Caribou Coffee’s serving up something at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday that customers won’t get at any other store: alcohol with their espresso.
Not for nothing has the Midwestern chain received a prime vendor location inside the new building. Come in from the Legacy Gate, featuring the five big doors, turn right and there’s Caribou, ready to warm up fans with $12, 16-ounce cups of liquor-laced caffeine. Those coffees will be festooned with purple-and-gold brownie pops.
The Caribou stadium space on the main concourse looks out onto the Viking long ship on the plaza and sits near escalators to higher levels. Caribou will open at the stadium for the first time Sunday. The space, still under construction, will include a bar with stools for fans to take a pause amid the anticipated full house of 66,200 fans.
“You can tell that it’s a Caribou, but it’s not a comfy, cozy coffeehouse,” company spokeswoman Bri Bauer said.
Vikings vice president Tanya Dreesen said the team wanted Caribou to be in a prominent place and accessible to all fans. “This is a really good example of how a local brand stepped it up and has done something bold,” Dreesen said. “It’s marrying what fans want when they’re in the stadium with what they do well.”
The menu will be more limited than what is in Caribou stores and there won’t be food except for the brownie pops atop each alcoholic beverage. For those who want to imbibe, there are three options.
There’s the Spiked Mint Condition, which adds peppermint schnapps to a mocha topped with purple whipped cream. The White Rushin’ is cold press on ice with Kahlúa and vodka. An Irish coffee comes hot or cold with Irish whiskey.
The outpost also will sell nonalcoholic hot coffee, cold press and hot chocolate, but that’s it. “We’re keeping it pretty simple,” Bauer said.
Caribou is already looking to add “Nitro” to the menu next year. That’s an effervescent cold coffee from a tap that looks a lot like a foamy dark beer.
Bauer said the Brooklyn Center-based chain designed the drinks exclusively for the new Vikings stadium and there’s no plan for the chain to expand liquor options elsewhere.
That purple whipped cream, however, has appeared before. Bauer said Caribou served it at the Target Field Station location after Prince died as an homage to him.
Minnesotans who want to get into the spirit of the Vikings’ season without stepping into the stadium can do so at any Minnesota Caribou. After 11 a.m. on Fridays, patrons who wear purple get $1 off a large specialty beverage.