The Dayton brothers discontinued The Bachelor Farmer’s award-winning brunch last November, but woeful diners have no need to worry because much of it is back — and then some — with a new café set to open this weekend.
The unnamed café joins Andrew and Eric Dayton’s restaurant and basement speakeasy, dubbed Marvel Bar, in the former Askov Finlayson — the brothers’ menswear retailer — space inside the same historic warehouse building. With the new concept, their mini-empire in the North Loop now has a trifecta of breakfast/lunch, dinner and drink options.
Eric envisions the space as a neighborhood-focused hangout that complements what The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar are already doing in the building.
“We’ve essentially had all the talent we needed. It was a natural overlap,” he said. “This whole thing is for the neighborhood.”
Eric doesn’t plan to name the 1,000-square-foot, 40-seat café, instead branding the shop and coffee bags with its own series of logos (an “X”, an “O”, a heart and a coffee mug).
“We didn’t give this a name because I really didn’t want to manage another brand and social media accounts. It’s its own thing, but really to me this is The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar doing what they’re good at in a new space at a new time of day,” he said.
The café’s notable splash of color comes from detailed tile work from Northeast Minneapolis-based Mercury Mosaics. Come springtime, patrons will be able to sit in the courtyard between the café and Askov Finlayson.
The café’s coffee program will closely mirror Marvel’s high-end craft cocktails thanks to staff with both bartending and coffee brewing experience. Head barista Casey Underkofler, who has previously worked at Kopplin’s, is moving on up from serving in the basement bar to take the helm of the café’s coffee service.
The café will have its own “North Loop Blend” of coffee through an exclusive relationship with Northeast Minneapolis-based Dogwood Coffee Roasters. The medium-roast coffee, a blend of beans from Colombia and Honduras, will be the café’s main drip coffee and will also be available for retail.
“They haven’t done this with anybody before so it’s a really exciting partnership,” Underkofler said.
Dogwood has been the restaurant’s coffee partner since it opened, but it won’t be the only roaster with coffee in the café. Heart Coffee Roasters out of Portland, Ore. will be the first guest roaster to have both its coffee and beans available in the new space.
The café will also serve traditional espresso-based beverages, from lattes to cappuccinos. Underkofler said they will have rotating signature drinks, which will roll out after the grand opening.
If coffee doesn’t sound right for your meal, the café has a small selection of wine, local beer and hard cider for lunch and brunch service. Fresh seasonal juice is also on the way.
One Minnesota Nice addition to the café will be pay-it-forward beverages, which will be drinks that patrons can purchase for strangers ahead of time, Eric said. When the next person orders that beverage, they’ll get it for free.
The Bachelor Farmer executive chef Paul Berglund is leading the café’s kitchen with a smattering of items inspired by the main restaurant’s brunch service, in addition to several new options. The dining menu, served in a casual, counter-service setting, will feature open-faced and closed sandwiches, salads and soups with an emphasis on local ingredients, whole-animal butchery and seasonal produce.
Berglund and his team get creative with the sandwich options with ingredients like hazelnuts, oyster mushroom butter and unique cheeses.
The restaurant’s signature open sandwiches, also known as a smørrebrød, make a return as a lighter option to either pair with a salad or soup for a full meal or eat alone as a snack. The opening menu will feature a $7 sugar and salt cured salmon sandwich with crème fraiche and pickled root vegetables. Another open sandwich ($8) features roasted ham, camembert cheese, preserved summer zucchini and dill.
Berglund’s team, which includes chef de cuisine Brett Weber and sous chef Ian Heieie, plans to serve panini-pressed sandwiches, such as their take on the classic grilled cheese. The $9 sandwich goes beyond the traditional with melted Compte cheese with a little caramelized onion, parmesan cheese and oyster mushroom butter. The menu’s most expensive option is a beef brisket sandwich ($12) with horseradish, preserved green onions, and blue cheese that delivers a smorgasbord of fermented flavors.
Several salad and soup options can be ordered in small and large sizes, making them easy to pair with a sandwich.
Fans of the main restaurant’s brunch cart can rejoice that many of the pastries will be back, though with a focus on more wholesome options for diners who are starting off their day.
Instead of a focus on sweet treats, pastry chef Emily Marks said they will also have savory items like cheese muffins, roasted vegetable galettes and ham and cheese croissants. They’ll also have the restaurant’s brunch favorites like the bostock, semla and pyttipanna on weekends.
The café will open at 200 N. 1st St. on Sunday, Jan. 17. Its hours will be Monday through Friday from 6 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. There are no changes to The Bachelor Farmer’s hours.
The food and beverage menus are pictured below.
Photos by Eric Best and Brandon Werth
Eric Best // @ericthebest // 612.436.5088 // firstname.lastname@example.org