The folks behind Twin Cities coffee shop upstart Five Watt (3745 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., fivewattcoffee.com) have some new tricks up their sleeves, but for now they’re opting to be mysterious while dropping some intriguing hints.
Next up for the Kingfield neighborhood java slingers is a new location at St. Paul’s developing Keg & Case Market (928 W. 7th St.), which is expected to open with several vendors next summer.
But owners Jason Westplate, Caleb Garn, Lee Carter, Shawn Person and Alex Gese — the five behind Big Watt coffee products and Five Watt coffee shops — are planning even further ahead.
Following the St. Paul nook, the coffee folks look to launch a coffee brewery at 2904 Harriet Av. S. in Minneapolis. Besides producing most of their products in that space, they plan to open it up to consumers.
“It will be a coffee shop,” Westplate said, “but unlike any coffee shop that anyone has ever been to.”
That divergence starts with the look. Westplate said it will look like a typical brewery with one notable difference: The “brews” will all be coffee-focused.
The Five Watt guys will keep the brewpub feel going with communal tables and lots of interaction between the barista “bartender” and patrons. They plan to engage food trucks like local taprooms do. And they’re using terminology such as “draft classic” to describe what they’ll be pouring.
“I know a lot of people are excited about [New York City’s] La Colombe draft lattes,” Westplate said. “This is even further down the road and getting weirder than that. We’re incredibly excited about it.”
He said that consumers will still be able to order an espresso or cappuccino, but that it will be “something completely different from what anyone has ever experienced.”
Beyond that, he’s playing coy. If you want to play the guessing game, you have plenty of time. The planned opening is spring 2018.
“We’re still keeping a lot of what’s going to happen there a little close to the vest,” Westplate said. “We want to leave a lot of the exciting stuff for when the doors open.”
The wait is over
The doors have opened for several eateries around the Twin Cities.
Fitzgerald’s (173 N. Western Av., St. Paul) debuted Wednesday in the former Salt Cellar steakhouse location in St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill area, having been reworked by owners Joe Kasel and Kevin Geisen and new partner Carol March. The more casual concept doubles the bar space. Fitzgerald’s is serving up pizzas, sandwiches, salads and brats, and more.
“I really commend [Kasel and Geisen] for listening to what their customers and what their neighbors were looking for,” March said. “It still has the great charm it had before, but we opened it up to a more casual space.”
Field Day by Good Earth (12401 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka, fielddaynaturally.com), a cafe touting healthy fast foods, opened at Ridgedale Center in Minnetonka.
And a pair of beer-focused bars are greeting customers in Minneapolis, as well. Republic — which was named one of Draft Magazine’s best beer bars in the Midwest this year — opened its second location in the D Concourse at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s Terminal 1. (The first is at Seven Corners in Minneapolis.) Clockwerks Brewing (25 N. 4th St., Mpls., facebook.com/clockwerksbrewing) also quietly opened a taproom this month.
In other news
The Hewing Hotel (300 Washington Av. N., Mpls., hewinghotel.com) announced last week that its soft opening would be held Nov. 11-14. Guests who spend a night at the North Loop boutique hotel in that time frame will also receive a free meal at its Nordic restaurant, Tullibee.
Read full reviews and other restaurant news at startribune.com/dining.