Entering the colorful, retro interior of Glam Doll Donuts, you’d think you walked into a 1950s-style diner. But instead of burgers and malts on the menu, there are only donuts — lots and lots of candy-colored donuts in wildly imaginative flavor combinations.
With its vintage decor and the retro-styled uniforms worn by its staff, it’s clear the new cafe on Eat Street isn’t just any craft bakery and coffee bar. Down to its intricately hand-painted tiles and mosaic by Minneapolis-based Lulu Painting, Glam Doll Donuts is as much about fashion as it is about confection.
“Not everyone goes out on a limb, and I think we’ve done that with our design,” co-owner Teresa Fox says of the bakery’s eye-popping design scheme. “My dad was really into ’50s style,” she adds. “He’s always been a collector, so I guess it rubbed off on me.”
“It’s really one big culmination of all of our passions — fashion, food and all things vintage,” adds Arwyn Birch, co-owner and designer of the shop’s ’50s-era uniforms.
The idea to open a kitschy, donuts-only cafe that’s open late (until 1 a.m. Thu.-Sat.) may seem like sheer novelty, but in places like Seattle and Portland where many donut shops are open around the clock, it’s the norm. The idea for Glam Doll came from a visit to Portland’s famous Voodoo Doughnut shop. Fox says she and Birch waited in line for a donut at 1:30 in the morning, and “We thought, Minneapolis needs something cool like this — something more than just the average donut.”
And these donuts — spanning raised donuts, cake donuts, crullers and fritters — are anything but average. With cheekily named flavors like tres leches (“The Peek-a-Boo”), peanut butter and Sriracha (“The Chart Topper”), spicy Mexican chocolate with cayenne peppers (“The Bombshell”) and an apple fritter with cheese curds and bacon (“The Girl Next Door”), these aren’t your grandmother’s donuts.
Some of the bolder flavor combinations are inspired by the shop’s Eat Street location, which is populated by Asian and Mexican markets and restaurants. “We wanted to do donuts with Thai and Mexican elements to incorporate the local culture into our shop,” Fox says.
But Fox, who has a background in restaurant management and grew up baking with her grandmother, says there will be a smattering of classic donut flavors to satisfy the purists. “It was really important for us to do the classics. We love [to do] the old-fashioned thing so people come in and are comfortable, and it’s nostalgic.”
Glam Doll’s menu includes 22 signature donuts, plus daily, weekly and seasonal specials and caffeinated beverages from Chicago-based Intelligensia Coffee. A grand opening party is slated for this Saturday from 7 p.m. until midnight and will include DJ sets, a limited release of some Glam Doll-inspired dresses by Birch to be sold at Cliché boutique, and, of course, all the donuts you can handle.
Glam Doll Donuts
Opening party: 7 p.m. Sat. with DJs Espada and King Otto.
Where: 2605 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.
Info: 612-871-4622 or www.glamdolldonuts.com.