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2020 Finalists for the Charlie Awards Announced

We can never uncrown past Charlie winners, like Gavin Kaysen, Jamie Malone, Ann Kim, Christina Nguyen, Russell Klein and Marco Zappia, but this year's finalists are pretty hot in the Twin Cities right now.

Photo by John Yuccas of The Culinary Portfolio

It’s been a long time coming—at least if you’re the one counting the three rounds of voting—but we now have the completed list of finalists for the 2020 Charlie Awards. And we think you'll agree that in a community with an abundance of outstanding restaurants, breweries, catering companies, we've curated a culinary treasure trove. 

The awards, celebrating both the diversity in the Twin Cities restaurant community as well as its excellence, will be presented on stage at the Pantages Theater, February 9, 2020, starting at 3:30 p.m., and culminating with the afterparty next door at Seven Steakhouse. In addition to presenting the 13 awards, the show is packed with entertainment from music to videos to rapping.

Tickets for the Charlie Awards show and afterparty are $30 per person. To purchase tickets, call 612-767-3229 or go online at charliesexceptionale.com. Tickets can also be picked up at the Pantages box office.

The finalists will be featured in the January issue of Foodservice News, but for now here’s the list.

The 2020 Charlie Awards Finalists (in alphabetical order)

Outstanding Service

A restaurant or foodservice business that excels at hospitality by being consistently outstanding and welcoming, and having an inviting and fun personality that makes people feel more at home than when they are at home

Good Day Cafe

Nighthawks Diner & Bar

Tria Restaurant & Bar

Outstanding Restaurateur

Not all the magic happens in the kitchen. This category is for the owner of the restaurant with at least five years in the industry, who excels at running a restaurant, keeping it profitable as well as relevant, and who is an influencer in the community

Stephanie Shimp and David Burley of Blue Plate Restaurant Company

Luke Derheim and David Benowitz of Craft & Crew Hospitality

Patti Soskin of Yum! Kitchen and Bakery

Outstanding Restaurant

A restaurant that continually hits on all cylinders with creative and exceptional food, atmosphere and service


Popol Vu


Outstanding Baker/Pastry Chef

A working baker or pastry chef with at least five years of experience who is an artist when creating the staff of life or the masterpieces of desserts and morning pastries

Katie Elsing of The Lynhall

Marc Heu of Marc Heu Patisserie Paris

Steve Horton of Baker’s Field Flour & Bread

Outstanding Chef

A working chef with at least five years in the industry, who shows consistency, relevancy, creativity and isn’t resting on his or her laurels.

Remy Pettus of Bardo

Jack Riebel of The Lexington and The Cook & The Ox

Yia Vang, Union Hmong Kitchen

Rising Star

An under 30, up-and-coming foodservice professional whose talent and hard work guarantees he or she will make their mark on the Twin Cities community and go on to even greater contributions

Jametta Raspberry of House of Gristle

Kate Sidoti of Brim

Britt St. Clair of the Grand Cafe

Outstanding Bartender

He or she possesses the skill-set to be an expert in both human nature and concocting new and classic drinks, along with the ability to draw people out and guide their beverage journey with diplomacy and grace.

Katy Dimick of Hola Arepa

Trish Gavin of Lat 14

Tyler Kleinow of Marvel Bar

Outstanding Brewery

A brewing company that makes innovative beer or hard cider, has a social component, whether it’s a conscience or conscious effort to engage customers in a stellar product.

56 Brewing

Dangerous Man Brewing Company

Surly Brewing Company

Outstanding Caterer

A consummate professional who runs a catering company and sets up festive and delicious spreads for groups, with imagination, creativity and attention to every detail.

Crave Catering

D’Amico Catering

Fabulous Catering

Hidden Gem

An out-of-the-box restaurant, food truck or catering service that often flies under the radar of the mainstream media, but is a favorite with the neighborhood or foodie fans

Erté & The Peacock Lounge

Mama’s Pizza

Victor’s 1959 Cafe

New Category: Outstanding Coffeehouse

Places to buy coffee are ubiquitous, but our outstanding coffeehouse is infused with style, character, sociability, and free Wi-Fi, while serving a darn good inventory of coffee, tea and snacks.

Five Watt Coffee


Spyhouse Coffee

Community Hero

He or she uses their skills and platform to better the community, either through charitable acts or mentorship

Jacquie Berglund, founder of Finnegans

Cathy Maes, executive director of Loaves and Fishes Minnesota

Emily Hunt Turner, founder and CEO of All Square

A video of the Lifetime Achievement winner is shown before the person’s name is announced for a dramatic flair.

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