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Multi-thousand dollar sculpture co-designed by Girl Scout troop goes into St. Paul park

To design a public art sculpture for the West 7th Community Center Park in St. Paul, local artist Estela De Paola de Lerma collaborated with Girl Scout Troop 52512.

The sculpture celebrates the transformation of the park, which was perceived as unsafe just a couple of years ago. Today, the park includes a jungle gym, swings, and other play areas, according to the Pioneer Press.  

In a first workshop with the children, the artist went over “the basics of three-dimensional art, public art guidelines, and the purposes of public art,” she explains.  

Afterward, the children came up with some ideas that they used to create cardboard models. A final model incorporated everyone’s voices.   

From there, de Lerma crafted a life-sized model out of foam core, adding a base to comply with the city’s requirements.

The resulting sculpture, titled “Our World,” came together through donations, including powder-coating from the city, that covered thousands of dollars of expenses.

The process took about a year. “The girls couldn’t weld, but they did the design. The ideas are theirs,” she says of the eight-foot-tall metal sculpture.

In the piece, Girl Scouts are shown hand-in-hand embracing a yellow globe.

Each row of figures is painted to correspond with a different level of the Girl Scouts.

Their message reflects the fact that they care about the world, according to de Lerma, who has a daughter in Girl Scouts. The figures come in all shapes and sizes. “Everyone is included, that’s why it’s ‘Our World’,” she says.

The girls’ names and troop also appear on the piece.

“My generation wouldn’t believe that a child could be a sculptor,” she says.

De Lerma says she was interested in the project because it proves that public art involving children can “be more than a mural. It’s a nice way of connecting the community with the place and the art” and with self-expression.

Source: Estela De Paola de Lerma
Writer: Anna Pratt

Venture North Bike Walk and Coffee celebrates its North Side opening

Venture North Bike Walk and Coffee, which had its grand opening on Oct. 8, is the first bike shop of any sort to make its home in North Minneapolis.

Its added emphases on walking and coffee make it a unique hub, with everything from bike paraphernalia to classes on healthy living, according to city information.

Additionally, Venture North's first day of business coincided with the unveiling of new bike lanes on the nearby Emerson and Fremont avenues.

The city is a partner in the shop; it provided startup money for the place through a federal grant, while, further down the line, as much as $350,000 could help sustain the shop, according to MPR.

The city also selected Redeemer Center for Life, a nonprofit community developer that’s based on the North Side, to manage the shop.

“The goal of the initiative is to improve access for affordable physical activity opportunities among north Minneapolis residents,” a prepared statement from the city reads.

Venture North will also be hosting biking, walking and running clubs, along with a jobs program for youth.

The local Dogwood Coffee Co. helped put in place the coffee and espresso bar, according to city information.

Although the shop will cater to people of all ages and athletic abilities, the store’s manager, Jacob Flinsch-Garrison says in a prepared statement that “we will be especially oriented toward serving the needs of those who are getting into bicycling or walking for the first time, or who have not done so for a while."

“Venture North is committed to making each of our store’s visitors feel welcome. Our motto is ‘gratitude, not attitude,’” he says.

Source: City of Minneapolis
Writer: Anna Pratt

Following $100,000 renovation, Amsterdam Bar and Hall adds new energy to downtown St. Paul

To make way for the recently opened Amsterdam Bar and Hall in downtown St. Paul, the space underwent $100,000 worth of remodeling.

Within seven weeks, the space, which had sat empty for a year after Pop! restaurant closed, was converted into a bar and entertainment venue.

Jarret Oulman, a co-owner of the place, says, “It involved a lot of dismantling, ripping things apart,” which was challenging because “it was built solidly. It was a lot of work.”    

Workers tore down walls, pulled out the carpet, built tabletops, and installed booths and lighting fixtures, he says.

Today, the 8,000-square-foot space has two stages and a private dining room, while a moveable wall helps close off part of the place to create a more intimate bar.

It's helpful for those nights that don’t feature big musical acts, he explains. ”We hung a wall that makes it feel tighter and more comfortable in the bar space.”

Otherwise, the room “feels like a gym by itself,” he says.

As its name suggests, the bar and hall draws inspiration from Amsterdam.

Oulman characterizes the aesthetic as Dutch bohemian, with vintage Dutch graphic art, dark-stained wood, and tapestries. “The look and the culture go hand-in-hand,” he says.   

He explains that Amsterdam’s culture was something he and his co-owners wanted to replicate because it’s “interesting, sophisticated, and inclusive.”

