First Look: Urban Violet

A long-vacant storefront on Central Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis’ old Saint Anthony neighborhood has gotten a modern-bohemian update–in the form of Urban Violet. Located across the street from Rusty Taco, the store the second location for the business, which first opened in Stillwater in 2010. It adds to the wealth of retail offerings in the area, which also boasts top shops Parc, gh2, Mona Williams, and Primrose Park.

The shop specializes in women’s clothing that toes the line between trendy and classic with an emphasis on texture and layerings—think chunky, oversized knits; edgy, architectural vests; shredded boyfriend jeans; and swingy, lace-trimmed tops. Owners Jessamine Elkington and her mother, Laura, eschew name brands in favor of affordably priced yet good-quality pieces that the pair hand-select, which is apparent by the thoughtful merchandising of the store. “It’s more about the look and fabric of the pieces than the labels,” says Jessamine.

The store itself is beautifully decorated with both custom-made and upcycled-vintage fixtures, which pair nicely with the tall, exposed ceilings and raw-brick walls of the space. Jessamine says that the pair spent years looking for the perfect historic site in the Twin Cities before landing on 513 Central Ave. N.E.

A grand opening celebration is planned for Friday, September 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. that includes a gift basket giveaway, a complimentary tote bag with a $100 purchase, a gift certificate giveaway, and sips and sweet treats.

Now open, 513 Central Ave. N.E., Mpls., 612-345-4587,

More images of the new store:

all photos by Jahna Peloquin