Finnish Bistro to expand in September

Bistro for five years, Dunn Bros. on Como Avenue will move out of the space at the end of August, leaving behind a slew of expansion possibilities for Finnish Bistro’s owner Sandra Weise.

Weise shared her plans for the space, which she says will function much better as one business.

“The sublease has not been an ideal situation for either business, us or Dunn Bros.,” she said.

“The customers want one point of sale; it’s been a constant complaint for years. The space was awkwardly laid out and was never meant to be divided and to have two businesses operate separately.”

Construction is set to begin in September, when the entire space will be reconfigured for a more efficient flow and a better customer experience. The registers for the cohesive space will be moved to the former Dunn Bros. side, with a retail wall added nearby. In place of the current Finnish Bistro registers, Weise plans to add windows overlooking the spacious patio and additional seating.

“The renovation is massive,” she said. “But because we had two points of sale, we can move the registers and we should only be closed for three or four days while the floors are getting done.”

In addition to the renovations, Weise will add a full-service coffee bar that will include homemade syrups inspired by some of their popular baked items like almond kringle and pulla buns. Weise wanted customers to have a voice in which coffee roaster she will use, so she held four coffee tastings at Micawber’s Books in early June to let the community vote with their taste buds. Ninety people attended the tastings, which featured five local roasters.

“The community made it clear they wanted a local source,” Weise said. “And I wanted the customers to have a say. It was really fun!”

After a careful calculation of the votes, Weise announced the chosen vendor is True Stone Coffee, a St. Paul-based coffee roaster.

Alex Lodner writes about food and community news regularly in the Park Bugle.

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