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A new shopping center opening? In 2009???? September 4, 2009

New shopping center?   Opening?   In 2009?   Are they mad?   The Shops at West End in St. Louis Park, Minnesota may be, but they are opening in October or November, 2009.  This new lifestyle center features an open central arcade with an arched roof to protect from rain.  (Rain?  This is Minnesota — snow happens….)  Tenants to open soon include Anthropologie, Creative Kidstuff, Uber Baby, Crave, Cooper and Tobey Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill.  

Let’s take a pictorial tour, and explore the new upscale Rainbow grocery store. 

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Not quite open yet, but soon, very soon...........

Not quite open yet, but soon, very soon...........

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Protected against rain in Minnesota -- gee, should we have thought of anything else?

Protected against rain in Minnesota -- gee, should we have thought of anything else?

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Ah, the freshness of a brand new store front in early fall......

Ah, the freshness of a brand new store front in early fall......

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Shareology loves Oscar; apparently Rainbow does too! 

The frozen section is also in a little nook all its own......

The frozen section is also in a little nook all its own......

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And now we bid adieu…………………. 

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Rainbow is aiming for an upscale market, with enhanced produce, prepared foods and a salad bar.  For a 55,000 square foot store, it feels surprisingly cozy.  In fact, two sections, produce and frozen, seem their own little worlds:  no hint here of the endless warehouse ceilings normally found.   Another first for frequent Rainbow shoppers:  quotations on the walls from the likes of James Beard and Oscar Wilde.  So Rainbow is open and soon more retail will follow.  

Kay Roseland  @KayLoire

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6 Responses to “A new shopping center opening? In 2009????”

  1. carl lee Says:

    Yes, they are mad. Their tenancy rate is less than 50 percent.
    The Rainbow looks great and they are using the new energy efficient refridgerators.

  2. Emily M Says:

    What immediately struck me about this is the Byerly-like arrangement. Clustering the frozen foods in a curved niche? The small, artfully displayed produce kiosks? Reminds me of the mothership Byerly’s just a few miles away, also in St. Louis Park. A good time for a more price-conscious retailer to deliver a higher-end shopping experience without the associated cost. Smart.

  3. Janet R. Says:

    Doing the happy dance. They may be crazy…but I’m thinking maybe crazy like a fox. Happy to see Rainbow delivering a grocery shopping experience that doesn’t make me dread setting foot in the place. Also, I just visited Crave in the Galleria today and had the most amazing artichoke crab dip (topped with a large shrimp and some crusty little “finished under the broiler” goodness) ever. I live within a few miles, and it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

  4. Neal K Says:

    The new Rainbow is off to a reasonably good start, but I wonder why a new store trying to position itself against TWO nearby Byerly’s already has resorted to tacky hand-printed signs. And way too many signs of all kinds. This is an under-served geography for a moderately priced store, so kudos there. But there are those Byerly’s stores. The St. Louis Park location is the flagship and remains a singular grocery store experience. The Golden Valley store just north is undergoing a major remodel — long overdue and probably prompted by Rainbow. I suspect that this Rainbow will slide into mediocrity in a year’s time. It’s just too hard for Roundy’s to maintain these standards when its norm is so down market.

    • Carl Says:

      Yes, once you are hooked on Byerly’s-Lunds, it’s hard to cut loose. However, the Rainbow store is perfectly located, and in real estate as with shopping location is everything.

      This store will grab not only Tyrol Hills shoppers on the east side of Hwy. 100, but will attract shoppers from along Glenwood (first east-west north of I-394) to the North and very large segment of the southwest quadrant out to I-494 and south to Hwy 7.

      I say this because the site possesses two very strong magnets across the street–Costco and Home Depot.
      Rainbow is also responding to customer expectations–the bar raised by B-L and other grocercy stores in the western suburbs.

      Rainbow put their store at a great crossroads.

      BTW: Crossroads would have been a much better name than “West End.” To what are they alluding? The London theatre district? And, the End, why do you want to go to the end?

      Markets have always been located near crossroads. This shopping area is located on one of the most clearcut crossroads in the Twin Cities.

      There is also the historical reference. The street West End is on used to be Turner’s Crossroads, when I-394 was old US 12. I’m sure there are still many shoppers who would remember that trivia.

      Also, in relation to where most of their future shoppers reside, they are to the east.


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