Sneak Peek: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea
There’s a new coffee shop opening in the North Loop this Saturday: Fairgrounds Coffee & Tea.
“Why is it when you go into a bar, you can order all kinds of beer brands or liquor brands, you get your choice, but when you go into a coffee shop, they only have one brand of coffee?” It was this vexing question that led Michael Schultz to create Fairgrounds. Instead of just being forced into drinking Intelligentisa over here, and Stumptown over there, Fairgrounds brings a roster of choices under one roof. At their brew bar, you’ll find Stumptown Roasters from Portland and Frothy Monkey Co. from Nashville, along with local favorites like Dogwood and Spyhouse beans.
And tea shows up. “I think most coffee places see tea as an afterthought, but we give it equal billing,” Schultz told me. Indeed, you can start building your drink with either espresso or matcha tea. Then choose cold or hot, and whether you want a latte, an Americano, even a Cortado. Then of course you can add all sorts of flavor shots and what have you. Plus, there are specialty drinks under the Elixers menu that will make many an Instagrammer happy: Power Flower Milk Tea uses blue butterfly pea flower powder with matcha to make a statement.
Owner Michael Schultz pulling samples of nitro cold brew.
Prominently displayed on the front counter are nitro taps where you will get your cold brew and kombucha. Flights are encouraged, so you can try all the different brands.
The pour-over system, and yes, those ropes are swing seats.
The pour-over system is impressive. “You know, I love a pour-over cup of coffee, but I can’t wait 14 minutes for it,” Schultz remarked, “So we invested in this system which helps with efficiency and allows the baristas to interact with people,” while turning out a faster cup.
Lots more greenery is planned.
And there are snacks! Grab-n-go pastries come from Salty Tart, but there’s a full menu of scratch-made food coming from the kitchen. The menu offers lunch items such as a BLAT on sourdough, to quinoa and kale bowls, to snacks like a giant pretzel with nitro cold press cheese dip, and kids meals that come in cute lunch boxes.
Big windows, but fireplace for winter.
The space itself is bight and lovely, having refurbished the old Hillman Building across from Muse. “We wanted to keep some of the industrial feel, with hardware and ropes, but ultimately we knew we wanted to make it a green space with lots of plants and comfortable places to hang out.”
Homage to the GMGT.
The nod to The Fair in Fairgrounds isn’t too heavy handed, but it’s there, in vintage programs and banners on the white walls. While the company started in Chicago, Schultz’s wife is from Plymouth and he always wanted to open something up here in town.
Matcha iced latte, if you please.
The shop opens on Saturday, July 14. Go get your choice of latte on!
Fairgrounds Coffee, 120 3rd Ave. N., Mpls., open daily until 8 p.m.
Sign up for our newsletter to get inside access to the latest local food and dining buzz.