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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.


Give to the Max is November 16 - Early Donations Count Towards the Days Totals

Give to the Max Day doesn’t take place until Thursday, November 16, but you may make your donation early to count on Minnesota’s giving holiday!

Simply visit to search for the causes that mean the most to you and make your gifts. All donations made from now through November 16 will count toward Give to the Max Day totals.

All gifts made through November 16 are also eligible for Leaderboards, Golden Tickets and our $10,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket! In fact, GiveMN is giving away a $500 Scheduled Giving Golden Ticket each day from now until Give to the Max Day—so planning ahead could boost your organizations' chances of winning! Follow GiveMN's Facebook and Twitter accounts to see who wins the daily tickets.

Use this link to schedule your giving.


The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota Urges Us to Take Action to Save the Historic Tax Credit

Via a November 2 e-newsletter from the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota:

The Historic Tax Credit was not included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the long-expected tax reform bill introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives. This credit, which has been a permanent part of the tax code since President Ronald Reagan signed it into law in 1986, has created millions of jobs and rehabilitated tens of thousands of heritage buildings.

The retention of the Federal Historic Tax Credit is vitally important to Minnesotans because our state historic tax credit, which was passed with bipartisan support in 2010, is tied to use of the Federal credit. We need the Federal Historic Tax Credit to help sustain our robust local construction sector and to continue the efforts to reinvest in established communities across Minnesota.

In Minnesota alone, qualifying historic rehabilitation projects have generated $2 billion (yes, BILLION) in economic activity over the past six years, provided 12,000 jobs, and produced almost $680 million in labor income. The Federal historic tax credit returns $1.25 to the U.S. Treasury for every $1 in credit allowed, while in Minnesota almost $8 in economic activity is generated for every $1 of the state tax credit allowed.

The Conley-Maass-Downs Building in downtown Rochester was successfully rehabilitated using both Federal and state historic tax credits. The building now houses a restaurant and a collaborative work center, and received a Minnesota Preservation Award in 2017. Photo courtesy of CMD Holdings.

The House of Representatives is expected to work on amending the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act beginning next Monday, Nov. 6, and their goal is to have it finalized by Thanksgiving. Please join PAM in advocating for this credit by contacting your U.S. Representative and letting him or her know how important the historic tax credit is to Minnesota’s economy. U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (District 3, west metro suburbs) is a member of the House Ways and Means Committee; it is especially important that Congressman Paulsen hears from his constituents who support the Historic Tax Credit. At the same time, please urge Senators Klobuchar and Franklin to include the Historic Tax Credit in the Senate Tax Reform bill. Click here for contact information for all of Minnesota’s Representatives and Senators.

Not sure what to say? Here’s a sheet with key talking points from a national perspective.

Or read more about the Historic Tax Credit on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s website. (Hint: you might recognize the two featured examples!) This link also includes a compelling video of President Reagan presenting his reasons for signing the original 1986 historic tax credit legislation.

Or, contact us directly and we’ll help you draft your message! Call 651.293.9047 or e-mail Erin Hanafin Berg, PAM’s Director of Outreach and Policy.

Stay up-to-date on this important issue by following PAM on Twitter and Facebook.


Minneapolis Water Works Celebrating 150 Years: 1867 – 2017 on Display in Hennepin Gallery through November 29

Via a November 2 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

Minneapolis Water Works Celebrating 150 Years: 1867 – 2017 on display in Hennepin Gallery through November 29

In 1867, the Minneapolis City Council authorized the establishment of Minneapolis Water Works to supply water to the Minneapolis Fire Department.

The City established its first drinking water pump station by 1872 on the Mississippi River above St. Anthony Falls and expanded its distribution to residents—making Minneapolis the first city in Minnesota with a public drinking water system. 

Today Minneapolis Public Works Water Treatment & Distribution Services has developed a complex system that pumps approximately 21 billion gallons of water each year from the Mississippi River. It produces an average of 57 million gallons of drinking water each day—a rate that could fill Lake of the Isles in about four days.

