901 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-338-5950
People stop when they walk by the new J.B. Hudson store on Nicollet Mall. They tilt their heads as if to ask whether this place, with its lime green awnings and butterfly monogram, has always been there. Well, yes and no. For the past 80 years, J.B. Hudson has been shrouded in a windowless cave in what is now Macy’s department store, separated from the rest of the world by wrought-iron gates. That all changed when the jeweler moved to the Young Quinlan Building this winter. While the new location incorporates the best of the old—J.B.’s antique chandeliers and display cases, and the original Young Quinlan wall clock—it’s the white cathedral ceilings and natural light that make this gem sparkle. A large gallery features luxury watches, including a glamorous Cartier counter. In addition to mainstay brands, such as Chopard and Mikimoto, there’s now an entire room dedicated to trend jewelry, like H. Stern and John Hardy. Shocking turquoise walls differentiate this space from the rest of the store and, like everything else, defy a former image: that J.B. Hudson is for the wealthy, and the old. If the young shoppers and curious gawkers outside the windows are any indication, that image is already changing.