Summer on Nicollet Avenue

Family Tree Clinic


Reconnected Avenue is ever closer

As we have asserted in previous editions, Nicollet Avenue is really two different streets. There is everything north of Lake Street (Cecil Newman Lane, really) which includes the crossing of the Greenway, Eat Street, and Nicollet Mall downtown, and then there’s everything from Lake Street south. But with the demolition and clearing of the old Kmart building behind us, you’d think there would be a pretty good guess for a date when the street will be reopened at last. The City Council approved an infrastructure construction plan on May 9.

Nighthawks’ patio

I pored over pages and pages of documentation on the city’s website. There is lots of stuff (or do I mean fluff?), zero consistency from one year to the next, many pretty pictures, but no target completion date. The target start date is … 2025. No month, nor even a quarter. The documents don’t say anything about schedules, priorities or dependencies. The titles of the folders hint at an aspirational completion in 2026. Make of that what you will.

Services and retail along Nicollet Avenue

The Family Tree Clinic, 1919 Nicollet Ave., has been providing sexual health care and reproductive health services to residents of the Twin Cities since 1971. Services are free or on a sliding scale for those without insurance coverage, and they also accept insurance. Their services go beyond medical care, including referrals for mental health care, community support groups, and referrals for legal assistance for transgender clients.

Nicollet Field mural, Martin Luther King Park

Nicollet Ace Hardware just south of 38th Street is a local branch of a nationwide Ace Hardware cooperative of store owners. In addition to the usual tools, hardware, paint and lumber, Nicollet Ace Hardware has gardening supplies and backyard chicken support, all kinds of locksmith services including programming car fobs and keys, glass cutting, blade sharpening, and sales of hunting and fishing licenses.
Roadrunner Records, 4534 Nicollet Ave., is a venerable record store that both sells and buys vinyl records of most genres. It was founded in 1986 by Todd Adams, who was then a recent arrival from Madison, Wisconsin, where he ran a record store called Mad City. The store has expanded and contracted over the years as tastes and technology in music fluctuated, at one point selling many CDs, but now mostly sticking to new and used records. In 2020, they moved two blocks south to their present location.
By the way, both Nicollet Ace Hardware and Roadrunner Records have been major co-sponsors, along with the Kingfield Neighborhood Association, of Open Streets Nicollet Avenue, which this year will be happening on Sept. 28. Nicollet Ace Hardware also sponsors the Kingfield Farmers Market.

Finer Meats and Eats food truck

Finer Meats and Eats at 3747 Nicollet Ave. is, quite appropriately, a bit old-school about some things. Even though they have a perfectly good website, and a fine food truck, there is no sign of online ordering, or even a list of what they offer, so you pretty much have to visit them to see what they have. I say “quite appropriately” because, according to their website, they are the oldest, as well as the most famous, full-service meat market in the city of Minneapolis. You can hire their food truck for parties and other events. If you want to keep track of where the food truck is, plus specials and events, follow their Facebook page at Finer Meats & Eats.
The Kingfield Farmers Market is one of three neighborhood markets operated by a nonprofit called Neighborhood Roots. The market takes place on Sundays (8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at 4055 Nicollet Ave. This year, the market opened on May 19 and the last market will take place on Oct. 27.

Peggy Teed of St. Paul Bagelry

The market has been happening since 2001, with the nonprofit being founded in 2008.
Kingfield Farmers Market describes itself as “produce-centered” but, like most farmers markets, they also have meat, cheese, bread, pickles and other prepared foods, ready-to-eat food and drink, and non-food craft products from a wide variety of local vendors. Market days are further enlivened by live music and information tables hosted by community partners. If you have not caught the farmers market bug yet, Kingfield might be just the gateway for you.

Wining, dining and entertainment

Glam Doll Doughnuts is pretty famous already, so needs no introduction. As their website says, “Glam Doll Donuts is more than your favorite donut shop – it’s your happy place, where every donut is a tasty work of art!” Located on Eat Street at 2605 Nicollet

Glam Doll Donuts

Ave., they are open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or sellout) and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or sellout). To avoid disappointment, you can pre-order via their website. They also use DoorDash for delivery.
St. Paul Bagelry at 5426 Nicollet Ave. is one of two shops owned by sisters Peggy Teed and Dodie Green. The original St. Paul Bagelry opened in 2007 in a shopping plaza on the border of St. Paul and Roseville. The Minneapolis shop opened in 2017. They sell both bagels and cream cheese spreads in a multitude of flavors, along with Dogwood coffee. They also have a dining space serving a large array of sandwiches, all made on bagels. Their mission, according to their website, is to “make New York-style bagels from scratch, with love, daily.” Besides dining in, you can also order online at, or find their bagels at area co-ops, grocery stores, markets and restaurants.
Nighthawks at 3753 Nicollet Ave. has what I consider very civilized hours. Opening times are 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. weekends. Closing times are 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday. Both brunch and Happy Hour are served all day on Sunday. Nighthawks’ menu is mostly American classics with some interesting twists (Guinness stew, Truffle Tots, meat loaf!) and a full bar.
Kruse Markit Bistro, at 4237 Nicollet Ave., apart from being a spell-checker’s nightmare, is an interesting place. All in one space, you’ll find a coffee shop serving hand-crafted coffee drinks, a bistro serving a seasonal chef-driven menu of fresh foods, a hand-picked wine and beer selection, and a market. I plan to go there for the butter board alone! As their website says, “We’re your curated shopping mart bringing you everything you never knew you needed. We are bringing purveyors to our store who create and make products that taste good, are responsibly made, and reflect the diverse community which we are a part of.”

The market section of Kruse Markit Bistro

Driftwood Char Bar at 4415 Nicollet Ave. is a bar and music venue first, but also serves really tasty food. Just as one example of their entertainment offerings, a highly-rated Grateful Dead tribute band called the Shotgun Ragtime Band performs there nearly every Sunday night. To see a calendar of their absolutely kickass lineup of live music, go to and click on “The Music.”
The Haag Companies, based at 5901 Nicollet Ave., actually encompass several related businesses. Family-owned and operated for over 50 years, they include Klier’s Nursery and Garden Center, selling all your gardening and landscaping needs, including flowers, herbs, shrubs, trees, pavers, firewood, bird feeders and more. Magnuson Sod, at the same location, sells Kentucky bluegrass sod grown locally on their own sod farms and cut fresh daily. They also sell a wide variety of landscaping

The Shotgun Ragtime Band, regular performers at Driftwood Char Bar

rock, mulch and soil for projects big and small, which can be ordered for pre-scheduled or same-day delivery. Nearby is their Landscape and Concrete Center at 313 W. 61st St. for hardscaping needs, whether for homeowners or commercial property owners, and Schafer Equipment at 6025 Pillsbury Ave. sells power equipment for concrete and masonry. Beyond South Minneapolis is Jerry’s Home and Garden Place in Eagan. In other words, if you need anything for the outside surroundings of your home or business, just give them a call and they’ll set you up.

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