So far, the place has been well received, he says, adding that the neighboring record store, Eclipse Records, and the design and print studio Big Table Studio, which are also new to the block, are complementary.

“It has a significant effect on the block and downtown St. Paul,” he says, adding, “It makes the creative environment that much stronger."

Source: Jarret Oulman, co-owner, Amsterdam Bar and Hall
Writer: Anna Pratt

$500,000 to turn around a vacant, foreclosed mansion on Cathedral Hill

An old mansion on Cathedral Hill in St. Paul, which had gone through foreclosure, will soon be converted into a Montessori school and a bed and breakfast.

Whitney Blessing, along with her husband, Andy, who is a contractor, are fixing up the place, which once belonged to Frank P. Shepard.

The Shepards were a prominent family who had four homes within a block of one another, she explains.

Through the years, the 14,000-square-foot mansion had gone through many changes, most recently serving as a boarding house for an international school, according to Whitney.

This month, the Blessings will open the Cathedral Hill Montessori School in the home’s 1950s addition.

It’s just the first part of the Blessings’ concept for turning around the place, which is also their sixth home renovation.  

The couple and their two children will move into the 1884 portion of the house. But the 1881 original structure will become a four-guest bed and breakfast. Separately, large dining and living rooms will become community meeting spaces.

Altogether, they'll probably end up spending $500,000 on the renovation, she says.

“I think this house will never be the original Queen Anne Victorian that it was before the 1940s, when it turned institutional,” she says.

That being said, “We wanted to put something here that would be available to anyone in the neighborhood who should need those services.”

The 1880s areas of the home and the carriage house are considered to be contributing structures to the surrounding historic district. "We want to maintain the historic character," Blessing says.

Much of the work that they’re doing, from restoring the original hardwood floors to uncovering fireplaces, is cosmetic. Utilities also need to be upgraded, while previous mop closets will be turned into bathrooms for the bed and breakfast’s guest rooms.

The neighborhood has been supportive of the project, she says. “[The house] is part of the history and we want that to stay intact and maintain the integrity and open it up for the community to see and be a part of and enjoy.”  

Source: Whitney Blessing, homeowner, Frank P. Shepard mansion
Writer: Anna Pratt

Following $14 million expansion, a 'new' Weisman opens its doors

After a $14 million project that nearly doubled its gallery space, a renewed Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus has opened its doors.

Erin Lauderman, a spokesperson for the Frank Gehry-designed museum, says the Weisman added another 8,100 square feet, which it did without “any more ground to build on.”

In a Finance and Commerce story, Brett Dunlap, a project manager with JE Dunn of Kansas City, Mo., the project's general contractor, says that it "required the galleries to be built atop and cantilevered over huge concrete columns."

A fifth gallery space, which has been dubbed the Target Studio for Creative Collaboration, “had to push the walking bridge out,” according to Lauderman.

There’s also a new canopy and bridge skirt. More of the signature metal of the façade was used on one side of the building, while another part of the exterior is mainly brick. “It completed the building inside and out,” she says. “Now you walk in a loop inside.”  

Another challenge was to fit the work in with the plans for the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line, which will span the Washington Avenue Bridge. “It’s a limiting site but it’s a fantastic location,” Lauderman says.

All in all, the museum has the same feel as it did before, although the recently installed skylights create an openness that literally sheds new light on the works. “That makes every space look different,” she says.  

The Weisman now has more room to showcase its 20,000-piece permanent collection, which includes ceramics, American art, and works on paper. The fifth gallery area is geared to interdisciplinary collaboration.

“Now [the museum] is a better resource,” she says. “You can come back and see the same piece multiple times.”

Admission to the museum is still free and, says Lauderman, “it doesn’t take long to get through. We have a nice, thoughtful collection." 

Source: Erin Lauderman, Weisman Art Museum
Writer: Anna Pratt

$150,000 historic project turns Lake Street into a walk-able museum

The idea for the Museum in the Streets: Lake Street project came to Joyce Wisdom, who heads the Lake Street Council, when she was on a trip to Connecticut a couple of years ago.

Taking a self-guided tour down certain streets in one town, she learned all kinds of interesting tidbits about the area’s history, according to Cara Letofsky, who is a project volunteer.

A number of plaques placed here and there along the street told of the town's development through words and pictures.

Wisdom contacted the Museum in the Streets company about the possibility of bringing the same kind of displays to Lake Street in Minneapolis.

