Attention all The Bachelor Farmer fans: the band is (partially) back together, this time in Shoreview at Carly Gatzlaff’s new Churchill St. (4606 Churchill St., Shoreview, MN 55126). This was opening weekend and it was already an average 30-60 minute wait during our visit (no reservations, initial hours of 7am – 2pm, Wednesday – Sunday, until they can hire more staff).
The former hardware store space is beautiful – Locus Architecture of Minneapolis did the work (they also designed the new Lebanon Hills mountain bike trailhead in Eagan). Former TBF director of operations Josh Hoyt checked us in on an iPad and there is a nicely stocked market just to the right of the entrance (including Milkjam pints!) where you can wait. The covered patio in back had heaters, but it was not being used today for seating (beautiful arrangements in the planters, though).
Hoyt partnered with former TBF executive chef Jonathan Gans to form Northlands Consulting and Churchill St. is their first project. I don’t know how long the pair will be involved in day-to-day operations, but the TBF influences are readily apparent: TOAST IS BACK, along with pastries from former TBF pastry chef Emily Marks. The permanent executive chef is French Laundry alumni Aaron Marthaler.
Once the text message arrived on our phone, we were escorted to our table with menus, then told about the ordering process back at the counter. Jason DeRusha talked about this in his preview article for Minnesota Monthly, but I’m hoping this changes when they get more staff. We placed our order, did the self-service water thing, then waited for our food back at the table.
I ordered the croque madame with fries, while Colleen had avocado toast and tomato soup. Both were excellent, as was the Bee’s Knees cocktail I ordered (with a Mexican Coke chaser). We also tried the old fashioned donuts and cinnamon rolls during our wait to be seated, followed by some Milkjam ice cream, chocolate sauce and focaccia that we took home from the market after our meal. Rick Nelson’s December 2020 story about this project has lots of interesting commentary about the menu development and philosophy.
We chatted with the owner at our table, who was just lovely. Also talked for a bit with Josh on the way out, who said while it’s definitely a different project, there are a lot of TBF ethos involved in the operation. Since TBF was one of our all-time favorites (RIP), we couldn’t be more excited to have this new option in the Twin Cities. Go and get your Farmer fix now!