This is a pretty amazing time for new, awesome coffee destinations. We featured Blacksmith in Houston yesterday, and today you guys holy smokes, the folks from Dogwood Coffee Co., Rustica Bakery, and Victory 44 have teamed up to bring you the next step in their ongoing collaboration: Parka, a brand new futuristic down-home concept restaurant with a real working (hot pink) espresso machine on the bar, nice local everything on the menu, and an interior design that feels like The Jetsons listening to Prince.

Awesome beer! Really good coffee! For reals one of the most playful and interesting food menus anyone is doing anywhere right now! We have not been yet –  but soon! So in the meantime, spoke to Dogwood owner Greg Hoyt about the ideas behind this magic-seeming place, specifically their coffee service, along with an inside look at some of his favorite bits of menu goodness.


Sprudge: Can you tell us a little bit of the origin story for Parka?

Greg Hoyt, Dogwood Coffee Company: We (Dogwood) found a great location for another coffee bar. It became apparent the neighborhood really wanted a restaurant in addition to awesome coffee. We formed a joint venture with Steve Horton from Rustica Bakery and Erick Harcey from Victory 44 and are calling our place Parka.

Sprudge: Give us some deets on the restaurant’s “vision”. What should folks expect there?

Mr. Hoyt: Food and drinks (beer and wine in addition to inventive liquids – house made root beer for example) familiar to us in the Upper Midwest with a slight twist. For example, we have a Salisbury Pork Chop that is amazing and Meatloaf sandwich with bacon-tomato relish and pickled mustard seed. We are each excited about what will happen with our brands sharing this platform. We anticipate some new ground with coffee and food.

Sprudge: What’s Dogwood’s role at Parka?

Mr. Hoyt: Full Dogwood coffee bar experience beginning when we open and available until we close at 10 pm. We have a Clever bar as well as a three group Synesso Hydra which has been custom painted bubblegum pink. We will offer seasonal and chef-inspired signature drinks. Dogwood coffee will be available for sale in 12 ounce retail bags as well.

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Sprudge: We have been to eat at Victory 44 and it is ridiculously good – inventive and thoughtful and tasty, with a tangible cultural resonance to your city and region. Tell us about some of your favorite things coming out of the kitchen at Parka. [Mr. Hoyt recommends]

1. Ham and pickle tots – tater tot sized delights with bits of ham, dill pickle, and chive.

2. Fish Fry – with pineapple, cucumber, dill, and aioli.

3. Rustica bittersweet chocolate cookie (available with a flight of local milks).

Sprudge: How about three liquid highlights? [Mr. Hoyt recommends]

1. Indeed Brewing Company has 3 beers on tap – their Day Tripper Pale Ale and Midnight Rider American Black Ale, plus a seasonal rotation.

2. We make iced lattes using liquid nitrogen instead of ice cubes.

3. Neon Espresso pulled off of the pink Synesso Hydra.


Sprudge: Tell us a little bit more about the space itself – you share a wall with a local design shop?

Forage Modern Workshop is our neighbor; there is a half-wall separating Parka and Forage. From Mpls/St.Paul Magazine:

“The place has a really cool vibe with lots of woodwork, locally made furniture, and just a little bit of kitsch. It looks new and old, modern and vintage all at once. I have a feeling this is the kind of place you could keep going to over and over for new product and ideas, while being exposed to local designers and craftsman.”

Sprudge: I want to go to there.

Parka (4021 E. Lake St.) is open weekdays from 7AM-10PM, on weekends from 8AM to 10PM. Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @parkampls


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