“Tuesdays are the new Monday, and Thursdays are the new Friday,” Cardigan Donuts owner Justin Bedford told me last week. It was a Thursday and there were so many people walking through the IDS Center, it felt like the before times. Bedford believes the downtown traffic is coming back, slowly, but he’s opened up another location of his popular downtown Minneapolis donut shop now.
“People have come back downtown, for sure, but it’s mostly the three middle days of the week. And they’re out in the skyways looking for lunch or a break. We think that’s part of the reason some are coming back, to have things they can’t get at home.”
Cardigan’s original spot in City Center is still open, this new skyway-level IDS location is an addition. “It was a former smoothie shop, so we knew we wanted to bring some sort of ice cream program back to the space.” And boy did they.
Not only can you find the great puffy fried dough treats that they’ve become famous for, but they’re making hard pack ice cream on-site. To start, it’s a chocolate and vanilla story they’re telling, but soon they’ll be adding an inspired flavor to the rotation.
And here’s what: You can get that ice cream sandwiched in between sliced donut halves to make a winning treat. I tried it, and it was super tasty, but the winning factor for me was that the ice cream did not slide out the back on the first bite (well done on that ratio). Also, they’ll be doing shakes, and actually suggesting that you throw a donut of your choosing into the shake! This is not stuff that you would be doing at home (at least not in front of your kids).
They’ve also come up with a very smart little walking treat, a stroop wafel ice cream taco situation they are calling a sundae. Fresh berries and hard pack ice cream in a little wafel shell is that handheld sundae level up you’ve been looking for. Take the long way back to your office.
And while they opened just a few doors down from Starbucks, they are not ignoring the coffee connection that often happens with donuts. In fact, their coffee condiment bar is stacked! Want to add oat milk to your drip coffee? It’s there. Feel the need to shake some cinnamon or cocoa in there? Go for it. Bitters? Yes! It’s all there for you free of charge to amp up whatever drink you order.
The new location is open as of today, Tuesday … which doesn’t have to feel like a Monday.