Stadium Village sandwich shop cut in half

Dunn Bros Coffee will occupy half the space once used by Erbert & Gerbert’s.

Students who’ve walked by the Erbert & Gerbert’s Subs and Clubs location in Stadium Village might have noticed it was closed during winter break.

Mike Honie, co-owner of Erbert & Gerbert’s, said that’s because the business leased out half of its space to Dunn Bros Coffee.

“When we leased the space, we knew we didn’t need all the space,” he said, “but the owner didn’t want to split the place in half.”

Honie said the renovation has nothing to do with business problems but is just a way to save money on rent, although he wouldn’t comment on how much.

Steve Scallen, attorney for Juno Investments LLC, the owner of the building located on 720 Washington Ave. S.E., said they have never had any problems with the restaurant in the five years that Honie and his partner have owned the space.

“They are wonderful tenants and run a great operation,” he said. “There has been absolutely no problems.”

Since Honie and his partner have always thought they had too much space, when Dunn Bros came to them with an offer to rent half of the building, Honie said they were pleased to work with the coffee shop.

According to the Minneapolis city Web site, Dunn Bros applied for a renovation permit on Dec. 27.

Scallen said finding the right tenant for the space was important. The restaurant owners came to them a few months ago with the proposal of having Dunn Bros. take the open space, he said.

“We know Dunn Bros and have worked with them before, but have never done any deals with them,” he said.

Scallen said Dunn Bros approach to marketing and its strong standing in the Minnesota economy were a few reasons Juno is excited to have Dunn Bros become a new tenant.

The permit posted on the outside of the store lists DJE Architects as the contractor for both the renovation of Erbert & Gerbert’s and construction of Dunn Bros.

Honie said the restaurant will be able to do just as much business as before because the space lost was used for seating and not food preparation.

Although both places will have different owners, he said, there will be an open seating area shared by both. The restaurant also put in some new décor with the remodel.

The renovation was always planned around winter break because a lot of students are not around during this time, he said.

“We were shooting for an opening date on Tuesday (the first day of the semester) but opened on Wednesday,” Honie said, adding that Dunn Bros planned to open in a few weeks.

“The renovation has been great,” he said.

While Honie said he is excited about the remodel and the new Dunn Bros, some community members weren’t aware of the project.

Nancy Rose Pribyl, president of the Stadium Village Commercial Association, said she hadn’t heard of the renovation.

“I knew Erbert’s & Gerbert’s was closed over break, but had no other details,” she said.

Statistics graduate student Matt Beckman said he has gone to Erbert & Gerbert’s before, but is not much of a coffee drinker and probably wouldn’t go to the new Dunn Bros.

“With less space to Erbert’s & Gerbert’s, it wouldn’t change my habits about going there,” Beckman said.