It's something that piqued the interest of many other community members, and the council got to work on the project, Letofsky says.

So far, the council has raised about one-third of the $150,000 needed for the project, which will include 20 plaques along Lake Street.

Meanwhile, a dozen volunteers are in the process of researching sites to be highlighted on the tour. “We’re looking for sites that have a good story and are good for illustrations or photos,” she says.  

In the process, Letofsky is learning about such bygone places as the 1905 Wonderland Amusement Park, Minneapolis Harvester Works--a well-known farm equipment company--and the Nicollet Ballpark, where the Minneapolis Millers played from 1896 to 1955.

“We came across a photo of four members of the baseball team in new cars that were bought from a dealer on Lake Street,” she says.  

Other venerable places, such as Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian gift shop and the 1928-built Midtown Exchange building, are still around.

To help passersby make the connections, a brochure will outline the walking tours. “The series of panels that makes up each tour will invite people to discover Lake Street’s unique story at their own pace, over the course of an afternoon or on return visits.”  

Letofsky says that the group is interested in the project as a way to “build the vitality of Lake Street and its business community,” adding, “It’s an economic development tool.”  

The council plans to mount the displays next spring.

Source: Cara Letofsky, spokesperson for Museum in the Streets: Lake Street
Writer: Anna Pratt

RiverFIRST proposal moves toward construction project along Upper Mississippi riverfront

At its Sept. 21 meeting, the Minneapolis park board initiated a 45-day public comment period on the RiverFIRST proposal to revitalize some key parts of the Upper Mississippi riverfront.

It's the next step toward making the plan a reality.

The proposal lays out various design concepts and an implementation plan for “problem-solving” parks, walking trails and other amenities for the river area, mainly between North and Northeast Minneapolis, according to information from the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative (MRDI), which is leading the charge.

RiverFIRST is the product of a collaboration between MRDI project manager Mary deLaittre, the Tom Leader Studio in Berkeley, Calif., Kennedy & Violich Architecture (TLS/KVA) in Boston and New York financing consultants HR&A.

For months, the proposal has undergone an extensive editing and community engagement process, fleshing out an earlier version that won MRDI’s international design competition, according to project information.

In the proposal, five priority projects, all of which are doable over the next handful of years “exemplify ‘re-sourcing’ the river, while eliminating as many barriers as possible,” to help lay the foundation for future riverfront development, deLaittre says in a prepared statement.

For starters, a riverfront trail system that would go through Farview Park in North Minneapolis would join other existing city and regional parks and trails to form a “user-friendly network of commuter and recreational connections, most notably across the Interstate 94 trench cutting off Northsiders from the river,” a prepared statement reads.   

A number of floating BioHaven Islands on the river could help improve water quality while also providing habitat for plants and animals.   

The plan also calls for a new Scherer Park that would take advantage of park-owned property along the river in Northeast.

Separately, the Northside Wetlands Park “transforms significant acreage from the existing Port of Minneapolis.”  

Finally, an historic park that leads into the downtown area could be restored, according to MRDI information.

Going beyond the five-year projects, “The Draft RiverFIRST Proposal has the potential to create the largest expanse of new public and green space since the Minneapolis Parks system was first created over 100 years ago,” a prepared statement about the project reads.

Source: Information from the Minneapolis Riverfront Development Initiative
Writer: Anna Pratt

As a part of a $7,000 project, blighted areas of East Lake Street to get spruced up with artwork

The Longfellow Community Council (LCC) is taking a creative approach to improving blighted areas of East Lake Street in Minneapolis.

Although much of a $25,645 city grant that the group recently received will go toward studying business opportunities on East Lake Street, about $7,000 will help fill vacant storefront windows along the corridor with artwork, according to LCC staffer Spencer Agnew.  

“A lot of people are concerned with the revitalization of East Lake Street,” says Agnew. “This is geared towards that interest.”

Depending on how much participation from building owners the group can get, images will go on 6 to 15 windows on East Lake Street between 27th Avenue South and the Mississippi River.  

The League of Longfellow Artists (Lola) is providing the posters. 

Although the artwork will vary from storefront to storefront, it’ll have a cohesive quality so that people can recognize it as a part of one project.

There’ll also be a tour associated with the initiative. “The goal is to add aesthetic appeal to the vacant spots and publicize those opportunities in a positive way,” Agnew says. “It’s also a way to promote the local artwork that we have.”  

