Chris and Danielle Bjorling, the husband-and-wife-duo behind Eat Street's Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen, are already hammering away at their restaurant's forthcoming Minnetonka sibling, The Copper Cow.
But before that dust settles, they're adding another project into the mix: Gray Fox Coffee & Wine Bar, which will open in downtown Minneapolis this summer.
Chris tells City Pages the pair were approached by the folks behind the TCF Bank Building (now apparently known as the 121 S. 8th St. building), which had recently renovated the atrium and was looking for an anchor tenant. (Actually, we're more partial to the way in which he describes it: "a host for the space.") He says the building's been reborn in a way not unlike the recent Capella Tower lobby renovations: more modern, more open, with tons of natural light.
Already hard at work on the Copper Cow, they certainly weren't planning on anything that would serve the skyway... but he says the offer was too good to refuse, the location to pretty to pass on.
Gray Fox will be a different animal—pun very much intended, thank you—than the French-inspired Copper Hen or the burgers/boozy shakes-centric Copper Cow. Like the space it's in, the cafe-slash-wine-bar is going to be much more modern. Here, for example, is the logo:
Grab-and-go options with thoughtfully sourced ingredients will be available for breakfast and lunch, along with quality coffee that just might put your current morning coffee stop to shame. ("We're coming for the Starbucks crowd.") Nearby Cardigan Donuts is set to furnish morning sweets; Rise Bagels will be available on the savory side.
Danielle says that the menu will consist of “brightly colored smoothie bowls and breakfast sandwiches for breakfast, paninis and salads for lunch, and flatbreads and various wooden boards for happy hour.” A tentative menu lists a couple of salads and a trio of gluten-free flatbread pizzas.
Also: They'll have frosé.
Layout-wise, Bjorling says Gray Fox will have a walk-up counter for placing orders and snagging to-go fare (in the unfortunate event that you have to return to your desk), along with a bar and a lounge area with nooks for the lucky folks who have some time to unwind.
"We're trying to create a very comfortable place you want to gather with friends, coworkers, and take a respite from the skyway, from your workday," he says.
The decor? Victorian meets mid-century modern, with lounge walls lined with Shou Sugi Ban, a beautiful Japanese style of charred, preserved wood.
Expected hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, meaning you can still pop by after your nine-to-five gig wraps up. And they're shooting to open pretty soon: by late July, if all goes according to plan.
More like a quick gray fox, am I right?