This exhibit shows consumers how water is taken from the Mississippi River, treated and delivered to their tap, and provides a rare opportunity for the public to see water infrastructure that is normally hidden.  It also shows how some aspects of water treatment and distribution have changed over the years while others have remained constant over time.

On display are photos of the treatment and distribution processes and infrastructure as well as equipment and pipe actually used in the water treatment and distribution system. 

More information on the water treatment and delivery process: From river to tap:  Exploring how Minneapolis gets its water.

The Hennepin Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Hennepin County Government Center, A-level, 300 South Sixth Street, Minneapolis.

The exhibit is sponsored by Minneapolis Public Works Department. The Hennepin Gallery is a project of Hennepin County Communications.


November 8 - Eat at Wilde Cafe in support of National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month, and Wilde Cafe will be partnering with Avenues for Homeless Youth on November 8th for Avenue's annual fundraiser, Nourishing Dreams. Visit Wilde Cafe for breakfast, lunch or dinner to help them raise funds for the more than 30,000 meals Avenues provides each year to hungry adolescents. Along with other local restaurants, Wilde Cafe will be donating 10% of all sales for the day.


Find Your Next Job at Free Career Fair - November 6 at the Convention Center

Connect with employers hiring for jobs in transportation, customer service, healthcare, sales, maintenance and more at the MOnday, November 6th, Career Fair at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Room 200D, 1301 2nd Avenue S, 9:00am to 2:00 pm.

This location is served by several bus routes. Visit or or call 612-373-3333 for more details.

Job-seekers are encouraged to dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes.

Career fair features:
- More than 40 employers
- Tips for career fair success
- An employer panel
- Job search assistance
- Lunch and refreshments

Attending employers:
A & M Business Interior Services - ACR Homes - Atlas Staffing - Augustana Care - Blue Plate Restaurant Company - Cintas - CobornsDelivers - Comcast - Delta Global Services - Doherty Staffing - Dominos - DoubleTree Hotel St. Paul - Dungarvin - FedEx Express Airport - First Student - First Transit - Goodwill-Easter Seals - Great Wolf Lodge Minnesota - HMS Host - Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront - Jerry’s Enterprises  -Lorenz Bus Services - LSG Sky Chefs - Macy’s - Mall of America - Menards - Golden Valley - Mission Nursing Home - Orion Associates - Osseo Area Schools - Pinnacle Services - SP Plus - St. Paul Public Schools - SUPERVALU Distribution Center - Target (downtown) - The Family Partnership - Toys R Us – Minnetonka - Travelex - United States Postal Service - UPS - Wells Fargo - WIS International

Learn more at


Star Tribune Candidate Endorsements

Star Tribune endorsements from last week in the races affecting Downtown Minneapolis and adjacent neighborhoods:

Minneapolis is by no means a city in distress. But a sense that persistent problems are festering rather than being forcefully addressed afflicts the place that sets the pace for prosperity in Minnesota and the Twin Cities region.

In recent years, opportunities to acquire new civic assets and strengthen old alliances have been squandered; key constituencies say they have been excluded from decisionmaking; an uptick in violence threatens the vitality of the city’s showplace, its downtown; rising housing costs are eroding the sense that Minneapolis is a place where all are welcome and can succeed.

How to break through that malaise? Voters can start by electing a new mayor. We recommend first-choice votes for Jacob Frey in the Nov. 7 ranked-choice mayoral election. Read the Strib endorsement…

Incumbent, newcomer offer best mix of skills in First and Third Ward. Read the Strib endorsements…

Incumbents have the experience City Hall will need the next four years. Read the Strib endorsements…


Woodchuck plants a tree for every product sold

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck would chuck wood? Remember that? Most of us used to enjoy trying to say this tongue twister and probably had no idea if there was any meaning behind this phrase. This week, I was excited to visit a vibrant company in Northeast Minneapolis named Woodchuck that is making wonderful products while helping the environment.

I first learned about Woodchuck from Michael Mader, founder of Hippy Feet. Michael introduced me to John Guenveur and suggested I interview him and go visit Woodchuck. I’m so glad I followed up.

John Guenveur holding a Wood Journal

Woodchuck was founded by Ben VandenWymelenberg while he was in college at the University of Minnesota. Ben was frustrated by a smart phone with a cracked screen and, as an architecture major, designed a case for the phone. He used a laser cutter to cut out a piece of sticky wood veneer that he attached to the back of the phone, reinforcing it. Friends noticed and wanted one, as did a buyer at Target. They offered to buy thousands for $6 each and then sell them at $19 retail. Family and friends lent Ben $60,000 to fill the Target order.

While Ben paid back his lenders, with interest, the experience with Target was a failure. As most small business owners discover, education happens through experience, and Woodchuck had succeeded in learning, but not monetarily.

Ben had been awarded a scholarship for graduate school to M.I.T. and now had to decide if he wanted to do that or start a business. While interning his senior year at the Minneapolis architectural firm Cuningham Group, he developed a relationship with the founder, John Cuningham. He asked Cuningham’s opinion, who responded, “He was a fine young architect, but if you heard him talk about his business aspirations…it was a no-brainer. Why go to graduate school. And, so far, that business has been a whirlwind. And he’s had the time of his life.”

About a year after Ben started Woodchuck, John Guenveur connected with him and asked if he needed help. John was working for Best Buy and studying business at Carlson. He wanted ‘real world’ experience and Woodchuck sounded like an interesting idea.

In the early years, Ben got the idea to plant a tree for every product Woodchuck sells. In early October of this year, the company planted its ceremonial 1 millionth tree. In addition to Minnesota and Iowa (141,462), their trees can be found in a number of countries, including: Madagascar (603,246), Indonesia (170,000), Nepal (90,000), Peru (4411), France (1176), and New Zealand (1000). If you're keeping score, that's seven countries, and a total of 1,011,286 trees.

Sales have doubled every year since 2012, and the mission of the company is to put nature back into peoples' lives. Per Ben, “We are meant to have a deep connection with the Earth, and we want to be a daily reminder of that with our real wood products. It's also important to us to bring jobs back to America, while bringing quality products back to consumers. With every product sold, we plant a tree. It's our way of making a better world for future generations. It's not about us, it's about our planet and how we can make a difference now.” 

Woodchuck is a terrific small, local business to check out. Their products are inventive, useful, and pretty. While often used in corporate gifting, the items are also very appropriate for individual use. Woodchuck employs local workers, and is dedicated to making the world better.

If all of this sounds exciting, you may want to get involved. Some of the best ways to support this fascinating company are:

• Learn more about Woodchuck, follow them on Facebook
Donate to their cause
• Visit their company at 610 9th Street NE, Suite 100, in Minneapolis.  It's right in our backyard!

Claudia can be reached at 


Stronger Together - Call for Neighborhood Support to Assure Mill City Youth Players Program Continued Success

by Claudia Kittock

The Mill City Youth Players program, sponsored by the Friends of the Mill District in partnership with the Guthrie Theater, is returning. Actors are drawn from YouthLink and from the Cedar Riverside neighborhood.  Rehearsals will begin the week of November 5 and will be held at the Guthrie from 4:30p-6:30p, twice a week through the end of January. The program will culminate with two performances in the Dowling theater.

There will be many more details as the program progresses, but there is an immediate need for help from the community. We are seeking community volunteers to provide meals at 6:30p on the nights of the rehearsals. There will be about 20 young people and when they finish rehearsing, they are famished! We invite people to volunteer to bring dinner for a rehearsal and/or be willing to supply snacks for our actors as they arrive at rehearsal.

If you are interested and can help, please contact Claudia Kittock at There will be at least three months of rehearsals, and your help is needed and greatly appreciated. If you can bring dinner, please plan to stay and eat with the actors. Listening to these talented young people talk about what they are doing is truly inspiring!


October 28 marked the close of the 2017 Mill City Farmers Market outdoor season

Scary good bread and freaky pumpkins marked the end of the 2017 outdoor Mill City Farmers Market season. The winter markets return November 11 inside the Mill City Museum. Click here for the 2017-2018 indoor winter market information.

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market

October 28, 2017 Mill City Farmers Market


35W Bridge Aesthetic Lighting Replacement Project

I noticed a while back that the 35W Bridge went dark, so I checked out MnDOT's website to see what was up. I hope you're all as happy as I am to learn this is due to an Aesthetic Lighting Replacement Project, which is slated for completion on December 15, 2017. During this time, lighting on either side of the bridge will be turned off, including regularly scheduled special occasions.
Their website also states to expect temporary closures from late October to late November:
- Single lane closures on NB I-35W from 9am to 3pm and 8pm to 7am daily
- Single lane closures on SB I-35W from 9am to 3pm and 7pm to 6am daily
- Possible nighttime ramp closures from University Ave. to SB I-35W and Washington Ave. to NB I-35W


We were lucky to capture a number of photos of the bridge before the lights started burning out. The one below is from Halloween, 2011. We look forward to seeing the lights return to their former glory!


Met Council project work to close portion of Highway 55 in Minneapolis for two weeks beginning Oct. 30

Beginning Monday, Oct. 30, a quarter mile distance of Highway 55 just west of downtown Minneapolis between West Lyndale Avenue and Van White Boulevard will close for two weeks. Crews working on this Metropolitan Council project will replace a structurally deficient 130-year old storm sewer in anticipation of the Blue Line extension light rail line.

Traffic will be detoured to Highway 100 and Interstate 394 during construction. Local access will be maintained to the surrounding neighborhoods and Summit Academy OIC.  Access to existing polling locations will also not be impacted during the planned roadway detours.  A sidewalk along Highway 55 will remain open. Route 19 buses will be detoured around the closure area, and rider alerts will be posted at impacted bus stops.

For a detour map and construction information, see and Detour information is also available at for drivers, trail users and bus riders.


Road Closures for October 28 Halloween Half Marathon, 5K & 10K

Road closures for October 28, from 7:30am-12:00pm, for the Halloween Half Marathon, 5K & 10K:
West River Parkway - Plymouth Ave to E 42nd St
Main Street SE
Stone Arch Bridge

Free Coffee and Donuts on November 2 Kick Off the “Season of Giving” at Minneapolis Visitor Information

Via an October 25 e-newsletter from Meet Minneapolis:

Visitors will also enjoy shopping discounts and have an opportunity to learn how Hippy Feet Socks and YouthLink give to those in need.

As the season of giving approaches, Minneapolis Visitor Information (505 Nicollet Mall, Suite 100, directly across from the METRO Nicollet station) will provide complimentary tasty treats and an opportunity to learn about two local organizations – each whose mission includes giving to those in need.

As part of its “First Thursdays” event, individuals are welcome to stop by the Nicollet at 5th Street shop for free donuts from Cardigan Donuts and coffee from Caribou on Thursday, November 2 from 9am to Noon (while supplies last). After enjoying the light breakfast, consider shopping for gifts such as Hippy Feet Socks, where your purchase means warm feet for someone else, and be introduced to YouthLink, a program dedicated to providing aid and resources for homeless youth in the Twin Cities.


  • Free coffee and donuts (while supplies last)
  • Learn more about YouthLink’s efforts in the Minneapolis community
  • 15 percent off Hippy Feet socks (all day): For every pair purchased, a pair is donated to homeless shelters--socks are the least donated, but most needed, at shelters! 
  • 10 percent off all Love from Minneapolis retail store merchandise (all day, excludes transit sales)

First Thursdays are held each month to encourage residents, employees of downtown businesses and visitors to learn more about Minneapolis Visitor Information and its partners, Love from Minneapolis and Move Minneapolis, as well as highlight community organizations and events. Minneapolis Visitor Information is located at 505 Nicollet, Suite 100, directly across from the Nicollet METRO station.

