Northeast Minneapolis’s newest cozy dining spot has risen from the ashes where Maeve’s Cafe once thrived.
“I think a lot of people have treated Maeve’s as that space where they felt comfortable, and it was approachable,” said Kiah Gumeringer, co-owner of Mary Ellen’s Bistro. “We really want to carry that on.”
Part of the way Gumeringer envisions carrying on this tradition is by serving a menu stocked with down-home comfort foods, starting at 7 a.m. daily with breakfast and signature coffee drinks.
“I’m actually really excited about our breakfast,” gushes Gumeringer. “We have four sandwiches that all have their own thing going on. Also French toast—we put peaches and some mascarpone on there—and we have a sweet potato hash, and one with mushrooms and scrambled eggs.”
Inheriting the woo from a place like Maeve’s is no small task, and Gumeringer seems ready to build upon it, rather than alienate the crowd of regulars who once rolled through near constantly.
“We’ll still carry on that vibe. It’ll be very casual, but we have more menu items going into dinner, so that’ll be new for the space.” Though Mary Ellen’s menu is small, its backbone is formed by family recipes and meals inspired by days on the owner’s North Dakota family farm. After all, the space is named for Gumeringer’s grandmother.
“Working with what you’ve got is really what my grandma always did, so it fits our entire mantra perfectly.”
Lest you think Mary Ellen’s is purely a meat-and-potatoes affair, some of the dishes on offer are so unique that they’ve already been grabbing attention—and the bistro’s only just officially opened. The knoephla soup means no more driving to Fargo in search of its specific dumplingness. On the sweet side, Mary Ellen’s is also serving a take on kuchen, which Gumeringer describes as a Dakota grandma standard, “kind of like a combination between pie and cake.”
Mary Ellen’s offers seats for 32 guests, and a variety of options for them to sort themselves into—from two- or four-person tables and a comfy leather lounge area near the cafe’s rear, to posting up at individual spots along Maeve’s original bar top. “You can come in on your own, pop open your laptop, drink coffee or have a group,” Gumeringer explains.
And with a license to sell alcohol, including a menu of beer, wine, mimosas, and sake Bloody Marys? “It really lends itself well to any occasion, at any time of the day.”
Mary Ellen’s Bistro
300 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Open 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily