If you thought the bacon craze of the late aughts was destined to wane, you underestimated the power of this porky treat.
On Friday, a restaurant dedicated to the breakfast meat will open in the Thresher Square building in downtown Minneapolis. Bacon Social House, a chain based in Colorado, will bring bacon flights, a bacon chocolate brownie, bacon cocktails and more to its first Minnesota location. (A two-day soft opening starts today, but the official opening is this weekend.)
"I don't think there's ever going to be a time when people are too tired of bacon," says Michael Dasso, general manager of Bacon Social House in Minneapolis (700 S 3rd St, Minneapolis, 612-428-7107, baconsocialhouse.com).
All the rashers are sourced from Colorado company Tender Belly Bacon, but Dasso says they're integrating Minnesota food purveyors into their supply chain. Local beers from Surly, Lake Monster, Bauhaus and Finnegan's are on tap. Spyhouse will provide the coffee and Northstar Kombucha will supply their line of fermented teas.
While the menu is largely the same as the one at Bacon Social House's other locations, some Minnesota-specific items stand out, such as baby back ribs, a walleye entree and a porchetta sandwich (known as the "bacon dip" in Colorado).
A mural on the wall also signals an effort to localize the chain, complete with a drawing of Prince and a sketch of Bob Dylan's album cover for "The Times They Are a-Changin'." Music is a key element of Bacon Social House, says Dasso: The chain's owner and founder, David Dill, handpicks the playlist for each location.
As for how to build a menu around pork belly without becoming, well, boring, Dasso begins by establishing that this is "the best bacon in the nation." He adds that a nice mix of vegetarian and vegan options will be available as well, including a plant-based Beyond Burger, avocado toast, salads, and pancakes.
And how do they convince diners that a flight of six slices of bacon is worth $10?
"We take extra thick cut bacon and then season it or candy it in house," Dasso says. Varieties include applewood, BBQ, candied, habanero, paleo and a special rotating flavor. For the "Baller Bacon," a special spicy candied take, the kitchen uses a 5/8" cut of bacon -- big enough for two to share and served with a set of shears for dividing.
The original Bacon Social House was exclusively a brunch restaurant, but the Minnesota location will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. That said, brunch is still the focus and available until 4 p.m., seven days a week.
Bacon, of course, will be served all day.