After Vincent serves its last cassoulet on Dec. 31, the space won't sit dark for long. According to a sign posted at a neighboring Caribou Coffee outlet, the prime 11th-and-Nicollet address is going to be home to a relocated outlet of the coffee chain, along with downtown's first branch of Einstein Bros. bagels.
(Previously reported: Chef/owner Vincent Francoual will have a new job in the new year).
Einstein and Caribou are owned by the same German private-equity firm, and the first Caribou-Einstein combination debuted in September in Colorado. Caribou had previously (and briefly) partnered with Bruegger's Bagels.
The Vincent news is a come-full-circle moment, because this chunk of Nicollet Mall real estate wasn't always such hallowed culinary ground; in the 1990s, it was occupied by a Bruegger's Bagels and, you got it, a Caribou.
Still, what a lost opportunity for downtown: An urbane, one-of-a-kind dining space, turned over to fast food. It's going to go from this: