I found out one of my favorite places (or, favorite three places) in Minneapolis was closing via a Slack message on a Thursday afternoon. I cried as the announcement sank in, and I found myself tearing up again later that night, in response to the news. This may sound dramatic, considering I had no personal stake in the businesses other than my astute love for spending time in them—other than the many, many memories I’d made at their tables and bars—but I think the emotion speaks to something bigger.
We’re all seeing our communities shift and evolve, much more swiftly than they’ve been forced to in recent memory. These places where we spend time, where we gather, are some of the backbones of our communities. We go to them with unending cheer to celebrate birthdays and engagements and promotions. We sit at their bars over long, winding first dates—the kinds we’re never going to forget. We spend early, mundane weekday mornings in their warm embrace, sipping coffee or tea as we tap away at our computers, trying to finish up one project or another, content to have a place other than home where we can focus.
These places are an extension of our homes and our lives. They’re a workplace for many. And seeing some of them close their doors for the last time has been more emotional than I would have imagined—and I don’t think it’s just me who’s feeling this way.
I’ve tried to support local businesses as often as my wallet will allow these past few months. I’ve gone to my favorite breweries to pick up crowlers, ordered takeout from many a restaurant, and bought goods from local businesses.
In our many (virtual) team conversations of late, one topic that keeps coming up is the state of the businesses we know and love, and how we can support them, both right now and going forward.
These are a few of the many places we’re doing our best to patronize right now, even if from a distance.
If you’re in the area, another great resource for updates on small businesses is Back Soon Mpls, where you can find a breakdown of ways to support local restaurants and retailers. And even if you’re not local to the Twin Cities, you still have the option to support these businesses and stores by purchasing their goods or gift cards online.
Gift shop carrying kitchen items, clothing, cards, and more
Website: i like you & i like you too
Why Bridgette Loves Them: “The St. Paul location of this artisan goods shop is two blocks from my house. The tiny shop is a literal treasure trove of funny cards, hand-knit hats, and just about anything you would need for a last-minute birthday gift.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Shop their store online (choose delivery or curbside pickup) or purchase a gift card.
Website: Two Bettys Green Cleaning
Why Bridgette Loves Them: “After our third child was born, my husband and I agreed that we would hire a monthly cleaning service to help out with our little 2-bedroom home. And let me tell you, it’s worth every single penny. It’s absolutely worth forgoing takeout lunches and morning coffee runs to come home to a sparkling clean house, even if it’s utterly destroyed in the first twenty minutes.
How to Support Them Right Now: While residential cleaning services are currently suspended until further notice, they are offering a Bucket Brigade Service of monthly green cleaning supplies delivered to your front door.
A salon offering haircuts, coloring services, hair extensions, and more
Why Bridgette Loves Them: “Despite looking like a natural platinum blonde (hahaha), my hair color is achieved only by the wizards at Hairpolice, located in the LynLake neighborhood of Minneapolis. The four hours I spend every six weeks here is a mixture of laughter, therapy, and toner. As much as I’m embracing my dark roots and shaggy bob at the moment, I’m very much looking forward to my next appointment. In the meantime, I’ve prepurchased my appointment and stocked up on hair supplies.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Prepurchase a future appointment or purchase R+Co products at this link.
Home and lifestyle products including clothing, home goods, and apothecary items
Website: Gray Home + Lifestyle
Why Nancy Loves Them: “I love Gray because of their simple aesthetic and that they are more of a ‘lifestyle’ shop that features a wide variety of goods. They carry baby clothes and gifts, women’s clothing, gift items, and home goods as well.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Shop online and in-store (updated store policies can be found on their website) or purchase a gift card.
New American restaurant
Why Nancy Loves Them: “I LOVE the atmosphere at Coalition! It’s like being in a restaurant in the heart of the city. The staff is so friendly—it is truly like eating ‘where everyone knows your name.’ Their Korean tacos are to die for! And they have my favorite pinot noir!”
How to Support Them Right Now: Order takeout or purchase a gift card.
Women’s clothing, accessories, shoes, jewelry, skincare products, and small goods
Website: Parc Boutique
Why Nancy Loves Them: “Parc is a lovely place to shop! The service there is outstanding! I love their clothing selection and also their selections of personal items—they carry Baggu bags, Herbivore skincare products, and even cute greeting cards and gift items. The shop and the merchandise offered are very special and unique.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Shop online and in-store (updated store policies can be found on their website), or purchase a gift card.
Restaurant serving empanadas and pizzas
Why Kate Misses Them: “I dream about their pizza and empanadas and want to sit at the bar washing it all down with Lambrusco while watching people walk by.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Order takeout or purchase a gift card.
Antique home goods, vintage clothing, and more
Website: Selby Ave. Antique Stores
Why Kate Misses Them: “Every day I check to see if they are opening. I miss the smell of old things and digging for treasure.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Some antique and vintage stores are selling goods online at the moment. Check the social media accounts for individual stores for more details.
Art materials and framing offerings
Website: Wet Paint
Why Kate Misses Them: “I miss touching all the art supplies, noodling over colors, smelling the papers, and admiring the different materials and packaging.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Order online for curbside pickup or delivery, or purchase a gift card.
Ice cream shop
Website: Pumphouse Creamery
Why Erin Loves Them: “This small but mighty ice cream shop boasts creative and gourmet flavors, with plenty of dairy-free options! They have pints available for pick up at a safe distance.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Purchase pints of ice cream for pickup or purchase an e-gift card.
Restaurant serving pub classics and family recipes
Website: George & the Dragon
Why Erin Loves Them: “A true neighborhood institution with the friendliest staff and best food (fish and chips, amazing salmon, and great rotating curries). Their key lime pie is my favorite dessert in the city!”
How to Support Them Right Now: Order takeout items.
Dedicated gluten-free (and peanut-free) bakery
Website: Sift Gluten Free
Why Erin Loves Them: “They offer gluten-free treats that never feel secondary and a welcoming coffee shop environment. They’re just starting to offer online ordering so stay tuned!”
How to Support Them Right Now: Order online for weekend pickup (online ordering begins every Monday and pickup is available Friday – Sunday).
Brewery and taproom
Website: Able Seedhouse & Brewery
Why Jackie Loves Them: “One of my favorite parts of (a typical) summer in Minneapolis is sitting outside and sipping a beer at a local brewery with friends. I love Able for their support of the community and local nonprofits, their beautiful taproom (it’s a joy to sit in it), and, of course, their beer offerings (Prospers and Better Selves are my favorites at the moment!).
How to Support Them Right Now: Stop by the taproom to purchase crowlers and gift cards (e-gift cards are also available).
Restaurant serving globally influenced dishes and wood-fired pizzas
Website: Young Joni
Why Jackie Loves Them: “I tend to be a big fan of ambiance in a space, and Young Joni (along with their back bar) has among the best in the business. That, along with their incredible food, wine options, and cocktails, make them one of my favorite dinner spots in the city. Someday I will go back there and eat shoulder to shoulder at one of their crowded bars (honestly, a dream) and it will be delightful.”
How to Support Them Right Now: Order takeout, available seven evenings a week (gift cards are also available online).
Running store carrying running shoes, apparel, and, gear
Website: Mill City Running
Why Jackie Loves Them: “I’ve been shopping at their store for all of my running purchases for years. They have an amazing selection of items, very helpful staff, and they host community events and runs for runners of all levels. I’m overdue for a new pair of running shoes and am eager to stop by the shop soon (with a mask on, of course).”
How to Support Them Right Now: Shop online and in-store (you can learn more about their new in-store appointment process here) or purchase a gift certificate online.
BY Jackie Saffert - May 20, 2020
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.