Vellee Deli, one of Minneapolis’ very first food trucks and always one of the best, recently released this glorious tease of a video above saying that they’ve signed a lease on a real bona fide brick-and-mortar, while only dropping vague visual hints as to its actual downtown Minneapolis locale.
I talked to co-founder Will Xiong, who confirmed that winter 2014/2015 will indeed see a lunch-only Vellee Deli brick-and-mortar, but wouldn't give any more details about the actual locale. “It’s been a long road, and very stressful,” Xiong said. “But we have the spot. It’s going to be downtown. There are little clues in the video. If you look hard, you can figure it out.”
Uh, what? You are inviting us to go all Zapruder on your video to figure out your locale? Good we will.
Starting with what we know (that Vellee parks, almost without fail, alone on the corner of 2nd and South 6th Street in front of the Capella Tower, and has a loyal line of customers there all season long), it stands to reason that they'd choose a downtown locale somewhere in that general vicinity . . . So we decided to take a little stroll around the area to give you the likely suspects. Here's what we found:
Probably Not It #1: The space next to Chipotle in U.S. Bank Plaza
You can almost see their parking spot from this street-level storefront, but there's no way it's anywhere close to 2,500 square feet like their Twitter indicated earlier today, and, since U.S. Bank Plaza is also home to Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, we already have good intel (the people who work at the convenience store across the lobby from it) that suggests a TCBYogurt is going into that space.
Probably Not It #2: The former Eddington's in U.S. Bank Plaza
The video mentioned nothing about wood veneer and unlimited breadsticks.
Probably Not It #3: Random NorthStar Plaza first-floor emptiness
The element of surprise here is that nobody understands the rip in the space-time continuum that effectively is NorthStar Plaza's ground floor, which feels like it’s some brutalist architecture basement, even thought it's definitely just the first floor. Then again, you can see right into this still-for-lease space and, although it's plumbed for one, it's got zero kitchen. The space in the video is clearly with kitchen.
PROBABLY IT: The Former Taco Bell in the Baker Center
Not only is this space massive to the tune of the requisite 2,500 square feet, it's got the white tile and L-shaped counter like the one hinted at in the video. Sure it's in one of the most dimly lit, furthest-from-windows section of skyway, but it's across the hall from Turkey To Go, so it's got that going for it.
Have another idea about where Vellee Deli is going to land? Drop it into the comments. Xiong says he'll reveal his secret next week via the very 17th century manner of communication known as: a window banner.
Oh, wait, I saved the worst news for last . . . Vellee Deli, a recent victim of truck troubles, MAY NOT OPEN THE TRUCK AGAIN THIS SEASON, meaning the next taste you get of the famed Vellee Deli Currito may well be in the former Taco Bell space in the Baker Center.