Driving down Lyndale the other day, I was shocked and confused to see the big iconic metal bull’s head sign coming down from in front of one of our great third wave coffee spots, Bull Run. Maybe they’re cleaning it, I thought … But then a new sign went up: Vicinity Coffee. The other Bull Run on Nicollet is now also called Vicinity. Not cleaning that sign, I cleverly concluded.
What’s up? I called owner Brent Ringate. He told me that the owners haven’t changed, the staff hasn’t changed. Basically, back in the day, he was part of the group that launched Bull Run, the roaster. The roaster grew into the coffee shop, and he was always in charge of the coffee shop, but then he sold his stake in the roaster, and another coffee shop was added, and then there they were—two separate companies doing separate things, with the same name. It was confusing.
“It’s rebranding, and I just wanted to have full brand control. There are some opportunities to take a next step forward, and when we do, I wanted to have a name that represents who we are: Vicinity. It’s a community focus, it represents the community around the coffee shop.” More opportunities like what? I pressed. More coffee shops, and packaged goods? Yes, Brent confirmed.
So there you have it, same third wave coffee, new name, big plans. As to the big iconic bull’s head signs, Ringate confirms he’s got both, one’s in storage and his brother has dibs on the other. If you’ve always been hankering for that sign, stop by Vicinity and make your hankerings known.