There’s a new restaurant devoted entirely to the good of breakfast and putting some optimism into the world. Hope Breakfast Bar opened yesterday inside St. Paul’s oldest firehouse. The restaurant is run by Brian Ingram, who helped create the burgeoning chain New Bohemia Bier + Wursthaus and the nearby Cargo Food Authority near downtown St. Paul. Ingram left those behind to venture out on his own with this new eatery that opens at 6 am and keeps serving until 9 pm Tuesday through Saturday and until 5 pm on Sundays.
Through it all, the restaurant is committed to giving back 3% of its profits annual to neighbors in need, dedicating itself to raising a little optimism in the world.
The menu is packed with sweet and savory dishes that count as breakfast, but would serve anyone’s fancy any time of day. There are cake-inspired pancakes, including German chocolate and carrot. There’s a selection of sausage made from chicken, duck, bison, and pork. Vegetarians have plenty to choose from including blackened cauliflower with hollandaise or a vegan burger with pesto.
Beverages range from several specialty coffee drinks, including one sporting something called banana milk, to power juice blends, and cocktails.
The fight to renovate and preserve this firehouse was a long and contentious one. The decommissioned Hope Engine Company No. 3, operated for 100 years as a firehouse. The decision as to what it would become wasn’t easy, either. At one point, it was reported to be a wine bar. Instead the final new use landed on the Midwest’s favorite meal: breakfast.