: Minnesota BBQ Co.
Restaurant – Single Location: Travail
Restaurant – Local Chain/Group: Travail Collective

1 million thanks in advance!

“Gabby’s Got This” Benefit Party


“Gabby’s Got This” Benefit Party

Sunday, July 21st from 4-8pm
At Travail Mpls Residency (1930 Hennepin Ave S)

Party with the Twin Cities’ top chefs in support of our family and friends with a night of food, drink, music, a silent auction, and KICKING CANCER’S ASS. We’re throwing a benefit party in support of Matt and Heidi Brown’s family whose daughter Gabby was diagnosed with AML Leukemia at 1 year old. Some of you may know Matt from the early days of Pig or at his current restaurant, Estelle’s Eatery and Bar over in Harmony, Minnesota (check Estelle’s Facebook page for your daily dose of Gabby!) Matt is also a brother to Travail’s Mike and Dave Brown, so this event is very near and dear to our hearts. Their family has been fighting the good fight for over 8 months, and we’re thankful for our community’s support and the ability to be a part of the healing process.

In true Travail party fashion, your feast will be served at interactive food stations throughout the space. Our restaurant family has banded together to bring you a star-studded chef lineup featuring...

Tim Mckee of Octo Fish Bar
Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable
Ann Kim of Young Joni
Stephen Hess and Tyge Nelson of Pajarito
Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone of Revival
Tommy Begnaud of Butcher and the Boar
+ Mike, James, Bob and Travail Team

Tickets are $125 per person and include all your food and drinks for the night. Silent auction items will also be available to bid on at the event. All proceeds go directly to the Brown Family.

Can’t attend? You can also show your support on Gabby’s GoFundMe page.

2019 Whiz Bang Block Party


2019 Whiz Bang Block Party

Presented by Pig Ate My Pizza
Friday, July 12th 6-10:30pm
Under the water tower in Robbinsdale: 4121 Hubbard Ave, Robbinsdale, MN 55422

Summer is practically here, meaning it’s time to PARTY with your favorite Travailians. As you can imagine, we have been up to our elbows in pizza and barbecue and all things delicious with the opening of our new restaurants this year (and with Travail 3.0 still on the way!). With that said, in order to keep our heads above water, we are scaling back a bit this year and moving our annual party from the lakeside to under the water tower here in Robbinsdale. In celebration with our community, we are pleased to present the 2019 Whiz Bang Block Party!

Pack up the kiddos, lawn chairs, and sunscreen and settle in for an evening of F1rst Wrestling, live music by Mockstar, and activities with local artists. Pig Ate My Pizza will be slingin’ dogs, burgers, wings, and more on our simplified summer menu. Then you can wash it all down at the drink tent where we’ll have 3-4 local beers, sangria, and N/A options.

Tickets are $9 in advance or $10 at the door. Kids 12 and under are free.
Members get 2 free tickets when logged in to your Tock account.
Tickets are for admission only. Food and drink will be available for purchase, cash only, at the event.

All members will be getting two free tickets to this year’s Whiz Bang Block Party. All you have to do is be logged in to your Tock account with the same email your membership is attached to and you will see the automatic discount at checkout. (Visit our Tock Access info page if you haven’t set up an account yet.)

Thanks to EMI Audio for making our event sound great!

Thanks to EMI Audio for making our event sound great!


Pig Ate My Pizza Grand Opening


That’s right, folks! We are here to tell you with MUCH anticipation and excitement that the new Pig Ate My Pizza Kitchen and Brewery is now OPEN! Their new location is at 4124 W Broadway Ave in Robbinsdale, just a few doors down from the old Pig, in our newly renovated home.

Our chef-owners Mike Brown, James Winberg and Bob Gerken, are enhancing the Pig Ate My Pizza experience as you know it with inspired food and beverage pairings, including craft cocktails developed by bar director Nathaniel Smith and a micro-brewery developed with longtime chefs and homebrewers Andy Goettsch and Nate Moser, and chef Josh Disher.


We collaborated with RoehrSchmitt Architecture and Telos on the renovation. The new space, which offers twice the seating of the former Pig Ate My Pizza, features an expansive bar, a take-out area with new PAMP merch, and family-style dining in a Minnesota-style screened porch area. Garage door-style windows provide open-air dining in warm weather and abundant natural light in all seasons. You’ll also find decorative remnants of our old home (including an homage to our kickstarters) that you’ll have to just come in and see for yourself!


Monday-Thursday 4-10pm
Friday-Saturday 11am-10pm
Sunday 11am-9pm


The menu features fan favorites like Piggy Pie, the Big Cheeser and the Diana Ross, as well as an epic new lineup in the works including a build-your-own-pizza option, new small plates, and desserts. Dinner will be served seven days a week as well as lunch on Fridays and Saturdays and brunch pizzas on Sundays. A limited menu will be available for take-out.


We will also be serving a new six-course Brewer’s Tasting menu. Tickets for this dining experience will be released Friday, May 10th. Learn more about what to expect on our Tickets page.


In true Travail spirit, our team will use our culinary expertise to brew our own signature beers in-house for the first time ever! This allows us to even better curate your meal, matching the perfect suds to the menu. While we get our equipment up and running, you can expect exclusive collaboration brews on tap to start. We’ve been working with Surly Brewing Company, Barrel Theory Beer Company, Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, HeadFlyer Brewing, Fair State Brewing Cooperative, Dangerous Man Brewing Company, Fulton Brewing, and other local craft breweries to develop a hop-a-licious lineup for our grand opening.

Minnesota Barbecue Co. Grand Opening

Kale Thome and Travail Collective are proud to announce the grand opening of Minnesota Barbecue Company at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 3. Located at 816 Lowry Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis, the take-out craft barbecue restaurant is a collaboration between Thome, longtime executive chef at Travail, and Travail co-founders Mike Brown, James Winberg and Bob Gerken.

“I grew up in Wichita, Kansas, where barbecue is a way of life,” says Thome. “At this point in my career, I’m excited to go back to my roots and use the abundance of wonderful local products to bring my own brand of Minnesota craft barbecue to the neighborhood.”


A new home

Located between Quincy and Jackson Streets, the former abandoned 800-sq.-ft. building has been transformed into a modern barbecue joint with a custom smoker designed by the chefs and built by Sam Linhoff, a local artisan metalsmith who crafts lighting and other design elements for Travail and Pig Ate My Pizza. Joy Martin, AIA, of Minneapolis-based Joy Architecture collaborated with the chefs on the design of the space. In between opening Travail’s Minneapolis Residency and overseeing the design and construction of the new Travail and Pig Ate My Pizza on Broadway Avenue in the heart of Robbinsdale, the chefs did triple-duty as general contractors, carpenters, tile-setters and drywall installers.

On the menu

Thome’s debut menu features St. Louis pork ribs, smoked to perfection until the meat falls off the bone, tender brisket and chicken served up with sweet-and-savory sauce alongside dirty rice and beans, creamed sweet potatoes, cheesy noodles, apple fennel slaw and cucumber salad. The menu will also evolve to include other modern riffs on timeless barbecue favorites including pulled pork, smoked duck and house-made apple bacon sausage, as well as long-simmered baked beans, homemade potato salad, leafy green salad, fresh-baked onion buns and other specialties.

Learn more at

Pig’s Last Day: Kick the Keg Party


Pig's last day in their current home is Sunday, April 21st, and we're going out with a bang! After your morning egg hunts and Easter celebrations, come in any time on Sunday between 11am-8pm for hourly food specials, $15 pitchers of ANY beer, flip cup, and other games. Upon departure, take a piece of this beloved space home with you by choosing your very own pig from our vast collection. There is no ticket required for this party, just come to eat, drink, and be merry!

Following Sunday's party, Pig will be closed and will be on a short hiatus as we move all our equipment out and break in the new space. We are planning to re-open early-mid May. Stay tuned, Piggy fans!


What's on deck...

The future looks tasty! In case you need a refresher, Pig is clearing out our home at 4154 Broadway and moving down the street to totally renovated digs at 4124 Broadway (where the old Travail used to be). We're introducing a refreshed food menu (complete with fan favorites), a souped-up bar program including cocktails, and our first ever microbrewery concept with a new ticketed brewer's tasting menu experience.

The best part about our in-house brewing is that you'll always have the perfect beer to pair with your meal because it's made by the same Travail Collective chefs who helped develop those flavors you've come to know and love. As our brewing equipment gets up and running, our taps will be flowing with a series of exclusive collaboration brews we've been working on with local legends like Surly, Dangerous Man, and more. 

At our new house, there will be plenty of space for everyone. Get some fresh air in our Minnesota-screened-porch-inspired dining area with big garage door style windows that'll be open for those warm weather months. You'll notice that we have more seating overall including at the new bar, meaning it'll be easier for you to get in and get to nomming on that hot za asap. We'll also have a to-go area with crowlers and merch so you can share the piggy love at home and on the go.

More details are to come, Stay tuned and we look forward to this next chapter with you!

Fair State + Barrel Theory Tap Takeover at Pig


Fair State + Barrel Theory Tap Takeover

March 10 | 4-8pm | Pig Ate My Pizza

Fair State and Barrel Theory are bringing a whole slew of suds to load up our taps for an evening of bottomless brews and all-you-can-eat Pig pizza and passed plates. Win swag in raffles and games, hang with the brewers themselves, and take home a FREE tasting glass.

$65 per person plus tax and a service fee

Prices are before tax a 21% Service Fee and Health & Wellness Surcharge added at checkout. (This includes a 18 % service fee and a 3% Health & Wellness Surcharge, which helps us provide health insurance and a livable wage for all employees.)

This is a 21+ event.

Homage collaboration with Doug Flicker




Starting at the end of March, Travail will be hosting its second concept at the Minneapolis residency: Homage, a collaboration with chef Doug Flicker inspired by the fine dining scene in the late 90s. Flicker and his colleagues opened Auriga in 1996 (in the very space that our residency resides now) where "a common sense approach to cooking” was “worked and re-worked to uncommon sophistication". After Auriga closed in 2007, Flicker went on to create nationally recognized Piccolo, opened seasonal favorite Sandcastle, holds meat raffles at his dive bar Bull's Horn Food and Drink, and also leads the culinary program at Esker Grove. He helped put the Twin Cities fine dining scene on the map and influenced many of the chefs and restaurants that exist in the area today. He’s a long time friend of Travail, and even worked with two of Travail’s owners, a young James Winberg and Mike Brown at Porter & Frye, where the two originally met.

Travail’s second concept Homage will bring back the 90s fine dining scene in all its glory with a coursed menu in collaboration with Doug Flicker himself. We’re going the whole nine yards back in time with white table cloths, floral arrangements, and even white chef coats. But don’t worry, there will still be that familiar Travail exuberance served with every course.

This MSP Mag article by Stephanie March said it best: "You can watch old movies and read books to understand an era. But it’s a rare opportunity to taste some of the food. Plenty of young guns, working in kitchens now, weren’t even alive in 1996. I hope they see this fine-dining flashback as their chance to pull up a chair to history."

The Menu

Dinner will be an 8 course tasting menu inspired by progressive, influential chefs who shaped fine dining in the 90s. Find flavors like a Thomas Keller Beef Tartare, a Georges Blanc Bresse Chicken, and a Doug Flicker Beet and Goat Cheese Ravioli, plus more inspiration from the likes of Michel Bras, Trotter, Robuchon, and Jean George to name a few. You'll also enjoy amuse bites inspired by local legends like Steven Brown, Jack Reibel, Michelle Gayer, Lenny Russo, Alex Robert, and more.


Dress up your tasting menu experience with a ridiculous dinner supplement package including osetra caviar, foie gras, wagyu strip loin, Japanese amberjack, truffles, and langoustine for $120 per person.

For all the wine lovers out there, we'll have wine pairing tickets for $100/person including six/seven pairings with your dinner highlighting our favorite wines from Beaujolais, Burgundy, and California.

Both of these upgrades are available within the ticket purchasing process. Prices are before tax and service fees.

