The response to the North Loop neighbourhood in Minneapolis has been extraordinary. Over the last year, the neighbourhood’s development has exploded, thanks to independent retailers and restaurateurs and an abundance of chic, rehabbed warehouse-style buildings.
The eclecticism of things to do in North Loop (or NOLO) encapsulates all the best things Minneapolis has to offer: stellar, inventive dining, delightful shopping, and just enough quirk to make it Minnesotan. Take, for example, Marvel Bar, a speakeasy-hideaway bar tucked around the back of a brick building – the only signs it exists are a bouncer and a purple door. Inside are some of the city’s most creative cocktails. But it’s not pretentious – its menu consists of one item: Cheetos. In the shop around the front of the building, Askov Finlayson, you’ll find peerless locally made products like collectible Red Wing pottery – perfect for a gift to take home. They also stock men’s outerwear, fashion, and gifts, including their own private-label line.
The stores that have established themselves in North Loop ensure pre-eminence in the Minnesota shopping scene. D.NOLO, one of the latest additions, is a gorgeous industrial space filled with pared-back luxury basics and specialty pieces. Soon it will have more than one retailer in its space, offering a wide range of designer and cutting-edge fashion. Arrow, just down the street, stocks a range of collectible fashion as well, including pieces from Steven Alan and Rachel Comey, plus hard-to-find European designers.
For home-décor fanatics, The Foundry Home Goods should fit the bill. Former interior designer and owner Anna Hillegass has artfully filled her shop with simple, elegant pieces that are functional and beautiful, for a lifetime of use. You might just want to live in her shop. MartinPatrick3 is a men’s shop, but it draws female shoppers, too. Men’s clothing and shoes are just the beginning: a gorgeous apothecary and gift selection hits a home run every time.
Minneapolis is frequently noted for its bicycle culture: usually clocking in at number-one or number-two on best cities to bike in the United States lists. Both One on One, which is a bike/coffee shop run by an ex-racer Gene Oberpriller, and Handsome Cycles, which carries bespoke bikes and lifestyle products, are two reasons our bikers are so supported in the Twin Towns of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Wetting your whistle is no problem in between all those shops. Cafés like Moose & Sadie’s and Janine’s Coffeehouse offer tasty treats, beverages, and light lunches. Those looking for a power dinner will find The Bachelor Farmer’s Nordic fare a thrill; or head down the street to tuck into an organic, locally sourced dinner at Borough (and have a cocktail at its downstairs specialty bar, Parlour).
If that’s not enough, just blocks away is the Jean Nouvel-designed Guthrie Theater and spectacular views of the mighty Mississippi River. You’ll leave with a whole new impression of the Midwest!
Header photo: Minneapolis skyline © Steve Glenn/iStock/Thinkstock
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Have you visited North Loop? What are the best stores, bars and restaurants in you found in Minneapolis? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
Written by Katie Dohman