A bakery and a burger joint to open in Dinkytown

Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Le Crazy Taste Bakery will open.

Jennifer Bissell

Five Guys Burgers and Fries originally formed in 1986 when the parents of four brothers told their sons to either start a business or go to college. Twenty years and another brother later, the business route has
proven itself a success.

Scheduled to open in mid-October, Dinkytown will be MinnesotaâÄôs newest Five Guys Burgers and Fries location and will offer burgers, hotdogs, fries, grilled cheese and “veggie” sandwiches.

“I think itâÄôs going to be a nice fit and a good complement to the campus,” Erin Ruppenthal, a spokeswoman for the developers of the Dinkytown Five Guys said.

“ItâÄôs a simple approach to dining âĦ where you can enjoy a good burger and get on with your day.”

Once available only in the Washington, D.C., area, Five Guys Burgers and Fries has been increasing its national presence recently. The brand first opened up franchising opportunities in the area around D.C. in 2003, and then nationally in 2007, according to corporate spokeswoman Molly Catalano.

Now there are more than 400 restaurants in 30 states and more than 1,500 restaurants in development, Ruppenthal said.

“ItâÄôs not a large, bells-and-whistles franchise âĦ itâÄôs really achieved underground notoriety and status more about its food than its marketing,” Ruppenthal said.

“[Our] approach to success is to lay low and let the food speak for itself,” she said. “The burgers are hand-formed daily, made-to-order fresh, 100 percent beef, preservative-free and never frozen.”

The Dinkytown developers have two other locations in Edina and Maple Grove, and plan to open more than 20 restaurants in the seven counties surrounding the Twin Cities within five years. They are also considering another location on campus in the future, Ruppenthal said.

“WeâÄôre really pleased at how the communities have received and welcomed both of the stores,” Ruppenthal said, noting the success of Five Guys across the Midwest as well.

University of Minnesota sophomore Tyler Douglass, who had tried Five Guys while in Madison, said he thought it would be a good addition to Dinkytown.

“I donâÄôt eat out very often,” Douglass said. “But I might go there once a month. A burger late at night might sound good.”

The new location is looking at applying for a permit to stay open on the weekends past 10 p.m. but will not be serving alcohol, Ruppenthal said.

The small-town bakery returns

When tasked to name their new bakery, owners Donald and Aemillianna Thao said the only way they could describe the bakeryâÄôs taste was simply “crazy.”

“We were thinking about an adjective but it didnâÄôt come out. So I decided to go with crazy,” Donald Thao said. “ItâÄôs going to be something very crazy for Dinkytown.”

Now named Le Crazy Taste, the new bakery is scheduled to open within the next couple of months in place of Polish sausage deli Uncle FrankyâÄôs.

To be located in the Dinkydale complex on Fourth Street Southeast, the bakery will offer both French and American pastries including croissants, macaroons, doughnuts and coffee.

The last bakery in Dinkytown, GordonâÄôs Bakery, was a landmark for the area during the âÄô70s and âÄô80s, said Skott Johnson, president of the Dinkytown Business Association.

“[When] we had a bakery in Dinkytown, oh God, IâÄôd go there every day and buy three doughnuts,” Johnson said. “I must have put on 60 pounds. It was wonderful.”

The Thaos donâÄôt have much experience in the food industry, but they will be working with an experienced pastry chef to bake their pastries daily.

“We will be able to serve students efficiently and with the best of our abilities,” Donald Thao said.

This will be the ownersâÄô second attempt at opening a bakery. The first time around, in 2009, the owners were scammed by both a contactor and landlord, losing thousands of dollars. The Thaos would not specify the location of that restaurant.

“It was a long time of struggle âĦ we were very new in the business,” Donald Thao said. “But [in the] summer [of] 2010 we were very blessed. We finally talked to the right guys [in Dinkytown].”

Senior Megan Wainscott said that although she was sad to see Uncle FrankyâÄôs leave, sheâÄôd probably visit the bakery as well.

“If I heard good things, IâÄôd probably stop by,” Wainscott said, mentioning that there werenâÄôt many bakeries around campus.

“I loved Uncle FrankyâÄôs. I think part of the reason it left was that it was down that hallway and hard to find,” Wainscott said. “I donâÄôt know how the bakery will do. It will depend on how they sell themselves and advertise.”

While the location may not have worked for Uncle FrankyâÄôs, Donald Thao said he liked the location, especially because it seemed like a place students might like to study.

“We have a dream,” Thao said of himself and his wife. “We want something of our own, so weâÄôve decided to start our own company. We want to bring a new, crazy taste to the area.”