Five Watt Coffee, Coming Soon

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

Caleb Garn and Lee Carter look like an odd couple. In black stocking cap and oversized Johnny Cash shirt, Garn exudes laid-back roadie chic. With his bow tie, tucked in button-down shirt, and spiky hair, Carter looks part mod rocker, part enthusiastic science teacher. After talking to the guys about their forthcoming coffee shop, Five Watt, it’s clear that looks aren’t everything.

Garn (below right) and Carter (below left), both avid bass players who met while working at Uptown’s Bull Run coffee shop, exude passion and positivity. Where most of us would look at the gutted storefront on 38th and Nicollet and think only of debt and uncertainty, these bosom buddies cheerfully imagine grand possibilities. When it comes to their soon-to-be shop, Garn and Carter are of one caffeine-fueled mind.

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

With Five Watt’s opening a mere six or so weeks away, Garn and Carter are nailing down some of the most important details. They’ll get their beans from Kickapoo Coffee Roasters in Viroqua, WI, which sources product directly from small-scale sustainable growers. They intend to contract with Verdant for tea (though they’ll make their own chai), Patisserie 46 for pastries, and Castle Rock for milk. They’ve ordered two Modbar espresso machines and picked up a few church pews to provide additional seating without cramming too many tables into their 1,100 square feet.

They’re especially excited (no, giddy) about the Modbars, because the machines’ “guts” go under the counter. Therefore, the only thing between the barista and customer is a gadget that looks like a futuristic soda or beer tap. “One of the core values of our shop is breaking down the barriers between the coffee barista servers and customers,” says Garn.  A four-to-five seat coffee bar also will facilitate conversation between the coffee slingers and sluggers. Along with getting to know their clientele, Garn and Carter want to de-mystify the coffee-making process but refuse to sneer while doing so. They seem determined to shatter the stereotype of the aloof barista who thinks latte art and pour-overs are secret, sacred practices.

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

Isabel Subtil / Heavy Table

As part of that mission, Garn and Carter will bring their already trademarked fun: In addition to standard coffee drinks, they’ll offer a list of specialty creations, including a “bow tie line” of cold press drinks that will incorporate cocktail bitters for distinct flavor profiles. They’ll keep the “Johnny Clash Mondays” they started at Bull Run (wall-to-wall Johnny Cash and The Clash tunes). And, they’ll have “Sunday Service” from 10am–noon, complete with Hammond organ and an oatmeal bar. Ultimately, they want Five Watt to reflect their own spirits, to be the place they’d want to hang out (a good thing, since they’re sure to be there constantly in the coming months).

The corner of 38th and Nicollet Ave. in Minneapolis is quickly becoming a go-to spot for Twin Cities foodies. Along with Five Watt, there’s Blackbird, Cocina Latina, and Kyatchi (a sustainable sushi restaurant coming soon). A few blocks to the West, you’ll find Victor’s 1959, Grand Cafe, and Rincón 38, and to the East and South, you can get everything from skeeball and fried cheese at Pat’s Tap to refined, season-driven fare at the Corner Table or Cafe Levain. Kingfield is a culinary neighborhood on the rise, and Garn and Carter couldn’t be happier to be the new guys on the block.

Five Watt Coffee
Coffee Shop in Kingfield, Minneapolis

3745 Nicollet Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55409
651.528.3162
HOURS: TBD
OWNERS: Caleb Garn, Lee Carter

Facebook Comments

comments

About the Author

Joshua Page

Joshua Page became fascinated with food as a young latchkey cook in Southern California. He developed a passion for eating out while working in “the industry” in college and procrastinating (and accruing debt) as a graduate student. Now a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, Joshua also loves to write— when it’s not about crime, law, and punishment, his musings are about Twin Cities eateries.

Visit Website

6 Comments

  1. I am so excited for 5-Watt to open. Caleb and Lee are such awesome guys. They have the ability to turn a coffee shop into your home. Every days is an adventure with these two!

  2. Patricia Ender 11/29/2013 Reply

    Passion and positivity, two of their many ingredients for success. Get ready to be blessed with Five Watt, Nicollet Ave!

  3. kirsten hayman 12/13/2013 Reply

    Thank god! I miss you guys at Bull Run. Vibe is not the same.

  4. The Sewer 12/13/2013 Reply

    I have to agree with Karen, these guys make any place they walk into a home. Warm, inviting, bad puns, slap bass. What more could you want from a coffee shop? Pull your fingers out and get the place opened. Chop chop!!

Trackbacks for this post

  1. […] update on Five Watt Coffee (we broke the news of its opening here.) One for the “Tragic Breakups” file: Johnny Michaels is out at La Belle Vie. City […]

  2. […] from outfits including Cafe Imports, Twin Cities Leather & Latte, Blue Ox, Peace Coffee, and Five Watt Coffee competed; Peace Coffee Head Roaster Derek De La Paz and yours truly from Heavy Table judged drinks […]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*