Dunn Bros has locations all over the Twin Cities Metro, actually, 40 plus around Minnesota, a few in Wisconsin and one in Texas (Go figure, they must be trying to get a government hand out from the Bush admin). But this is about the Linden Hills location. Each Dunn Bros has a unique character as almost all of franchise operations run by local owers. But they have a number of things in common. First, you'll more than likely see the big red San Franciscan roasters in the coffeeshop where beans are roasted daily maing for a warm grind, intense arouma and a fresh cup.
But look around and you'll see a whole bunch of people working on their laptop computers because Dunn Bros got very smart (unlike Starbucks and Caribou) and offered FREE wifi connections to customers. When was the last time you went into a sports bar to watch ESPN2 and the waitress told you that you have to pay an hourly charge to watch a football or baseball game? Right, so why do they think they can get away with charging a usage fee for wifi?
Good coffee, morning pasties, pre-packaged sandwiches and salads at most locations, biscotti and cookies. The all feel much more local and part of the community than all the national chains.
As for the location in Linden Hills, you'll find this to be a environment akin to the neighborhood living room, with a regualr cast of local dwellers who make regular visits from the retire judge magistrate whose life currency is storytelling (humorous) to the Chinese Go players who assemble every Tuesday night, to the foreign Nanny's who care for the neighborhood chidren during the day and answer their email on two free terminals in the evening, to the screenwriting support group that meets here fortnightly to read pages from their scripts and discuss.
Unfortunately, the cafe/coffeeshop at Linden Hills has become unreliable in keeping its evening hours. At the whim of the employees, the shop will close doors early just because they feel like it under the pretense that nobody visits late on Friday or Saturday night. As a gathering place, this is bad practice since people rely on regularly posted hours for meeting friends and quick stop visits. When a business starts becoming unreliable with it posted hours, it marks a decline in their viability. Let's hope that's not the case in Linden Hills.