Ole Cafe opens; grammar protest filed

The Ole Store has reopened as the Ole Cafe.

IMG_4714Ole CafeOle Cafe  Ole Cafe

I stopped by early Thursday morning, its second day of operation. Their coffeehouse opens at 5:30 am on weekdays, which I think is the earliest of any in Northfield. Owner Angie Perez was there (left photo, on the right) whipping things/staff into shape.

Ole Cafe Ole Cafe Ole Cafe Ole Cafe

The About Page on their almost-ready web site says they offer four concepts in one:

  • A cafeteria style eatery that offers a wide variety of soups, salads, build-your-own sandwiches, panninis, and during dinner hours – build-you-own-pasta bar.
  • A retail bakery that offers a wide range of cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, cookies, bars and breakfast pastries.
  • A pizza bar that offers a selection of freshly baked pizzas and a fine menu of beer and wine.
  • Finally, a coffee shop that offers a large selection of espresso drinks, blended coffee drinks and fresh brewed coffee that will start anyone’s day off right.

I noticed that the stage is gone from the coffeehouse, so they evidently don’t plan to offer live music.

parking lot sign parking lot signolecafe-sshot

Landlord and St. Olaf German professor LaVerne Rippley has changed the parking sign at the entrance to the lot (left photo from December), prompting the grammar police in the St. Olaf English Department to file a formal protest.

Jane McWilliams has blogged her breakfast experience there on Northfield.org. Unfortunately, the Northfield.org aggregator won’t be able to do its thing either on their blogosphere page nor in the homepage right sidebar box for local businesses because the attractively-designed website (right image above) doesn’t have an RSS feed.


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    Robbie and I ate at the Ole Cafe on Saturday eve, just prior the crowds from the Olaf graduation arriving. The salad/pasta bar was very good, as was the bruschetta (sans cheese) appetizer. And the bottle of Chardonnay was a good value at $15.

    May 26, 2008
  2. Just have to mention that I took my 85-year-old mother to eat there and, though she liked the sandwich she had, she said she would not plan to return with her “gentleman caller” friend with whom she eats out frequently, because of the cafeteria-style service. They both use canes, not conducive to that style. I think the café may lose the older people who are used to sit-down service there. She was also confused by the arrangement—did not notice there was beer and wine (in a separate room) until halfway through her sandwich. Too late! Maybe some signs would help.
    But good luck to the OleCafé, it’s nice to see it back. I suppose the original receipe Ole Rolls are long gone, though.

    May 26, 2008
  3. Ate there twice since the latest opening. Went with my pal, had very good salads, I got the sampler with all three salads of the day, then I had a small chocolate cupcake, very good, very rich, kinda stuck in my throat, though. Went back with the dh, got the turkey panini with chips and pickle. Love the pickle, love the garlic bread. Not much to say for the inner workings, they were good enough. The toasting was excellent…toasted but still some softness to the bread.

    One thing about that group of rooms I noticed…like today, there were two ladies talking by the window in the first room and four ladies in the next
    room, and the staff. At one point, I couldn’t hear my dh talking cuz the noise level in the room had risen dramatically. I looked around and realized, it’s the room itself, the accoustics of it. I remember that being the case in the previous incarnation. With the wooden floors and glass, the bounce of sound is incredible. I recommend dampers, even though I understand that a little noise gives the place energy and ambiance, but
    not all of us want to shout two feet across the table to be heard.

    June 16, 2008
  4. Ruth Sylte said:

    Music? Nordic Jam is currently meeting at the Ole Cafe on Mondays from 7-9pm. The original tin ceiling and wood floors of the coffeehouse room provide a great live acoustic sound.

    Ole Rolls? I don’t know where the original recipe is, but — for my money and tastebuds — the cinnamon rolls from Northfield’s own Brick Oven Bakery [http://www.brickovenbakery.com/] are the closest I’ve ever had to the Ole Rolls I remember from 30 years ago. Yum!

    June 17, 2008
  5. Ally Beyer said:

    The Ole Cafe has a caramel roll that is amazing. It’s not the original recipe, but it’s original! (Donnas own perfected recipe)
    Does everyone really remember what the original tasted like? It’s been a long time since they’ve been around.
    Ruth, I have also heard brick ovens are great. Good to know there are a couple places in town to get caramel rolls. Personally I think we should move on from the Ole Roll. It’s not here anymore! Let’s try the new things the town has to offer.

    June 18, 2008
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    The rumors I’ve been hearing since before Xmas are evidently true: The Ole Cafe is closing, according to this story posted to the Nfld News web site late this afternoon.

    The Ole Cafe, which opened in early 2008 under the shadow of St. Olaf College’s Old Main, will end its run Feb. 20. While cafe owner Angie Perez could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon, a store employee who asked not to be identified confirmed the closure.

    Nothing posted to their website or Facebook page yet.

    January 28, 2011

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