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Ali Shops Blog

Trouble at Excelsior & Grand?

August 8th, 2007
by Allison Kaplan

I’m a big fan of the Excelsior & Grand development in St. Louis Park. Too often, when a "downtown" pops up in the middle of a suburb, it looks like a phony facade in the middle of a huge parking lot. But Excelsior & Grand really seems to fit in. The development looks urban, but has fountains and greenery that make it an attractive gathering spot. The stores (including Q., Shorty’s Loft, Max’s, Shu and Lulu & Luigi) are locally owned and unique, there’s a variety of tenants from dog boutique to nail salon, the restaurants are varied, there’s a great park just down the hill and plenty of paths, and who could forget: Trader Joe’s.

Nevertheless, I just got word that Che Bella, one of the original Excelsior & Grand retailers, has decided to move to Grand Avenue in St. Paul. Great news for Grand (read more about that in the St. Paul Pioneer Press in the coming weeks – the new shop opens early September). But I’ve heard some rumblings that others at Excelsior & Grand are having a bit of trouble. One of the culprits: parking. Indeed, it’s tough to get one of the few spaces right next to the stores, but there is ample ramp parking nearby. I guess having to walk a bit to the shops is a little too urban for some. What do you think? Do you shop at Excelsior & Grand? If not, why not? Is it the stores, is it the parking, is it something else? Hate to see a promising new district with vacancy signs.

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4 Responses to “Trouble at Excelsior & Grand?”

  1. Heather in MN says:

    I do shop at Excelsior & Grand but not very often because I live in Maple Grove so I do most of my shopping here. We used to go there all the time for Trader Joe’s but now that we have one in Maple Grove, no need. :( I should go *walk* around there again! :) I love that part of E&G because I miss walking! I think that is what is truly missed in the suburbs, walking around. My family and I do get out and walk around Maple Grove but it would be nice to leave our home to walk to the shops. Maybe we should move to the city!

  2. Sara B says:

    It’s really sad when people talk about E&G and the lack of parking. Ali, you are right there is ample parking in the RAMPS (2 of them). The fact that, what seems like a majority of Minnesotans can’t walk a block is just plain annoying/sad/sick! If we lived in NY, San Francisco or Chicago (or any other major city) we would be happy to only have to walk a block to all of the great shops at E&G.

  3. PL says:

    I work nearby but live in a St. Paul Northern Suburb. E on G reminds me of being in Europe. Parking is easy and in summer, your car stays cool in the ramp.I have wandered down the surrounding blocks several times and the the surrounding shops are fun and unique as well. The Starbucks there has an amazingly friendly staff and sitting there to read the paper while I wait for traffic to loosen up in the morning after working a night, I have inadvertantly listened in on a lot of Twin Cities wheeling and dealing. It would be a fun girl’s day out or even a date afternoon. From food to clothes,shoes,furniture,chocolate then dinner or a cocktail – it is all there within 1-2 blocks of your parking spot.

  4. Kristen says:

    I have shopped E&G but living and working in St. Paul, it’s not terribly convenient to get there; it has to be a destination. I think it’s a great area and love the restaurants & shops. I, too, hope that it doesn’t end up vacant for those times when I can make it over there. Besides E&G proper, there are also a number of great shops up and down Excelsior that people can include on their shopping trips. I hope they all hang in there and that people discover them. The parking is a dream there compared to many places (esp. Grand Ave.!). Suburban mall shoppers walk further from the parking lots than you would at E&G.

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