At the Bar

The bar will be open serving an a la carte throwback Auriga menu including plates like Goat Cheese Antipasto, Risotto with Wild Mushrooms, the return of the legendary Catalan Fish Stew, and Polenta with Scrambled Eggs. We will also serve beer on tap, wine by the glass, and craft cocktails including new recipes inspired by Auriga and all things 90s.

Open Wed-Sat 5-11pm, no reservations needed.

Homage Ticketed Reservations

The Homage concept will run from the end of March through May.
Open Wednesday-Saturday
Seatings at 5:15p, 5:45p, 7:45p, 8:15p

Wednesday: $111/person
Thursday $119/person
Friday $129/person
Saturday $135/person

Note: Tickets are sold in even quantities and are priced per person. If you are not seeing availability, check that your party size is set to 2, 4, 6, 8, etc.

Prices are before tax a 21% Service Fee and Health & Wellness Surcharge added at checkout. (This includes a 18 % service fee and a 3% Health & Wellness Surcharge, which helps us provide health insurance and a livable wage for all employees.)

Groups larger than 8 should contact us for availability and seating options. Inquire at

Release Dates

February 5, Tuesday at 11am - Member Pre-sale
(Log into your Tock account to get access to these tickets and see the event listings.)

February 6, Wednesday at 11am - General Public Sale

Travail Opens in Minneapolis


Last week our team moved everything out of our beloved Robbinsdale home and now we're officially open in our new Minneapolis digs for the next six months. We are thrilled to be hosting our first round of guests this week and can't wait to share a whole new chapter of UMAMI, sake bombs and all. As a reminder you must have a ticketed reservation for the UMAMI tasting menu, however the bar is first come, first served open seating.

Travail in Residence
1930 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Located in the old Bradstreet location next to Lowry Hill Meats.
Entrance is on the North side of the building.
Open Wednesday-Saturday 5-11pm

Give yourself plenty of time to find parking before you arrive. There is no designated on-site parking. We will have a valet service available for $10, for which you can access our parking lot via Colfax Ave and they will greet you in front of our North side entrance. There is also plenty of free street parking, but be sure take note of signage and parking times. Those of you joining us for the tasting menu should expect to spend at least 2-2.5 hours in house. You might also consider utilizing public transit, Lyft, or Uber.

At the Bar

We're offering a full cocktail, beer, and wine menu plus a smaller a la carte menu playing off UMAMI flavors and pub fare favorites including wings, a burger, ramen, bao, bún salad, and more. We have a whole new lineup of cocktails just for UMAMI that you won't want to miss! All seats will be available on a first come, first served basis. You may also take your nibbles to go.

Next Ticketed Reservation Releases

February and March UMAMI tickets will be available for a member pre-sale on January 15th, and will be available to the general public on January 16th. 

The full run of ticketed reservations for the following concept (90s Fine Flicker running late March-May) will be available at the end of January. A pre-sale will be available to Travailian Local, Plus, and Prime members on Tuesday, January 29. Tickets for the general public will be available on Wednesday, January 30th.

Modist + Junkyard Beer Release Party at Pig Ate My Pizza


We headed downtown this week to smell the hops and get the inside scoop on an all new secret brew collab between Modist Brewing and Junkyard Brewing. Each team will craft the same recipe at their own facilities, allowing for the variance in process and location to make two unique batches.

Be the first to sip these tasty collabs at our upcoming beer release tap takeover on January 27th. Modist and Junkyard will bring a whole slew of suds to takeover our taps for an evening of bottomless brews and all-you-can-eat Pig pizza and passed plates. Win swag in raffles and games, hang with the brewers themselves, and take home a FREE tasting glass.

Modist/Junkyard Tap Takeover
Sunday, January 27th
4-8pm at Pig Ate My pizza
$65 + tax & service fee per person (This is a 21+ event.)
Tickets are now available.

*Pig will be open for brunch that Sunday morning from 11am-1pm.

Timeline Update

Happy 2019 Travailians! Things are really starting to move and shake in the Collective, and we wanted to give you an update on all our latest projects like the construction on Travail 3.0, the new Pig Ate My Pizza brew pub, and the opening of Minnesota BBQ Co.

Below is our latest timeline for each restaurant concept. Please keep in mind that everything is relative to construction timing and these are estimations of when things will happen. We’ve also included a few notes for our Travailian members of when they can expect certain perks/events to happen.


We are officially out of the old Travail space in Robbinsdale (4124 W Broadway). It took 20 chefs and 12 hours to move out of the 10,000 square foot space. Some stuff went into storage for the new Travail, and much went to be utilized in our new temporary home at 1930 Hennepin Ave in Minneapolis. Come on in and visit us starting January 9th for our Umami concept! If you don’t have ticketed reservations, we’ll have a phenomenal bar menu that will also be available as take-out. As far as the old space goes, renovations will begin soon to make way for the new Pig Brew Pub.


Meanwhile, construction is underway on Travail 3.0 in Robbinsdale, and we look forward to bringing you more updates and photos as that project progresses. Framing is going up this week - whoop whoop!


Minnesota BBQ Co. is slated to open this Spring. We are hoping to line up a few pop-ups or events to get some of that juicy Q in your hands in the mean time, so stay tuned and we thank everyone for their continued patience and endless excitement for this project to come to fruition! We’re working closely with our vendors and the city to make sure everything is on point for our grand opening.

And lastly, but definitely not least - all is well at Pig Ate My Pizza. We’ve been scheming up and tweaking some beer recipes for the new brewpub that we can’t wait to share. In the meantime, our Pig crew is slinging that familiar amazing pizza that you know and love, so go get your comfort za while you still can in their current space before they move out in the Spring. And look out for some lunch and dinner specials as part of Restaurant Week in February!

Minneapolis Residency: 90s Fine Flicker

Photo courtesy MSP Magazine

Photo courtesy MSP Magazine


Starting at the end of March, Travail will be serving its second concept at the Minneapolis residency: 90s Fine Flicker. Chef Doug Flicker ushered in a new era of fine dining in Minneapolis in the 90s with his legendary restaurant Auriga, and later went on to create Piccolo and Esker Grove. He helped put the Twin Cities on the map as a food destination and influenced many of the chefs and restaurants that exist in the area today. He’s a long time friend of Travail, and even worked with two of Travail’s owners, a young James Winberg and Mike Brown at Porter & Frye, where the two originally met. Travail’s second concept will bring back the 90s fine dining scene in all its glory with a coursed menu in collaboration with Doug Flicker himself.

The chefs will be serving a pre-fixe menu inspired by the 90s fine dining scene and influential chefs from that time. Special beverage flights will be also be available, which will include juice, wine, beer and other styles of beverage curated to complement the current menu.

Ticketed Reservations and pricing will be available at the end of January 2019.
Member pre-sale tickets will be available January 29.
General public tickets will be available January 30.

Similar to Travail now, we will offer a full cocktail, beer, and wine menu plus a smaller a la carte menu. All seats will be available on a first come first served basis. Orders will also be available for take out.

We have limited seating for parties over 4 in the new space. If you would like to host a larger group, please contact us at

Travail's Minneapolis Residency

2019 brings lots of exciting changes, starting with a Minneapolis residency. In January Travail will be moving into a temporary home at 1930 Hennepin Ave in the great 55403 zip code. This address may ring a bell for those of you who have dined at Bradstreet Crafthouse, Rye Delicatessen & Bar, or the legendary Auriga.

Construction is already underway for Travail to return to Robbinsdale in the early summer, and the current 4124 Travail building will be undergoing a remodel into the new Pig Ate My Pizza brew pub slated to open late spring of 2019.

But let’s get back to being in residence in Minneapolis. We plan to be hanging on Hennepin for the first six months of the year bringing you three different concepts, each lasting about two months.

We may be getting a temporary new zip code but we ares still bringing our whole Travail team and our tried-and-true Travail concept: a pre-fixe tasting menu sold in advance through ticketed reservations, open Wednesday-Saturday, with a first come first served bar. And we’re kicking it all off by returning to our MPLS pop-up roots…

Travail in Residence
1930 Hennepin Ave
Wednesday-Saturday 5-midnight (food till about 10/11)


The Return of UMAMI


Those of you who are fans from WAY back remember the first time we hit the road while building a new space: UMAMI by Travail, where we turned a fried chicken joint in NoMi into a pre-fixe meal featuring some of our favorite asian dishes and flavors. Well, it’s back! UMAMI will be the first concept at our Minneapolis Residency. Here’s what you can expect….

Our chefs will be serving a pre-fixe menu including Dim Sum cart service, shared family courses, amuse bites, sake bombs and more. Special beverage flights will be also be available, which will include juice, sake, wine, beer and other styles of beverage curated to complement the current menu.

There will be 4 seatings per evening.
Tasting Menu Tickets: $85 per person + tax and service fees
Additional Beverage Flight Tickets: $50 per person (tax included) + service fee
Ticketed reservations are now available on our Tickets & Events page.

Similar to Travail now, we will offer a full cocktail, beer, and wine menu plus a smaller a la carte menu. All seats will be available on a first come first served basis. During the UMAMI run, we will likely have items such as ramen, dumplings, wings, and tonkatsu donburi. AND… these treats will also be available for take out.

We have limited seating for parties over 4 in the new space. If you would like to host a larger group, please contact us at

The New Travail Collective

Photo courtesy of the Star Tribune

Photo courtesy of the Star Tribune

A reimagined Travail in an epic new two-story building across the street. Pig Ate My Pizza expanding into the current Travail space and adding a chef-driven brew pub. Our highly-anticipated MN BBQ Co. opening soon in NE Mpls. And a revolutionary way for YOU to be a part of it all — first access, super sweet swag, season tickets, special surprises, plus a freshly-minted membership card for flashing your new Travailian status…



Travail Kitchen & Amusements

Yes, we're tearing down the blighted building at 4131-4135 W Broadway (across the street from the current Travail) and creating a new experience-fueled two-story space in the heart of Robbinsdale. Redevelopment plans include a rooftop patio overlooking the city (for one-off events like outdoor movie screenings and chef spotlights), artist collaborations, and a playground for all of our wildest ideas.

We’ll still have four nights of ticketed reservations each week, but at these dinner parties, our new home will be your home. Eat as much as you want, drink as much as you want, laugh as loud as you want, and stay as long as you want. 

Pig Ate My Pizza + Brew Pub

Pig Ate My Pizza needs more space. If only we had a big empty building with kitchens and walk-in coolers and…oh wait, Travail’s moving out of 4124 W Broadway, let’s put Pig there! And with room to spare, we’re putting in a chef-driven brew pub and a real Minnesotan screen porch. We’re reviving the tasting menus, adding seatings for ticketed reservations (to accommodate large parties), beefing up to-go ordering including crowlers, expanding small plate selections, and bringing back some of your favorite throwback ‘zas.

What happens when chefs brew their own beer and pair it with their own culinary creations? A match made in numnum heaven, duh.

Screen Shot 2018-06-21 at 3.11.34 PM.png


Minnesota BBQ Co.

We know, we know... you've heard rumblings of this for a while now (and maybe you’ve even had a few tastes of Kale’s MN BBQ at breweries and pop-ups) but the time has come for the smoke to reign down in the heart of the NE brewery land. Minnesota BBQ Company is the food baby of Chef Kale Thome, a native of Wichita, KS and an OG Travailian. That is to say, this ain’t his first rodeo! Anyone who’s tried his mac and cheese or brisket sandwich will agree, he has a special way with that smoker.

At this very moment, Kale and crew are wearing their tool belts and finishing up the final renovations on the new space. We’ve built a custom proprietary smoker where all these glorious meats will spend many hours basking in the oak wood smoke. Not only does this damn tasty Q capitalize on some of the greatest barbecue traditions, it is also influenced by Minnesota products and culture.

The new space will be small, but mighty, offering take-out and delivery to the nearby breweries. Come fill your bellies, dirty your fingers, and ease that hanger when we open towards spring 2019.



Although the initial sign-up period is over to become a founding member, you can still sign up to be notified if we host another round of memberships. The loyalty of our Travalian tribe has continually blown us away, and we have been incredible humbled by everyone who become a member already. Head to our info page to learn how you could be first in line, top of the list, and enjoy all the benefits of officially joining the Travail Collective. Learn More