Keg and Case is a new market hall inhabiting the space of the old Schmidt Brewery on West Seventh in St. Paul. It’s packed with local businesses ranging from food to pottery to a brewery and more. The space is gorgeous and vast; you’ll see something different every time you turn around. While I love the concept of supporting local business, it’s a bit animal heavy for my liking. I attended the preview party September 13, the day before grand opening, and I wanted to share my experience.
Let’s start with the good. For one, there’s Spinning Wylde. These cotton candy slingers have their branding down pat, as everything is colorful and playful. They use organic cane sugar, and nearly all of their flavor toppings are vegan; I’ve had strawberry shortcake, piña colada, cherry lemonade, double espresso, maple, and others, and it’s always the perfect sweet treat.
Five Watt Coffee makes dangerously delicious coffee concoctions, and the have a coffee bar inside the market hall, making this their third location. The drink below is one of my favorites: The Big Easy includes cold press, chicory and nutmeg simple syrup, black walnut bitters, and almond milk. It’s divine. Other unique additions to various drinks are salted lavender syrup, sweet fennel bitters, cracked pepper, and pumpkin puree.
I’ve enjoyed Sweet Science Ice Cream for years, and they have a cute set up at Keg and Case, including an Instagrammable wall decorated with white ice cream scoops. The Blackberry Sorbet is rich and tangy, and the staff said all of their cones are vegan (but there was a lot going on, so maybe double check if you go).
I love how open and airy the hall is, and there are many artsy seating spaces, like this bar-lounge that was not operational when I went. It appears the space will be In Bloom, a new venture by chefs from Corner Table and Revival (and thus not very vegan-friendly).
Clutch Brewing has set up shop in a corner of the mezzanine level. There’s seating all the way around the level, allowing for a nice bird’s eye view of the main market area.
I was not familiar with halva before coming across House of Halva at Keg and Case, and apparently many halva recipes do not contain any animal products. All of the products in the case below are labeled “dairy free.” The menu also includes tahini smoothies made with almond milk. It almost seems too good to be true! I will definitely be back for a smoothie, as I only tried a small sample of halva at my visit. Note that they are closed Saturdays for Shabbat.
There’s also Green Bee Juicery which has yummy juices, and Forest to Fork sells things like foraged mushrooms and micorgreens (they were frying mushrooms in butter at the preview, unfortunately, so I didn’t try anything). Pimento has a couple vegan options marked on their menu as well.
Now for the downsides to visiting Keg and Case as a vegan. There’s a sausage stand (K’Nack), a cheese shop (Gazta and Enhancements), and smoked meats by Revival. I stopped at Rose Street Patisserie who was sampling several different chocolates, but they said they don’t have anything vegan. Bogart’s Doughnut Co. does not make vegan doughnuts. As the icing on this non-vegan cake, Worker B not only sells honey, but they have a huge glass enclosure filled with bees adjacent to their stand.
So if you can handle this assault on your empathetic senses, then by all means go and support the places with vegan options. The easiest way to avoid a good chunk of the animal products is to stay on the Webster Street half of the hall when you view it on this map.
I love the concept of Keg and Case, but it’s just not the place for me. I’ll be back for Spinning Wylde, though, no question.
Keg and Case
928 West 7th Street