Fire and Nice Alehouse with Blue Fire Pizza was the Spotlight restaurant of the LHENA Restaurant Fan Club on Sunday, March 21. Neighbors participated via Zoom, with three neighbors dining on site at Fire and Nice.
Judy Schwartau shared with those of us on Zoom a walking tour of Fire and Nice. We met Nate Ropes, owner of the Alehouse and Aaron Hargrav, the Executive Chef and owner of the Blue Fire Pizza Food Truck. We were entertained by a daring throw of pizza dough into a yard-wide crust. The restaurant is decorated with historic relics that Nate has collected over the years. There are 156 campaign mugs from the 1932 FDR Presidential campaign, as well as Civil War and Spanish American War historical items, and Minnesota-made snowshoes.
The menu offers a variety of wood fire pizzas with meat, as well as vegetarian and gluten-free. One fan club member ordered the grilled vegetable side dish and gave them four stars. Watch for menu additions and timely holiday features, such as the recent St. Patrick’s Day pizza that featured corned beef brisket and Guinness cheese. Chef Aaron Hargrav’s favorite pizza is the Kirby Puckett for its balance of ingredients, including fennel sausage and oven-sweetened onions.
Fire and Nice bravely opened during Minnesota winter months and a pandemic. Scheduled to open in November (the first full day of the second Minnesota dial-back of bars and restaurants), Fire and Nice started its takeout service in December 2020, and opened for on-site sipping and dining in January 2021. Choose from a rotating variety of 16 taps of MN beers or ciders.
The building was originally built in 1905 and is now owned by the second generation of the family that purchased it in 1920. The restaurant has welcoming warm woods, including the bar constructed from recycled wood of the original floor and several walls of recycled rough-sawn barn wood from Iowa.
Fire and Nice Alehouse & Blue Fire Pizza
Hours: Mon - Thurs 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Fri & Sat 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., and Sun 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Take out: Two choices – par baked (to finish at home) or ready to eat.
Address: 2700 Lyndale Avenue South with 23 parking spots in the back
Website: FireAndNiceMn.com -- includes on-line pizza ordering