In the St. Paul episode of Man v. Food Nation, Adam travels around the city to sample authentic Neapolitan pizza and a baked potato topped with BBQ sides. He ends his visit by coaching Jon Wolf in the Lucy Challenge at Tin Cup’s. We wanted to learn more about the bar/restaurant and their Lucifer Challenge, so we chatted with co-owner Joan Knippenberg.
For 50 years, Tin Cup’s was a Rice Street institution in St. Paul. The original owner was Rudy Tschida and the restaurant remained in his family for a long time. After several owners and some time closed, the place was purchased by first-time restaurateurs Darren and Debbie Wolke. They renovated and re-launched the place in 2010. When rumors of its closing began to surface again, Joan and her friend Gidget Bailey went to talk with the Wolkes. As Joan describes it, she and Gidget had been thinking about buying a bar and after speaking with the owners, they decided to buy Tin Cup right then and there.
Joan and Gidget took ownership of Tin Cup’s in June 2011. Joan says it is hard work and long hours, but they wouldn’t trade it for anything. They want Tin Cup’s to be a place where anyone who is 21 or older can come and have fun while feeling safe. Tin Cup’s wants to be a part of the community; Joan and Gidget have been participating in events like the Rice Street Festival and Old Timers Fast Pitch Tournament.
For their premiere on the October 5 episode of Man v. Food Nation the restaurant is having a red carpet party complete with a red carpet, wine promotions and red velvet cupcakes with chocolate Oscars on top. They are also introducing the Mini Tinis which are sliders of each of their 6 Juicy Lucys.
All About the Challenge
The Lucy Challenge is 2, 1-lb. Lucifer Juicy Lucys with 2-lbs. of fries. It needs to be eaten in 45 min to win the challenge. Let’s go back, for those who don’t know about Juicy Lucys (like me). A Juicy Lucy is 2 quarter pound patties pressed together with filling in the middle. Tin Cup’s has 6 different types and are working on a pizza version with pepperoni and mozzarella. The Lucifers have Pepper Jack cheese, jalapenos and a special Diablo sauce which is a mixture of several hot sauces. Joan says it looks small and innocent, but the Lucifers have quite a kick.
The Lucy Challenge was something that Joan and Gidget inherited from the previous owners, but they like having the food challenge. Since they have been owners, 2 others have attempted the challenge including professional eater Randy Santel, who did it in 10 minutes, 45 seconds. Will Jon Wolfe be added to the list of successful Lucy Challenge winners? Tune in to find out!