Here at the Musette we acknowledge that eventually you’ll have to get off the bicycle. Heck, you’re probably off of it right now. In lieu of this, we’ve decided to create a guide as to where you should sit you rear down in the event that it can’t sit on a saddle. First up is a favorite of Mr. Dave Bucklin’s – Sip. Enjoy! – MM
“There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location.”
Nestled into the old Grain Belt brewery complex in Northeast Minneapolis is Sip Coffeebar. Owners Rachel George and Gretchen Bierbaum have been serving up locally-roasted coffee, smoothies, baked goods, soups, sandwiches, wraps, salads and more since 2004. Unless you work at or frequent one of the surrounding businesses, or just like the view, there’s no obvious reason to take 13th Avenue NE West of Marshall. That said, the food and drink at Sip is reason enough to cross the tracks. I asked Rachel about the challenge of their out-of-the-way location. “The main thing is good signage,” she says.
Approaching the exterior is a surreal experience. The contrast between its sleek and modern facade and the surrounding industrial park gives one the feeling of looking upon a mirage. Get close enough to their front door and a cryptic message comes into view.
SATURDAY 8:00 – 2:00
WEEKDAYS 6:30 – 8:00
The modern look carries through to the interior. Minimalist chairs line the walls. Lights, like an inverted flower garden, hang from the ceiling. Two couches provide cozier accommodation for lengthier stays. Tables are just big enough for a laptop and your coffee. If you’re self-conscious in your Lycra, there are few places to hide, here.
A classic bakery case shows off an impressive array of sandwiches and salads. Rachel tells me, “We make everything from scratch. Everything.” For me, there are few better ways to cap off a Saturday morning ride than with an espresso and a brownie — or a pastry. Anything made solely from sugar and butter, more or less. Maybe I should try the oatmeal. If your coffee stop turns into lunch, their sandwiches offer the protein you’re after.
Places to lock up are sparse, so be prepared to get creative if you plan to show up with a large group. Free Wi-Fi is available to facilitate a quick Facebook check-in. A bike shop, Behind Bars, is just a few blocks away in case you are in need of a spare tube (or a new ride). As it’s located in the Northeast Arts District, Sip Coffeebar also offers a pleasant respite during that impromptu art crawl.
In a café landscape where the log cabin look rules, Sip is a refreshing exception. If you like coffee, and I think you do, it’s worth a visit. If nothing else, follow them on Twitter so you can see what you’re missing. Rachel tells me that they may be serving wine and beer in the future, making for even more potables to sip at Sip.
34 13th Avenue NE, Minneapolis