The temperatures were frigid, the welcome was warm. This week, The Bachelor Farmer Cafe opened its doors in the old Askov Finlayson space, brightening North Loop mornings with the promise of coffee and pastries starting at 6am. While the neighborhood has blossomed with restaurants and shops, grocery stores and condo developments, breakfast and lunch options have remained limited, especially for city dwellers who have ditched their cars for more urban methods of travel.
There’s a familiar warmth you’ll feel while flipping through the morning paper in the sun-filled cafe. With plenty more sophisticated and approachable nordic flavors to enjoy, expect the cafe to act as an extension of Paul Berglund’s kitchen, led by Brett Weber (chef de cuisine) and sous chef Ian Heieie. Emily Marks’ pastries shine front and center, satisfying both sweet and savory cravings.
We stopped in last Saturday for an early lunch, ordering the first round of open faced sandwiches at 10am. The menu brought me right back to our recent trip to Scandinavia, where open faced sandwiches were had on the daily. To whet your palette: think duck confit with caramelized cabbage and pickled sweet peppers, house-made ham with Camembert (from Mankato, Minnesota) and pickled zucchini, fresh cow’s milk cheese with salt-roasted beets, hazelnuts, and honey. There’s even pork and black bean chili and smoked potato soup to warm you up. It is light and satisfying and absolutely worth making the trip downtown on your lunch break. There’s plenty of seating for those stopping in for a quick bite at the bar.
Another highlight: the coffee. TBF Cafe’s head barista, Casey Underkofler, worked with long-time partner, Dogwood, on a custom North Loop Blend. It’s a roast Joe and I both enjoy– light, drinkable, complex. (This review coming from two people who know little to nothing about coffee). Notably, the cafe’s first rotating offering is from Heart Coffee Roasters in Portland, Oregon. I’ve heard from my knowledgable coffee friends that this is, indeed, an exciting addition to the selection of roasts available in the Twin Cities. I’m excited to try it.
For more information, check out this great Star Tribune interview by Rick Nelson with owner Eric Dayton and TBF Cafe’s Brett Weber, Emily Marks, and Casey Underkofler.
The Bachelor Farmer Cafe: Open 6am to 5pm Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday. Lunch served 11am to 3pm daily. Open sandwiches $6-$8, closed sandwiches (coming soon), salads $4-$9, soups $4-$8. Small wine/beer selection, $5-$13.
Design: James Dayton Design
Photography: Black Wolf
Kate is currently learning to play the Ukulele, much to the despair of her husband, kids, and dogs. Follow her on Instagram at @witanddelight_.
BY Kate Arends - January 19, 2016
Did you know W&D now has a resource library of Printable Art, Templates, Freebies, and more?
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.
Any chance you know where they sourced the tiles on the wall? We are in the process of picking out everything for a bathroom addition and I love those tiles!!
Hi Annie! James Dayton Design came up with the pattern. I think you could replicate something similar with loose tiles, it would just take some serious planning.
Beautiful space. Random side note — I would love it if you could add a line or two to the items in your online shop on why you selected them. It would give it a bit more personal feel, which is such a big part of why I visit your site.
Hi Sarah! That’s a great suggestion. Right now I use a 3rd party resource for the shop– maybe a monthly blog post with my favorite items and why I love them would help a bit? Thanks so much!
Their light roast is so perfect. I ordered a cup yesterday and went back for beans today. I’ve never been more satisfied with a roast.
Seriously! It’s the best coffee I’ve found in the cities.
Ah. Wouldn’t mind visiting!
Such a beautiful space! Those cuties melt my heart <3
So stunning and inspirational post!
I want to see more coming soon!
Lovely. TBF and Askov have always been two of our favorite stops in the Cities! My husband and I actually celebrated our engagement with mimosas and open faced sandwiches at TBF three years ago. We still dream about that brunch! Will Askov Finlayson still be in the neighborhood?
Hi Hannah, You are in luck! Askov Finlayson opened up a new (much larger) flagship store right next door. Excited for you to return to see how it has evolved!
Hello! Lovely blog post and photos! We are the ones that made and designed the tile with Eric Dayton. We make the tile all by hand at our studio in NE Minneapolis! Would be great if you wanted to add our info for the tile for when people ask questions about where the tile is from 🙂 Thank you!!