Wilde Roast expanding
Moving into Riverplace might be the smartest decision Wilde Roast Cafe (65 SE. Main St., Mpls., www.wilderoastcafe.com) owners Dean Schlaak and Tom DeGree ever made.
When their then-seven-year-old cafe/coffeehouse made its six-block relocation in 2011, its staff jumped from 20 to 80, the kitchen and bar menus expanded and sales more than quadrupled.
Now the couple — and business partner Brian Gilligan — plan to continue their revival of the 1980s riverfront complex by converting the former Kikugawa into Mattie St. Clair’s House of Spirits on Main Street.
Or, casually, Mattie’s on Main. The name is a tribute to Mattie St. Clair, one of the more notorious, ahem, entrepreneurs who ran the neighborhood’s half-dozen brothels in the late 1800s.
The new venture is being billed as a modern-day saloon that will serving lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. The bar will feature updated versions of classic early 20th-century cocktails, along with adult shakes and 16 local beers, while the kitchen will focus on made-from-scratch versions of pizza rolls, potato skins, mozzarella sticks and other bar-snack favorites. Desserts will come from Wilde Roast pastry chef Jeff Christianson.
“We want to make a neighborhood place that fits for everyone,” said DeGree.
Smart Associates of Minneapolis is handling the design. “We’re walking the line of pushing the brothel theme without being too cheesy,” said DeGree with a laugh.
The gutted and rebuilt space will include a stage for an ever-changing array of live music. Mattie’s unfortunately won’t replicate Wilde Roast’s popular sidewalk cafe, although a retractable glass facade will give the adjacent atrium-like space an open-air quality.
As for Riverplace, “We can’t believe that other stuff hasn’t worked there, because there’s so much traffic in the area,” said DeGree. “Even on our slow days we’re still doing better than we did on our busiest days in the old place.”
The Kingfield Farmers Market has fostered a second brick-and-mortar bakery. First it was Sun Street Breads (4600 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., www.sunstreetbreads.com), and now attorney-turned-baker Anne Rucker of Bogart Loves is launching Bogart’s Doughnut Co. at 36th Street and Bryant Avenue S. in Minneapolis.
“It’s going to be really, really small,” Rucker said with a laugh, and she’s not kidding: The street-level space (910 W. 36th St.) is just 250 square feet, enough room for a kitchen — with a big sidewalk window tailored for watch-her-fry opportunities — and a walk-up counter. “Not a hangout spot, more of a grab-and-go,” she said.
The menu? A half-dozen different doughnuts, including her extraordinary brioche version, along with cake varieties. Drip coffee, too, using a roasted-to-order blend from St. Paul’s Roundtable Coffee. And in true old-school doughnut-shop style, that’s it.
“I’ll expand, slowly,” she said. “At least that’s the plan.”
Fans of Rucker’s salted caramel brownies, do not despair; Bogart Loves will continue at the Kingfield Farmers Market.
“I owe a lot to them, and as long as they’ll have me, I hope I’ll continue to be a part of the Kingfield market,” she said.
No opening date yet, but construction starts next month.
“I know that if I never tried it, I would always regret it,” Rucker said. “So, here goes.”