Although the timing for the display is still up in the air, it could happen as soon as next spring, according to Agnew.

Meanwhile, a research consultant will conduct a market study and corridor assessment for East Lake Street. “It’ll provide information about what viable businesses opportunities there are and what kinds of market sectors and challenges there are implementing that,” he explains.  

Source: Spencer Agnew, Longfellow Community Council
Writer: Anna Pratt

$750,000 goes to Irrigate project to foster artistic place-making along the Central Corridor

The Central Corridor light rail line is the inspiration for an extensive, three-year creative placemaking initiative called Irrigate.

The project, which is a partnership between Springboard for the Arts, TC LISC, and the city of St. Paul, recently received a $750,000 grant from a newly formed consortium of arts funders called ArtPlace.

ArtPlace, which brings together public and private groups, is investing $11.5 million in 34 creative placemaking projects all over the country, according to Irrigate information.

As promoters of the first project of this type, ArtPlace "aims to drive revitalization across the country by putting the arts at the center of economic development," a prepared statement reads.

For Irrigate, local artists will be trained in creative placemaking, according to Springboard executive director Laura Zabel.

From there, Irrigate will be "mobilizing and activating hundreds of artist-led projects in partnership with businesses and neighborhood groups," she says.

In general, the projects should address some issue or opportunity along the corridor, she says.

Zabel says that the idea is to "embed artists in economic and community development for the benefits they can provide to the community."

Conversely, the project "increases the community's [valuation] of its artists."

She's expecting a huge variety of projects in the areas of creative marketing and mapping.

They could help people find their way during construction or speak to a neighborhood's character. "We really see the Central Corridor and construction as an opportunity to engage artists in a really deep way," she says.

"We think it's an opportunity to demonstrate that artists are well-suited to help in moments of huge infrastructure [change]. They're creative and they think in new ways. They're intuitive, they're entrepreneurs, and they understand the challenges of small business owners."

Source: Laura Zabel, executive director, Springboard for the Arts
Writer: Anna Pratt

Third annual Lowry Avenue Harvest Festival marks street's ongoing transformation

North Minneapolis resident Bill Moore has seen many ups and downs in the area that he's lived in since the 1960s, particularly along Lowry Avenue North.

The avenue, which is bordered by a handful of neighborhoods, had declined through the years. This led the city to put together a revitalization plan for the street in 2002 and more recently, a Lowry Avenue Strategic Plan to spur development and strengthen business districts.  

A dozen businesses have opened, relocated, or reinvested in the area since 2008, according to a KARE11 story.

Beyond the street’s physical improvements, a few years ago, Moore and other neighbors came to understand that “We need to celebrate the North Side, to bring it together," says Moore, who leads the service-oriented Camden Lions.

That's when they came up with the idea for the Lowry Avenue Harvest Festival, which they decided to do yearly. Now, the third annual festival, which is coming up on Sept. 17, celebrates the change that’s already taken place on the street.

This year, the festival will be larger, blocking off part of Lowry Avenue North where it crosses Penn Avenue, all the way to Oliver Avenue, he explains.

Moore is expecting more than double last year’s attendance of 800 people.

There’ll be a car show, farmer’s market, food vendors, pie-baking contest, biggest-vegetable contest and various live acts, including a judo demonstration and local music groups, while a kid zone will have crop seed art, face painting, clowns, storytelling, and more.

The winning pie from the pie-baking contest will be featured on the menu for a week at the nearby Lowry Café, he says.

Places like the new Lowry Cafe have been instrumental in the process of turning around the street. “We’ve got a lot of good businesses on Lowry,” Moore says, including many that are involved with the festival.  

Also, various neighborhood groups, charitable organizations, and local businesses will have table displays. Volunteers will help collect donations for the local food shelf.

All in all, “I hope that this will help people get to know people from other neighborhoods and pull everyone together as a community instead of making it about different neighborhoods,” he says.  

Source: Bill Moore, neighborhood activist and president of Camden Lions
Writer: Anna Pratt

Paint the Pavement murals beautify busy Minneapolis intersections and calm traffic

The four elements--earth, wind, fire and water--will soon be represented in a colorful street mural in Minneapolis’s Near North neighborhood.

It’s the second street mural to come to the city as a part of a program called Paint the Pavement, which "promotes community building and 'placemaking' through creating neighborhood art," according to its website.

Recently, a Corcoran neighborhood mural was unveiled to help calm traffic at the intersection of East 34th Street and 19th Avenue South.  

