Canteen brings toast bar trend to Minneapolis

CanteenOpen.jpg
Canteen has moved into the Urban Bean location and plans to introduce artisan toast in late June
If you've been paying attention, you know the national food scene is all atwitter with talk of toast. Cafes and bars dedicated to crispy slices and various spreads have been celebrated and mocked. Food trendsters have hailed it as the next big thing, and skeptics have whipped themselves into a powerful counter-frenzy.

Last week, MSP Magazine's Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl broke the news that Minnesota was about to get its very own toast bar. Located in the former home of Urban Bean at the intersection of 33rd and Bryant, Canteen is now officially open for business and will unveil its toast menu sometime closer to the end of June.

We had a chance to meet up with Liz Abene, owner of Canteen Girl baked goods and longtime Urban Bean veteran, to learn a little bit more about her new venture, the ideas behind it, and what exactly we can expect from Minneapolis's very first toast bar.

See also:
Haute Dish will soon get a BBQ joint makeover

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Photo courtesy of Canteen
Canteen's signature vegan Holly Bars
The cafe is open for business and they plan to start undergoing their transformation over the weekend. Things will continue to gradually take shape throughout the month when they plan to shut down for two days to finish the re-branding and fully launch the toast bar on June 26.

"I'm not doing this to be Minnesota's first toast bar," says Abene. "I'm partly doing it because we have a lot of young people who come in and hang out, or office people, and it's an easy, not very expensive thing that they can get while they're sitting here for six hours. Then they can feel like they're still buying something, but it's not some expensive $10 sandwich."

As for the toast itself, currently Abene plans to source bread from a variety of local bakeries, possibly going so far as to feature one bakery each week on a rotating schedule. The space doesn't yet have its own kitchen, but if things go well, one of the first plans for expansion will be to put in a space where they can produce baked goods in-house.

"I'm hoping it can be buffet style," Abene says. "We'll have the toasters on the bar, people will pick their bread, people will toast their bread, and then we'll have the condiments. People can do it themselves."

Abene also plans on sourcing a variety of locally produced condiments for their toast, including locally produced butter, specialty jams and jellies, and artisan nut butters. No specific sourcing has been arranged, but she's currently been scouting for the proper assortment of toast toppings.

For those freaking out about the loss of Urban Bean, Abene assures us that she doesn't at all plan to change the overall flow of the coffee shop. In fact, her business partner is longtime Urban Bean owner Greg Martin, and they'll continue to feature Dogwood coffee. For more information and updates, be sure to follow Canteen on Facebook.

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32 comments
Sharon Stiteler
Sharon Stiteler

Urban Bean is the only coffee shop pretentious enough to pull this off. This is the perfect next step for that establishment. Well played, Urban Bean, well played.

craisin13
craisin13

When was it that Wonder Bread and Jiffy stopped being enough?

Christian Jensen
Christian Jensen

I have loved non-artisinal toast all my life and will continue to eat it long after the "national food scene" moves on from being "atwittter" over it. I look forward to the end of this toast "craze", and moreover the end of calling anything at all "artisinal", a fine word which has been beaten to death of late.

Kaia Rubin
Kaia Rubin

Here's a loaf of bread, I just threw flour on it, put "artisan" in the name then a sprig of some flowering weed I found on the curb outside in a vase next to it so I can charge an extra $1 no one will know the difference.

Paul Barrett
Paul Barrett

Well this ranks right up there with another thing we never thought we needed - bottled water. I have a Great Toaster

Brian Hoffmann
Brian Hoffmann

First of all, when the hell did Urban Been become Canteen. Secondly, artinsal to at is so 6 months ago.

Mary King
Mary King

Please...... I want a pile of fun on gluten free bread!

Scott Anderson
Scott Anderson

Forget the hipster-ness of this. A business model that is actually *encouraging* people to sit for 6 hours and hardly spend any money? It's not going to last.

Kaia Rubin
Kaia Rubin

Gasp ! What!!?? No craft jellies made of gold leaf or foie gras ? I've just broken my monocle !! You can't call it artisan without either of those!

Pat McRawtch
Pat McRawtch

The Nomad already does a free toast buffet during premier league games.

ned0
ned0

Seems like Bachelor Farmer's been rocking toast for years now. How 'bout a shout-out?

Emily Richardson
Emily Richardson

Rose Richardson Mary Richardson I see this in our future !!

Yael Vargas
Yael Vargas

"We'll have the toasters on the bar, people will pick their bread, people will toast their bread, and then we'll have the condiments. People can do it themselves." Christ, I pay you and you make me toast my own god damned bread?

Yael Vargas
Yael Vargas

artisanal toast? an entire business run on toasting bread for you?

sierrafern
sierrafern

Toast? Wow.

"I'm hoping it can be buffet style," Abene says. "We'll have the toasters on the bar, people will pick their bread, people will toast their bread, and then we'll have the condiments. People can do it themselves."

WOWWWWWW. This is a joke right?!

I wonder what they are going to charge people per slice of bread.

tim.brackett
tim.brackett

Urban Bean on Bryant pretentious? I go there because it isn't pretentious.

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