Photo courtesy Ackerberg Group

Five Watt is coming to Northeast

Updated: September 7, 2017 - 4:01 pm

East Hennepin café will feature low-proof cocktails, food menu

Soon you’ll be able to find Five Watt outside the Kingfield neighborhood.

Owners Lee Carter and Caleb Garn plan to open a second Five Watt café in October along East Hennepin Avenue near Northeast Minneapolis. The Beltrami neighborhood coffee shop comes nearly four years since the two began brewing coffee at their influential and community-driven coffeehouse in Southwest Minneapolis.

Carter said they looked at opening on the other side of the city when they first opened Five Watt. Years later, and Northeast Minneapolis is relatively bereft of the café’s brand of third-wave coffee and cocktail-style drinks.

“We’ve always kind of wanted to be in Northeast,” he said.

The East Hennepin location on the first floor of the Miller Textile Building will be the duo’s second cafe. Five Watt will get a third location in St. Paul next year with the opening of Keg & Case Market.

The second Five Watt gives them a lot of opportunity for growth, Carter said. At 1,500 square feet, the approximately 50-seat café will be significantly larger than the Kingfield location.

The café will feature Five Watt’s own coffee varieties and a new, more refined menu of signature coffee drinks, including one named after its neighborhood, Beltrami.

Thanks to a beer and wine license, Carter said they’ll serve beer, wine and low-proof cocktails made with Five Watt bitters — the bitters are being folded under the Five Watt umbrella instead of their beverage company, Big Watt, he said — vermouth and liqueurs, among other ingredients.

That’s not all the new stuff coming to Northeast. The East Hennepin Five Watt will serve a made-to-order bar food menu to fulfill its license. While Carter couldn’t name specific items, he said to expect a tasty menu that’s easy to make.

“We have a ton of ideas and now it’s just a matter of determining what works for the equipment,” he said.

With the increased space, the two, who both come from music backgrounds, may also be able to add something unique: a podcast studio. While they haven’t finalized plans, Carter said they’re considering building out a small studio called Radio Five Watt.

The second cafe will feature a redesigned Five Watt brand. Carter said they worked with a branding team to refine the logo and redefine elements of the café’s look. The shop will offer retail items like homebrewing equipment, T-shirts and coffee beans.

The Miller Textile Building, located at 861 E. Hennepin Ave., has quickly filled up since opening last year. Beyond Five Watt, HeadFlyer Brewing occupies much of the first floor in the former warehouse complex. There’s also the Mission Manor escape room game and Nash Frame Design. The headquarters of Stahl Construction occupies the second floor.

Ackerberg Group, the firm behind the nearly 50,000-square-foot building’s renovation, lists one available space on the first floor for an office or retail user.

The building, located just outside the action in the Nicollet Island-East Bank area, Carter said, is in a side of Northeast without cafes like Five Watt, Carter said.

“Coffee is very convenience driven, and being able to offer something to people in Northeast is going to be nice,” he said.