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Posts Tagged ‘excelsior & grand’

Coming to Excelsior & Grand…

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Got a sneak peek of Max’s new space at Excelsior & Grand in St. Louis Park – just across the parkway from the current store. I think it’s going to be a good move for this under appreciated luxe gift gallery, which specializes in jewelry, art and chocolate (trifecta!). The new space is wider and will allow for more display room. Max’s is scheduled to be closed for about a week and reopen in the new spot Feb. 5.

All’s well that ends well, but the truth is, this move was not owner Ellen Hertz’s idea. Excelsior & Grand is moving her to make room for CVS in the anchor spot that fronts Excelsior Boulevard, previously home to a couple of ill-fated restaurants. CVS. Sigh. On the positive side, it could bring some neighborhood traffic to this shopping district, which has struggled to fill vacancies and draw a crowd, despite the good location and bustling Trader Joe’s. Max’s has been one of the few shining stars – thanks to Hertz’s tireless promotional efforts and stellar merchandise. The biggest bummer about CVS, besides not exactly raising Excelsior & Grand’s profile as a shopping destination, is the waste of patio space. I ate at Laredo’s, not because the food was good (how do you screw up guacamole?), but because it was so lovely to sit outside on the wide stretch of sidewalk, near grass and a fountain. I hope they at least add some tables and benches – the place could use some loitering.

At least the spaces are filling. Also opening at Excelsior & Grand in February: Bubbly Paws, a self-serve dog wash and full-service dog spa form the owners of Pampered Pooch Playground and Get In Shape For Women, offering small group personal training (it’s new to Minnesota). And in March comes Oil & Vinegar, selling cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Customers will be able to make custom blends and take cooking classes.

What else would you like to see at Excelsior & Grand? Weigh in!

Let me shop at night!

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Retailers are really listening. I complained on the radio recently that it was disappointing to stroll through Excelsior & Grand on my way to dinner and find the stores closed at 6 p.m. So silly not to capitalize on the restaurant/park/Starbucks traffic, especially now that it's nice and everyone is desperate to be outside. What do you know: I just received word that the boutiques at Excelsior & Grand will stay open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays this summer, starting June 4. Be sure to shop so they keep this up!

Well hello, OPM

Friday, October 24th, 2008

I must admit, I didn't expect the crowd. OPM, the new designer boutique at Excelsior & Grand in St. Louis Park, packed the house for its grand opening fashion show on Friday night. The young and fabulous were out in full force, noshing on pink frosted cupcakes, sipping cocktails and drooling over the endless parade of designer bags. A darling Catherine Malandrino black cocktail dress with white stitched details was my favorite, and actually surprised me by being only $500. There were a couple of other noteworthy party dresses and a great sweater or two, as well as whole bunch of skinny pants and slinky tops. I've been wondering if this store will catch on, situated as it is, at the back of the Excelsior & Grand development, which hasn't turned out to be a hot spot for retailers, and with its luxury price points in this economy. But, if the crowd that attended the show can afford to shop the store, they just might make it. In any event, it was an auspicious start – I applaud OPM for pulling out all the stops and throwing a fab, free party. We can all use more of those.

Trouble at Excelsior & Grand?

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

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. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved