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First Look: Askov Finlayson's New Space


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The new Askov Finlayson store

Jahna Peloquin

Four years after opening in the same historic North Loop warehouse, Askov Finlayson is all grown up. This Saturday, the menswear store founded by brothers Eric and Andrew Dayton—housed in the same building as the Dayton-owned Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar—reopens in a larger, sleeker space.

Located adjacent to the former storefront on the main floor of the 1888-era building dubbed the Historic Hennepin Hotel, the new space has been long in the making—the brothers bought the building with the intention of eventually relocating the store there in 2012. At 1,800 square feet, it’s nearly double the size of its former space; the store’s thoughtfully curated selection of menswear, outdoor gear, and accessories are merchandised within forest-green walls and brass fixtures that evoke a more sophisticated, well-groomed sensibility. Playful touches—such as a bubble hockey table and a row of neatly arranged, brightly painted Sanborn Canoe Co. paddles decorating a wall—keep the space from feeling too serious. Designed by Minneapolis-based architect James Dayton Design, the new store also features furnishings by local design company RO/LU that are said to be inspired by the "North" movement Eric Dayton has helped spearhead.

A big chunk of the new storefront is devoted to a Warby Parker eyewear showroom, the brand’s first retail outpost in the state. "Minneapolis is quickly establishing itself as a hotbed of design intelligence, and Askov Finlayson is a prime example,” said Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker co-founder and co-CEO, in a press release. “We couldn’t think of a friendlier partner for putting down roots in Minneapolis."

The new store’s merchandise selection is similar to that of its original location, with an expanded selection of men’s suiting in the back corner alongside shelves of rugged yet polished footwear options from Rancourt & Co. and Red Wing; outdoor gear from Patagonia and Fjällräven tucked up front with Askov Finlayson–branded Explorer pants and signature ball caps emblazoned with the word "North."; and a corner shop dedicated to apothecary items, small leather goods, and high-end outdoor goods such as waxed-canvas can koozies and carved-birch pocket knives. The new location will also introduce an exclusive, new collaboration of bags and small accessories with Duluth, Minnesota–based Frost River, a hand-painted paddle custom-designed by Winona, Minnesota–based Sanborn Canoe Co., and a series of duffel bags in collaboration with Best American Duffel.

The grown-up clubhouse vibe of the shop extends to a newly constructed courtyard and "pocket park" between the two buildings, which the store connects to via sliding glass doors. On the other end of the patio, the former Askov space will be transformed into a Bachelor Farmer–operated café this fall. When the café closes at 4 p.m., beer, wine, and snacks will be served from a retro-fitted airstream trailer tucked in the back of the patio.

Saturday’s grand opening festivities include appearances by the Bachelor Farmer’s sausage cart, Dogwood's Cold Press Zamboni, and cocktails from Marvel Bar.

Opening Sat., 204 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-206-3925, askovfinlayson.com

More photos from inside the new store:

photos by Jahna Peloquin

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