Bread & Pickle originally announced an April 1 opening at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, but now it's looking more like an April 22, Earth Day date will be the day the snack bar serves its first meal.
"According to the park board plumber, we can't even get the water turned on until April 15," explained owner Kim Bartmann.
It's actually not such a bad thing, as it gives Bartmann and her staff more time to completely renovate the former snack stand's kitchen. She and her crew needed to add a lot of cooking and refrigeration equipment to prepare the kind of food that folks have come to associate with her restaurants, which include Bryant Lake Bowl, Barbette, Red Stag and now Gigi's Cafe and the future Pat's Tap.
She's got a well-earned reputation for using local and seasonable ingredients, and Bread & Pickle will follow that formula. The menu will feature a Moonstone Grassfed beef burger, Castle Rock organic cheese curds and a Larry Schultz Farm baked egg sandwich as well as a selection of sandwiches, salads and sides.
And there will be popcorn, as at the old snack bar. "My life has been threatened if I don't make it," joked Bartmann.
Ice cream from local purveyors, Sonny's and Izzy's plus pop, cookies, toffee bars, and more will take care of anyone with a sweet tooth. Additionally, Bread & Pickle will offer a picnic menu that park-goers can pre-order online. It will consist of several cold salad and sandwich options, as well as charcuterie and cheeses.
The stand's hours will be 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, with organic coffee and espresso with egg sandwiches and granola to please morning park visitors, which this Patch reporter imagined to be joggers and dog walkers.
"Lake Harriet power breakfasts," Bartmann laughingly suggested as a potential customer base for the early hours at Bread & Pickle. "And, we'll have wax paper bags of dog biscuits."
She also explained that the menu will change subtly every few months to accomodate fresh, seasonal produce. For example, April and May's chicken curry sandwich will likely morph into a chicken wrap with lettuce for summer, which fits better with hot weather.
Beverages at the stand will include tea, homemade lemonade and a Barbette and Cafe Wyrd (a now closed Bartman restaurant) longstanding favorite, that she calls the internationally famous hibiscus punch.
Barbette's Kevin Kastman is in charge of the menu and the manager, Brad, is a Lake Harriet-area native. However, Bread & Pickle is still in search of a kitchen manager. While baked goods and salads will be prepped at Gigi's, the hot food and sandwiches will be constructed on site.
Meanwhile the rest of us, including the Lake Harriet power breakfast crowd, will have to wait until opening day at Bread & Pickle to get a piece of that kitchen, or at least what comes out of it.
Bread & Pickle - 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy.