BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE
Although there have been few major disruptions to businesses and organizations along 42nd Street due to either COVID-19 or civil unrest, nowhere has been immune. Business models, hours and other things have changed, and there’s often not the additional capacity to keep the public informed. Southside Pride is attempting to fill in these gaps. This year, we’ll cover the area east of Bloomington to the light rail line, although we may have to go a little farther afield for some categories. But we’ll be mentioning more businesses and therefore being fairly brief in each mention.
Let’s start with grocery stores, because we all need those. Although there are no major supermarkets right within this area, the 24-hour Cub Foods in the LoWa46 apartments (approximately 46th Street and Snelling Avenue) is less than a mile away. And you can’t beat 24 hours. This Cub has a very good produce department, and a pretty good selection besides. It has a pharmacy in the store (not 24 hours though). It looks like the Walgreens at 46th and Hiawatha is fully open now. The mobile pharmacy is still in the parking lot, and of course, the drive-through is operating.
On 42nd Street itself, just east of 28th Avenue, there is a little convenience store grocery—Dokken’s Superette—that my friend Julie has patronized several times. She recommends this friendly family-owned shop for its surprisingly wide selection and its very cheap—but not bad at all—sandwiches to go. Dokken’s has more of a grocery store than convenience store selection, including fresh produce and meat.
Also, the 28th Avenue area has not one but two very popular bakeries, both with an impressive history. At the very
corner of 28th Avenue and 42nd Street, A Baker’s Wife sells all manner of baked goods from whole loaves of bread to individual cookies. They also sell hot coffee and have a very nice sidewalk “patio” to enjoy them in. A Baker’s Wife is now under its second ownership, and the “new” owners didn’t change that much, except—thankfully, especially now—to start accepting credit cards. Their doughnuts and American tea cakes are especially popular.
The other bakery is down south a bit, at 4800 28th Ave.—Mel-O-Glaze. Although they specialize in doughnuts, and have a good selection of these, they also make cupcakes, decorated cakes for special occasions, cookies and other baked goodies, and also have drinks, including coffee. Their history is found on their Facebook page: “Established by Mr. Dean Kellar in 1948 and bought by Frances Wood and Edward Bosela (the parents of the current owners) April 1, 1961, Mel-O-Glaze has been a staple of the neighborhood and the city of Minneapolis for over 60 (now 70!) years.”
In terms of services, there are many on 42nd Street and the surrounding area such as chiropractors and massage, hair stylists and barbers, a highly recommended pet clinic, a great bike shop and a great auto repair shop. Let’s start with that last one. Flanery Brothers Automotive, is, as the name suggests, a family-owned independent shop and it’s been at the same location for decades. I have taken my trusty little Saturn there several times and have always been happy with the work and the prices. They are fully open as usual.
The bike shop is Angry Catfish, kind of a millennial-frequented, serious-bike-person sort of place. In addition, it’s also a coffee shop, or was, before COVID. According to the sign out front, the coffee bar is still closed, but they are selling bagged coffee, as well as their other wares.
Print-N-Stitch is a shop that simply screen prints or embroiders custom orders on apparel, bags and other fabric items. It’s hard to tell how open and when they are right now. But in any case, it’s not the sort of thing where you drop in and browse, and their very thorough and presumably up-to-date website mnprintnstitch.com says waggishly that it’s “Always Open!” Check their Facebook page, too, for the phone number.
Practically next door to Print-N-Stitch is St. Mane Sporting Goods. St. Mane is yet another many decades-old (since 1962) business in this little hub that is actually owned and largely staffed by the St. Mane family. They sell sporting apparel of various kinds, mostly for youth sports teams, and also screen print or embroider team jackets, polos, hats and so forth. So, they have been very hard hit by COVID-19’s shutdown of pretty much all sporting events. In solidarity with other struggling small businesses, St. Mane will give $5 to other selected businesses for every Minnesota Strong t-shirt sold. They have also added Southside Strong, Northside Strong, and Wisconsin Strong, if you prefer those designs, all of which you can see on their website at www.stmanes.com.
There are several options open in the area for getting your hair cut, which some of us really need about now. Shear Art Hair Salon is a Paul Mitchell hairstylist also offering nail care and a few other services. I could not find any COVID-19 specific information on their website or Facebook page (a lot of salons ask you to wash you own hair, and bring your own magazines and drinks, and they waive the cancellation fee if you feel sick at your appointment time, for instance), so if you’re thinking of trying them out, it might be good to call and get more details first.
If you want a simple barbering (or even a fancy barbering), House of Fades, across 42nd Street and slightly to the west of A Baker’s Wife, which we covered in more depth in a previous issue, appears to be open. They have erected little transparent plastic booths around the barber chairs to protect against transmission, which is reassuring, as well as clever.
Rounding out the service category is The Spinal Frontier, providing stellar chiropractic care. Their lengthy roster of long-term satisfied clients attests not only to their skill, but also their frinedly, unique approach to wellness. Check out their fun website www.thespinalfrontier.com for more info, and call or email Dr. Tracie for clinic hours.
Retail stores are faring fairly well in this area, it seems. The local hardware, Hudson’s Hardware, is open normal hours, with of course the usual hygiene protocols. This is a small hardware store, and South Minneapolis has tons of them, but Hudson’s manages to command a lot of loyalty from its customers. It’s another place my friend Julie recommends highly.
Then there’s our old favorite, Doodle Bird Design and Gifts, which we also have covered in the past. For the charming greeting cards made by owner, freelance designer Kristin, or the cotton printed lunch bags, or for custom design work, you can shop online. But the store has local guest artisan items for sale as well, many one-of-a-kind, such as pottery, jewelry, candles and more. These are not on the website though they may be featured on the Facebook page. The shop is open with some limitations for COVID.
Another shop on 42nd Street that I like is Southside Vintage Quality Goods. They always have loads of lovely merchandise. Their opening times are every other weekend only; check their Facebook page for more details and lovely photographs.
Finally, we come to the eateries, of which there are a few. Buster’s on 28th is a great local favorite for good reason. Buster’s is open normal hours now, with the option of patio dining. (It looks like they may have enlarged their outdoor seating area somewhat? Or maybe I’m just more aware of these things.) Buster’s is also popular for their impressive list of ales and ciders.
Just across the street from Buster’s on 28th Avenue is Bill’s Chinese Garden. This being a small place that already had successful takeout and delivery via PostMates, it hasn’t had to change its business model that much, even during the takeout-only period. I have to say I was surprised when I saw how extensive their menu is, and with several good vegetarian options. Very reasonable prices too.
For your nature walk in this neck of the woods, you can’t do much better than Lake Hiawatha, which sits just about halfway between A Baker’s Wife and Mel-O-Glaze. Take your camera, it’s very photogenic.