Since the volunteer-run Paint the Pavement started in St. Paul, about 15 street murals have been done through the program, according to Jun-Li Wang, a program volunteer.

“Not only does a mural give visual impact, it’s really the process that goes into making it that has the most value,” she says, adding, “Neighbors work together and meet one another in a way that they wouldn’t at a potluck."

Naturally, the cost depends on a mural’s size, but “a few gallons of paint can have a wonderful impact.”

And it makes the neighborhood more attractive, something that real estate agents have even noted in some home listings, she says.

Last summer, community members in Near North, inspired by similar Portland public art projects, started planning a mural for the intersection of 17th and Girard with a block club grant, according to Ariah Fine, a neighborhood activist.

Following the project's emphasis on youth, neighbors, creativity, color, and environment, people submitted illustrations through a design contest at a block party. A neighborhood youth’s portrayal of the four elements won, and a local artist helped adapt it for the street.  

The mural will start small and then gradually grow into four main swirling shapes, Fine explains.

The group chose this intersection because it’s close to the North High School football field, which gets lots of traffic. Also, neighbors close to the intersection were open to it, he says.

On Sept. 24, neighbors will come together to paint the mural. “It’ll be a community event, with more people than just from the block club,” he says. “I hope it’s the first of many opportunities to bring the community together.”

Source: Jun-Li Wang, Paint the Pavement; Ariah Fine, Near North neighborhood activist
Writer: Anna Pratt

The Foundry builds business and community in Northeast Minneapolis

Kelly Sharp, who owns an old-school barbershop called The Barber Sharp, recently redeveloped the Northeast Minneapolis building where the shop is located.

The building, which once housed a gallery and apartments, now has a handful of businesses. Tiger Rose Tattoos opened up on the second floor earlier this summer, while the spaces for Studio 3 massage therapy and the Tarnish & Gold art gallery are still undergoing renovation.

Sharp also plans to host various events in the building and create a community garden just beyond the parking lot.

The businesses collectively agreed to call the building The Foundry. Sharp explains that a foundry is a place where “precious metal is broken, melted down and molded to become whole again.”

It’s symbolic of what she hopes happens at The Foundry, and how it came together, she says.

She’d been running the barbershop for about a year at its original location a couple of blocks away--where it had been in business since the 1920s--when her rent increased. It was then that Sharp, who lives nearby, scouted out the building at 349 13th Ave. N.E.  

It seemed like an ideal location, but the whole building had to be leased at once.

Although she’s seen other real estate ventures fail in the economic downturn, she decided to go for it. “I said, ‘build it and they will come.’ I said to the universe, 'send me the people who are supposed to be here.’”   

Her vision was for a place that would “build a strong sense of community,” a kind of “third place” where neighbors can come and hang out, she says.

After she got to work on revamping the building, a process that included everything from repainting to opening up access to the courtyard, other business owners started to express interest.

She’s found that the main focus for those who want to be a part of the development is on “helping people get where they want to be in life”--not money.

She’s pleased that the community has embraced the shop.

For example, several generations are coming together at the barbershop. Some of the men who’d patronized the barbershop for decades under its previous owner had never had their hair cut by a woman before, she says.  

“People can buy art or have a massage or sit in the courtyard,” she says.  

Source: Kelly Sharp, The Barber Sharp
Writer: Anna Pratt

East Franklin murals transform public spaces along American Indian Cultural Corridor

A colorful mural on one wall of the American Indian OIC in South Minneapolis blends together floral and geometric patterns and buffalo images, as a symbolic nod to the area's history. 

In the past, the woodlands- and plains-based American Indian tribes met in this part of the region, according to community organizer Daniel Yang, who led the project on behalf of the Native American Development Institute (NACDI), which is an American Indian community development organization.

Eight American Indian youth who range from 12 to 18 years of age helped create the mural, which was unveiled on Aug. 22, with the help of local artist Bobby Wilson.

Stretching 18 feet by 200 feet, the mural, which is visible to light rail passengers and Greenway bicyclists, is one of the largest in the Twin Cities.

Previously, graffiti and overgrown plants cluttered the wall. “The before and after picture is amazing,” Yang says.

It’s the second of three similar projects that are planned for East Franklin Avenue as a part of NACDI's “Paint the Avenue” initiative.

In September 2010, another mural, which features several community leaders, went on the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Building, while a third one that’s still in planning stages is to come next month.

