Five Watt Coffee is expanding, again. Less than a year after opening a third location, in St. Paul’s Keg and Case Market, the coffee shop known for adding cocktail bitters to its lattes will come to the corner of 34th and Lyndale (3350 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.) in south Minneapolis later this month.
It’s not exactly a new spot for Five Watt founders Lee Carter and Caleb Garn.
The pair first met and brainstormed their ideas for launching their own company while working together at this address when it was Bull Run Coffee. (The shop later became Vicinity Coffee, which closed earlier this year.)
As a barista at Bull Run, Carter got to know the regulars in the neighborhood. So moving his company back into that space is a homecoming for him and Garn, he said.
“I’m excited to have another coffee shop that’s truly a neighborhood spot,” Carter said. “It’s not in the middle of the craziness of Uptown. It’s tucked away near a bunch of homes.”
The new store will have a bagel sandwich-heavy food program, as well as a few unique beverages tailor-made for the location. Looks wise, it departs from Five Watt’s more colorful shops. This one will be mostly off-white and gray, with some red accents.
“We’re looking for ways to bring personality into the store,” Carter said. “For us, it doesn’t feel like a neighborhood spot if it’s super clean and polished.”
Five Watt broke into the third-wave coffee scene in Minneapolis in 2014 and drew attention for its creative coffee drinks at its original Kingfield location (3745 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-259-7519, fivewattcoffee.com). It has expanded in the five years since, branching to northeast Minneapolis (861 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-354-7189), and last fall to Keg and Case (928 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-756-1662).
And there are more in the works. Carter says the plan is to eventually open more locations, while striking a balance with the small-business feeling of the first stores.
“I don’t want to lose touch with this really great neighborhood thing we’ve built,” he said. “We never want to look and feel like the Caribous and the Dunn Brothers of the world as we grow.”