For more information on First Thursdays events, go to:  


Minneapolis Visitor Information includes three services in one convenient location on Nicollet at 5th Street:                                                                 

  • Shop: Love From Minneapolis offers Minneapolis- and Minnesota-themed apparel, art, specialty foods, souvenirs and gifts, including many made by local artisans. Products are also available at:
  • Move: Move Minneapolis (formerly the Commuter Connection) provides services to commuters, carpool information, transit passes, schedules and maps, MnPass and bicycling commuting information and accessories. Visitors seeking help with transit options should make this their first stop downtown.
  • Find: Meet Minneapolis staff is available to answer questions, share visitor maps and provide suggestions about things to do in Minneapolis and the surrounding area. The Visitor Information Center in the Minneapolis Convention Center also is available to provide similar information to visitors and convention attendees.


Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit to the greater Minneapolis area.

Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destinations International.


November 9 Open House for Update on Water Works Project

Open House planned to discuss progression of project design, programming, food vendor and schedule

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is hosting an open house to give an update on the Water Works project on Thursday, Nov. 9, 6-8 pm at the Nicollet Island Pavilion, 40 Power Street.

At 6:15 pm, members of the Water Works project team will give a brief presentation highlighting features of the park project design and give general project updates. Also, Frank Haney, culinary ethnobotanist and Indigenous chef from The Sioux Chef team, will be present to discuss the food concept selected for the indoor pavilion at Water Works. Limited samples of The Sioux Chef food will be available.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) and Minneapolis Parks Foundation (MPF) invite all interested members of the public to attend and comment on the Water Works project. Families are welcome!

About this project

Water Works is a transformative park development project on the downtown side of St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge that will bring significant new historic, cultural, and recreational amenities to the Central Riverfront.


Restoration of Hall’s Island Along Northeast Minneapolis Riverfront Begins in November

Scherer site concept renderingAn illustration showing the completed plans for Hall's Island. The island will remain off-limits to people during this first phase to allow plants and wildlife habitat to establish.


Work to carve back channel, build out island will take place over next 6-8 months at Scherer site


The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) announced construction begins in November on a project that will restore Hall's Island along the Northeast Minneapolis riverfront. Work will be based out of the Scherer site, an 11-acre piece of land directly north of the Plymouth Avenue Bridge that was purchased by the MPRB in 2010.

Restoring Hall’s Island will be an important milestone in the long-term vision laid out for Upper Riverfront in RiverFirst and Above the Falls Master Plan. These plans call for the incremental transformation of more than 11 miles of largely inaccessible shoreline degraded through decades of industrial use into an ecologically valuable network of parkland and trails.

Work to construct the island will include expanding the existing shoreline into the river and carving out a back channel through the Scherer site to form the island. This phase of the project is expected to last up to eight months.


 Hall's Island aerial image collageAn aerial image collage showing past and future land use at the Hall's Island / Scherer site



Hall's Island History and Upcoming Work

The island shows up on the earliest known survey (1895) of the Mississippi River through Minneapolis. The City of Minneapolis operated a bath house on the island from 1905 to 1926. Hall’s Island was sold to Scherer Bros Lumber Co in 1963 and Scherer Bros filled the channel and connected the island to shore in 1966 to expand mill operations.

The MPRB purchased the Scherer site in 2010. From 2011 to 2013, a plan to restore the island and build a park on the adjacent shoreline was created and approved as part of RiverFirst and Above the Falls Master Plan. In 2013, the Minnesota State Legislature authorized a six-year window to restore Hall’s Island.

Since then, the MPRB and consultants conducted extensive environmental investigation and advanced design work to get the project permitted through the US Army Corps of Engineers, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Once restored, Hall’s Island will stretch from the northern edge of the Scherer site, extend south underneath the Plymouth Avenue Bridge and include the Boom Island Lighthouse at its southern tip. It will feature a sandy habitat beach (off-limits to people), rock ledges, basking logs, shrubs, plants, trees and prairie grasses.

The open water back channel will range from approximately 120 to 150 feet wide, with an average depth of approximately six feet during normal flow conditions. Materials placed in the back channel will provide high-quality habitat for native mussels.

Aerial photo of the Scherer site on October 24, 2017, before Hall's Island construction beginsAerial photo of the Scherer site before construction begins. Over winter workers will use clean fill to extend the shoreline into the river & carve a back channel through the pictured land.

Future Phases and Construction Impacts

Future phases of park development will include two pedestrian bridges connecting to the island from the Scherer site and a third bridge connecting to Boom Island Park, an elevated boardwalk on the island with observation platforms, and expanded riverfront trails across the mainland.

Construction is scheduled to start in November. Initial work will include soil remediation and site grading. The Mississippi East Bank Trail will close between Boom Island Park and Sheridan Memorial Park during most of the construction period and reopen next summer, when the project is scheduled to wrap up.

The trail detour reroutes pedestrians and bicyclists to Marshall Street NE between 8th Avenue NE and 13th Avenue NE.

To learn more about this project and others, visit


Preserve Minneapolis Seeks to Fill Open Seats on its Board of Directors

Preserve Minneapolis invites you to join their Board of Directors

Preserve Minneapolis has multiple open seats on its Board of Directors and is seeking applications from interested individuals. We have a particular need for persons with backgrounds in website design/maintenance and/or graphic design.

If you're passionate about, well, preservation in Minneapolis, we'd love to hear from you! To be considered, please send a letter of interest to Board Secretary Kelly Mastin at by Monday, November 6, 2017. 

In your letter, please include comments regarding:

• Your interest and/or background in preservation in Minneapolis (or elsewhere)
• How you could help the board and the organization in its mission to improve the quality of life in Minneapolis by recognizing, preserving, and revitalizing the architectural and related cultural resources of the city of Minneapolis
• Special skills, experience, or interests (etc.) that you would contribute to the board

These positions are for a three-year term, with the possibility of a longer-term extension. The Board meets every other month, in addition to the annual meeting. The current board of directors is listed on our web site.

We'd love to have you join us and look forward to hearing from you. Please share this information with anyone who may be interested in applying.

Get involved: Support Preserve Minneapolis with a donation or by volunteering

For the latest Preserve Minneapolis news and events, find us on Facebook.


C’est Chic Boutique Imports Clothes and Accessories from France

Article and photos by Merle Minda 

Want to dress like a Parisienne? You can, without traveling to France. Paris fashions, known world-wide as a city of best-dressed women and a spectacular fashion hub, can be had in the Minneapolis North Loop for a fraction of high-fashion pricing.

C’est Chic Boutique in the North LoopC’est Chic Boutique in the North Loop

Pam Pappas Stanoch opened C’est Chic Boutique eight years ago and has persevered through the ups and downs of North Loop shopping. This charming store, at 210 North 2nd Street in the Warehouse District, carries Pam’s determination to bring French fashion to Minneapolis.

Pam Pappas Stanoch, owner of C’est ChicPam herself has an interesting background, starting out teaching high school French; she is highly fluent in the language. Then, armed with a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Intercultural Communication, she morphed from teaching to starting her own global business based on cross-cultural training, a specialty she continues to this day. But always, in the midst of her global travels to such places as China, Singapore, Rwanda (both before and after the genocide), India, Brazil, and, of course, France, it was her heart’s desire to open a shop featuring French clothing in Minneapolis.

Helper Dina models a French lookHelper Dana models a French look

She chose a Paris model for what she wanted to create in Le Grain de Sable, (Grain of Sand), a small French shop on the Ile St. Louis in Paris. Starting out with this idea, C’est Chic now offers a range of French clothing and accessories for women, including dresses and coats, jackets, purses, fabulous hats and scarves. Pam does all her buying at the Salon, a fashion hub at Porte de Versailles in Paris. She shops twice a year, and looks for smaller and more original designers.

Black and red French-styleBlack and red French-style

“Some of these designers are really small; I like to find new designers before they get too big,” Pam notes. Many of her offerings are only available in the United States at C’est Chic. She has even added some products imported from Italy – beautiful Italian purses, for example. She also occasionally features local jewelry designers.

A gorgeous French wrapA gorgeous French wrap

Taupe anyone?But there’s more: Pam led a group of customers to Paris this year on a French shopping trip taking them to designer workshops and to her favorite spots in Paris. And C’est Chic regularly puts on special events in the shop for tips on putting a wardrobe together, such as how to work with colors besides black (“…Navy is the new black,” says Pam), how to accessorize, how to wear stripes, and even French make-up and skin care. Watch the website or get on the email list for these events because they fill up quickly. Keep watching the shop all during the year as Pam’s stock choices rotate with our Minnesota seasons.

Pam herself is a dynamo. Carrying on her world-wide cross-cultural training business and running C’est Chic Boutique adds up to more than two full-time jobs. Somehow she thrives on being the center of all this activity. Pam’s personal Christmas parties are legendary for their food, their French influence and her wide circle of friends, albeit husband Joe does most of the cooking! Pam’s warmth and enthusiasm imbues the C’est Chic shopping experience from the start; you might even be heard to say “Vive la France” before you leave.

C’est Chic Boutique is located at 210 North 2nd Street in the North Loop between 2nd and 3rd Avenue North. Hours are Monday through Friday, 11am – 6pm; Saturday, 10am-6pm; and Sunday, 12 noon to 5pm. Website is, or call the shop at 612-339-1600.

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About Merle Minda

Journalist and free-lance writer Merle Minda writes about travel, business, people profiles and other subjects for a number of national and regional publications, including Delta SKY, Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Business, Star Tribune, Twin Cities Statement, Minnesota Monthly, and now Mill City Times. She can be reached at or on the web.


Today's Pressing Question: Who Will Win the "How to Cook Minnesotan" Contest?

The entry deadline has passed (October 20), so now it's time to review the submissions and see if you can guess who the winners of the How to Cook Minnesotan contest will be! (If it were solely based on the recipe name, I'd say "Grain Belt Chicken" is a good bet.)

Categories included Hotdish (well, dah!), Bars and Wild Card. Mpls St Paul magazine Food and Dining editor, Steph March, will pick the top 3 winners soon, and you can view them here.


Traffic Alert - October 22 Vikings Game Street Closures Update

The City of Minneapolis will close streets around US Bank Stadium for Sunday’s Noon Minnesota Vikings game.

Beginning at 6:00am Sunday, the City will close:
• Chicago Avenue, from Fourth Street to Sixth Street.
• Norm McGrew Place from Third Street to Fourth Street.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday, the City will close:
• Fourth Street from Park Avenue to Interstate 35W.

These street closings are for traffic safety and security needs related to a large stadium event. All streets will reopen about one hour after the completion of the game.

Metered spaces change for events
Prior to the game, metered parking spaces on streets surrounding U.S. Bank Stadium will switch from hourly rates to event rates. Starting at 9am, event rate spaces will require a flat fee of $25, which will cover parking costs for the entire game. Anyone starting a parking session after 1pm will use hourly rates. To find out which streets have event rate parking use the interactive parking meter map.

All of the City’s parking pay stations and the MPLS Parking app on a smartphone (iPhone or Android device) will automatically charge the rate in effect.

Drivers should follow all signed hours of enforcement, time limits and other parking restrictions. Please watch for heavy pedestrian traffic along streets close to the stadium.


The One That Got Away...

Rob Manning submitted these pictures he captured from the 3rd Avenue Bridge of a WaveRunner that got snagged on the Horseshoe Dam. He said he call called 911 this past weekend, and while law enforcement knew the craft was there, they said they have to wait until the current isn't as strong to attempt recovery.