Next month, a lounge featuring long banquettes, armchairs and a 360-degree fireplace will debut in the downtown Minneapolis skyway.

A new cocktail room? Nope, the guilty pleasures this shop will be peddling are doughnuts.

Cardigan Donuts, which will open in the City Center building in the first week of May, wants to put its own spin on the fried treats.

The doughnuts – all 20 varieties of them – will run the gamut between classics and more off-the-wall versions such as Cardigan’s chicken-and-waffles interpretation. The more ramped up versions include bourbon and walnut, nitro cold press mocha and chai varieties. Pastry chef Dan Rosene (most recently at Tria in North Oaks) plans to stretch the limits of traditional fried dough. Some of his potential combinations include that chicken-and-waffles doughnut, a black forest bar with brandied cherry jam and a bacon-and-egg doughnut with candied bacon and a yolk buttercream.

“We’re going to be really aggressive, we’re going to have a lot of fun with these,” owner Justin Bedford said. “Our baker is going to really get creative trying some new things.”

The space, too, will be unique to other doughnut shops in the area. Bedford and Jim Smart, president of Smart Associates (a restaurant design company), designed the 1,600-square foot service and seating area to feel like a mid-century modern-style living room. They hope the ambience helps entice customers to eat in.

“This hasn’t been designed as a doughnut shop,” Smart said. “This is very much a restaurant. There are some really prime, cozy spots.”

Cardigan will also serve oatmeal bowls and Greek yogurt bowls with doughnut-esque toppings, and hot tea and coffee as well as local kombucha and Black Eye Roasting Co.’s nitro cold press on tap. 

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