Summer on Lyndale Avenue South

Coffee flights from Third Space Cafe


Flowers, edibles, coffee shops and fun events, some free!

The big news on Lyndale Avenue has been the gradual opening of Hi Flora!, a unique market and eatery that is vegan, alcohol-free, and optionally enhanced with THC. Before it was fully open, Hi Flora! was open for limited hours in its market space just around the corner from the main cafe (the former Common Roots at 2558 Lyndale Ave. S.). I visited in May and reviewed the space in the June edition of The Dish.
After a “grand soft” opening in late June, the main dining area and patio have been open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, but by the time you read this, they may have moved to the next stage by adding a weekend brunch. Another future plan that may already be on the calendar is to use Mondays and Tuesdays for vendors to offer classes and workshops on things like using herbs, roots and mushrooms for health, or cooking and baking with cannabis. I am excited about the Hi Flora! concept, and I will be returning to review it again as new dishes and products are added.
A few blocks south of Hi Flora! is a retail shop with another floral name and another unique business concept. This is Flower Bar, basically a florist and gift shop, but with a DIY element. In fact they call it the Flower Bar Experience. The “bar” part is a flower arranging station. Vases are available for sale, along with individual flowers and foliage, supplies are found at the bar, and assistance is provided so you can design and create your own floral arrangement, for yourself or as a gift.

Abi Baires cooking in her previous kitchen at Bloomington and Lake

Flower Bar sells other gift items, too, and provides all the usual florist shop services. They also take bookings for private events in the store and offer classes if you want to take your flower arranging skills to the next level or learn how to paint flower arrangements in various media. Of course, you don’t have to make your own arrangements, as beautiful stock arrangements are offered as well. Online shopping is available, so you’re not limited to store hours. The Flower Bar is located at 2736 Lyndale Ave. S. and is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4 p.m. on Sundays).
Another interesting dining and drinking establishment nearby is Fire & Nice Alehouse at 2700 Lyndale Ave. S. Opened (bravely) by Nate Ropes, owner, and Aaron Hargrave, executive chef, in December of 2020 for takeout only, they opened for indoor dining the following month. The Alehouse features a curated tap list of the best Minnesota beers, ciders and hard seltzers. Wine, soft drinks and THC seltzers are also available.
The main food star at Fire & Nice is the absolutely delicious-looking and sounding wood-fired pizza, along with some amazing appetizers, a few well-selected salads, three sandwiches, and one dessert (cheesecake). In March of 2021, the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association Restaurant Fan Club (oh, man, why doesn’t my neighborhood have one of those?) made Fire & Nice their spotlight restaurant, to be visited in hybrid mode by the club members. (That is to say, a few members visited the restaurant, the rest ordered out for delivery and met via Zoom.) See the LHENA blog for their experiences.
The third eatery we’re going to mention is Abi’s Restaurant, a Salvadoran-Mexican cafe located at 2828 Lyndale Ave. S., at the former site of The Egg and I, which had a 40-year run and closed in 2020. “Abi” is Cesia Abigail Baires, and she originally opened her business at Lake and Bloomington under the same name but moved it to Lyndale Avenue in December 2021.
Abi’s has a fantastic menu of Mexican favorites and a few Salvadoran specialties. They are open 9 to 9 every day (but close from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday) and serve breakfast all day. Some highlights of the menu include pupusas, filled with meat, vegetables or birria; desayuno tipico, a hearty vegetarian breakfast with beans, sweet plantains and avocado; and mojarra frita, a whole fried tilapia with rice, refried beans, salad and handmade tortillas.
Lyndale Avenue has some incredible coffee shops too. I just heard about three interesting ones that I am planning to visit soon. One is the Third Space Café at 2930 Lyndale Ave. S., which recently became “Instagram famous” due to a post from an influencer featuring their unique coffee flights.

El Jefe quesa birria tacos

The second one is the recently opened SK Coffee, the first coffee shop of the roastery of the same name. This is located at 2401 Lyndale Ave. S., a site that hosted a couple of other popular coffee shops in the years since 1990.
The third one is actually a bakery as well. This is Patrick’s Bakery and Cafe, and it’s located inside the solarium at Bachman’s at 6010 Lyndale Ave. S.. I have to confess, it was the food that drew me in on this one. I want to try that fig and brie panino.
There are a couple of other popular, longstanding venues on Lyndale Avenue. One is the Uptown VFW, Post 246, located at 2916 Lyndale Ave. S. If you haven’t been there before, you should go – this place sounds really fun! In addition to all the things you associate with a VFW post (pull tabs, bingo, bars) the Uptown VFW has many entertainment options for the general public. Check out for their amazing lineup of upcoming musical performances. Also, the UVFW was named the best karaoke venue in the Twin Cities several times in numerous polls. And they don’t have boring old normal bingo, they have a choice of Drag Queen Bingo or something called Vingo which uses music videos instead of callers to help you fill your card. Food is provided by El Jefe or you can just opt for Heggie’s Pizza.
Another venue – more traditional, but completely free – is Live at Lyndale Gardens in Richfield. Put on by Illusion Theater but sponsored by the city of Richfield, these outdoor shows take place at the Amphitheater in Richfield’s Lyndale Gardens. Here are a couple of August shows to whet your appetite:
Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. – “Far Away Places” with Bradley Greenwald, Dan Chouinard, Prudence Johnson and T. Mychael Rambo doing songs, music and stories about their travels.
Aug. 16 at 7 p.m. – Direct from Fresh Ink 2023, featuring Julia Isabel Diaz, Falicia Nichole, Molly Sue McDonald and Justin D. Cook: “Judy, Joan & Joni – The Music of Judy Collins, Joan Baez and Joni Mitchell.”


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