The Nicollet takes up residence on Eat Street
The corner of Franklin and Nicollet avenues was known for years as the home of Acadia, and after that Tillie's Bean. But now a guy with a background in coffee equipment and title insurance (yep, it's true), Jeremy Konecny, aims to give the venerable old space some life. He had those gorgeous wooden floors cleaned and opened up as the Nicollet on April 15. For the moment, he's got coffees, which are mostly Fair Trade Organics, baked goods, and some light food offerings for breakfast and lunch. But he's got plans for the place...
Here's what the future will bring to the Nicollet:
"This is a growing, step-by-step project," says Konecny. The store is at the crossroads of several neighborhoods, and he's listening to the locals to get a feel for what they want. Lots of folks have told him to bring the vibe of Acadia back to the 'hood, and he's already looking forward to having evening hours and live music.
Exposed brick and afternoon sunshine
"Right now the primary focus is the coffee in the morning," he says. He's assiduously training his staff with beans from Mr. Espresso in Oakland, California, whose claim to fame is the Oak Wood roasting process. There are also baked goods and some simple soups, sandwiches, and snacks (like Pop Rocks Jell-O), which are being prepared for the most part by Konecny himself.
Live music will happen here.
From there, he'd like to add musical performances on weekend evenings, laptop trivia contests, and casual film screenings. He's applied for a beer and wine license and will do a small-plates menu once the Nicollet is legal to serve libations. He'll create a conference room for private meetings by hanging a curtain in the middle of the large space and host art openings and other events.
The staff numbers four presently, including Konecny, but as the place extends its hours and adds features, that will increase. He said he'll happily give up the cooking duties when it makes fiscal sense. For the time being, Konecny is building a clientele with coffee, friendliness, plenty of seating, some eclectic furniture, and a fun art exhibit by Lexi Renae. For a Lakeville guy who grew up around espresso machines and found himself unsatisfied with life in corporate America, the Nicollet is a welcome change that he hopes to make into a neighborhood fixture.
1931 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.