Reverie Café + Bar finds its niche on Franklin

The plant-based café and bar Reverie serves up full-flavored meals and nightly music. Photo by Michelle Bruch

Reverie is approaching a year in business at Franklin & Nicollet, and the corner shop’s owners have introduced a plant-based menu and a nightly music lineup. Before landing the space in Stevens Square, the co-owners considered making Reverie a food truck.

“We always wanted to do plant-based food,” said co-owner Kirstin Wiegmann. “It’s a big hole in the Twin Cities that needed to be filled.”

She said Jeffrey Therkelsen, an “amazing cook” and her partner in business and life, opened her eyes to the possibilities in plant-based food.

“It can be creamy and rich and comforting,” she said. “We see ourselves as an entry point for people to try vegan food.”

Kitchen staff thinly slice house-made mock duck for the Berbere BBQ, which Wiegmann said is “to die for,” served on a Vietnamese French baguette by Trung Nam in St. Paul. Pulled jackfruit mocks pork in carnitas tacos with lemongrass sour cream, pickled onions and cilantro.

“It’s really fun to try jackfruit in that way,” she said.

Reverie_2Therkelsen’s restaurant experience includes Acadia Café, which operated on the corner until 2007, as well as a six-year run at Ecopolitan. Wiegmann continues to work as a program director at Forecast Public Art.

Six months after taking over The Nicollet coffee shop, they closed down for two weeks while an army of friends deep cleaned, installed the bar and tiled the floors.

“People were here from 8 a.m. to midnight,” Wiegmann said. “I used to cry on a daily basis because I was so grateful.”

They brought in a bar from a venue closing in Wisconsin. More than 40 beers are available, with a dedicated gluten-free line and ciders.

Reverie offers its wall space to artists, and offers to host artist receptions as well.


Bands of all genres play after 9 p.m. nearly every night of the week, featuring a mix of local and up-and-coming talent, with jazz every Thursday and KFAI-sponsored acts every Monday.

Upcoming bands include Pkew Pkew Pkew Nov. 18; Wild Amphora, Affogato and The Midwest Coast Nov. 20;  and 4th Curtis, Bobby Pin and Ungrateful Little String Band Nov. 30.

“You really don’t know what you’re going to get,” Wiegmann said.

Reverie has a booking agent on staff, working at a time when Cause Spirits & Soundbar is no longer part of the local music scene.

“Hopefully we filled that hole a little bit,” Wiegmann said.