The paintings promote the American Indian Cultural Corridor along East Franklin Avenue.

South Minneapolis has the greatest concentration of American Indians in the country. “There’s a long history in this area. We’re trying to build on that,” Yang says.

He hopes the avenue attracts new businesses, craft stores, and galleries with the help of murals and other amenities.

“Murals go far in establishing a visual sense that we belong here, that we’ve been here, and this is our home,” he says. “At the same time, it creates community ownership and pride in the individuals who worked on these projects.”  

Each mural can cost between $1,000 and $3,000. Youth also get a $250 stipend for their work. For them, it’s a process that begins with surveying local property and business owners and other community members before getting to the art part.    

“It’s much more than an investment in aesthetics,” he says, adding, “It’s an investment in youth and the next generation.”

Source: Daniel Yang, community organizer, NACDI
Writer: Anna Pratt

Studio @ 795 showcases art, area history

When St. Paul artists Giesla Hoelscher and Karl Johnson set out to find a new gallery space, they happened upon a vintage brick building at 795 Raymond Avenue, through a friend-connection.

They were drawn to the location in part for the foot traffic, along with its thriving artist community and the fact that it was close to home, according to Hoelscher.

Since they opened Studio @ 795 in the space a year ago, however, the two artists, like many of their neighboring business owners, found it was a challenge to compete with the nearby construction for the Central Corridor light rail line.

But with her surroundings as inspiration, Giesla found a creative solution: At the St. Paul Art Crawl in April, she started offering historic walking tours of the neighborhood, which includes the University/Raymond Historic Commercial District.

She got interested in the history when work on a neighbor's building required preserving certain details. She started doing some research on the area. After she sifted through various history reports, "The research just kind of snowballed from there and I used city directories to learn what each of the spaces had been in previous lives," she says.

The West Midway area was once the city's largest industrial district, according to Studio @ 795 information. Its architecture "reflects everything from the railroad era up to the trucking industry that developed with the growth of the interstate highway system," a prepared statement about the tours reads. 

She decided to continue the tours well after the art crawl.

On the tour, people get a glimpse of the district's 22-plus historic buildings, which testify to various aspects of the area's commercial and non-commercial background.

"Before, so many people were opposed to coming in because the area was so torn up," she says.    

For the studio, "We thought we'd take advantage of it," she says. "We wanted to bring people in, to show that it's more than a space to avoid. There's some really interesting history here."  

"I think the history is in the small architectural details and is a bit hidden unless you're on foot," she says. It's something that she hopes doesn't get lost once light rail comes.

Hoelscher and other business owners also collaborated on RaymondOntheRail.com, as another way to promote the intersection's shops, restaurants, salons, and other amenities.

It expands on the similar but larger Discover Central Corridor "buy local" initiative, says Hoelscher.

Source: Giesla Hoelscher, Studio at 795
Writer: Anna Pratt

The Bachelor Farmer revamps historic warehouse space in North Loop

The Bachelor Farmer restaurant is introducing the first rooftop urban farm to Minneapolis, while also fully renovating an historic warehouse space in the North Loop neighborhood.

The Nordic-themed restaurant, which recently hosted a series of "soft openings," is part of a larger effort from brothers Andrew and Eric Dayton to turn around the 1881 brick-and-timber warehouse, according to restaurant information.

In 2008, the Daytons acquired the property, which once housed McMillan Fur and Wool, Northwestern Grease Wool Co., and Marvel Rack.

The restaurant has an 85-seat main dining room and a 15-seat bar, while the second floor has some additional dining and private space. 

Throughout the renovation process, the Daytons, who are the sons of Governor Mark Dayton, were "careful to preserve as much of the original character of the building as possible," a prepared statement about the restaurant  reads. 

In keeping with the building's history, the restaurant dubbed one section the Marvel Bar. A men's clothing store is planned for next door, according to Heavy Table.  

Cydney Wuerffel, a spokesperson for the restaurant, says that it's still a work in progress. "While they've quietly opened the doors to The Bachelor Farmer, the team is still in the process of transforming the space," she states in an email.   

In a recent Minneapolis/St. Paul magazine story, Stephanie March describes the space, which has a fireplace, skylight, and lounge, as one that "celebrates the inherent beauty of the old aesthetics, while bringing in a new, cool vibe. The old floorboards will be preserved, but there might be a cutting-edge mural on the wall."

Source: Cydney Wuerffel, media contact for The Bachelor Farmer
Writer: Anna Pratt
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