The North Loop is an old Minneapolis neighborhood with a newish identity and a vibe that’s uncommonly warm for all of its industrial history. Bursting with little shops and funky eateries, it’s hip, friendly, and—come to think of it—exactly what a neighborhood should be.
There are gift stores and then there are gift stores. Corazon is the latter. Nothing about the space is cluttered, nothing smells like potpourri, and nothing looks like what you’ve seen in every other store around town. Thank owner Susan Zdon, a patron of local artisans. Collages and paintings punctuate the walls (and rotate every month or two), and local books, jewelry, linens, and stationery fill the spacious shop. These innumerable treasures, and the recent addition of an eclectic mix of clothing, shoes, and handbags, make shopping at Corazon a simple pleasure.
204 Washington Ave. N., 612-333-1662
Photo by Alli Jagoda
Oh, to be a man. Or to shop for one at this sumptuous store. Interior designer Greg Walsh, whose studio and retail space are under one roof, puts gentility back in gentleman with his men’s concept. Classic shaving sets, enameled cuff links, buttery-soft leather goods, polished-wood valet boxes, ivory-handled canes, and spicy candles conjure up Robert Redford in Out of Africa. Complement your purchase with a throw pillow or vase from Walsh’s adjacent home-accessories store, ID-inside design.
211 N. First St., 612-317-0045
This framing studio and store is like a sunny Italian workshop, its backdoor flung open to reveal exposed brick walls, embossed-metal tile ceiling, a vintage chandelier, and its owners, Sara and Mary, hunched over their latest work of art. The retail shop spills into the studio with old-world things: black-and-white photos, gilded frames, delicate notebooks, and letterpress papers. Find a gift. Encapsulate a memory. Get inspired.
213 Washington Ave. N., 612-676-0696
Sam’s Wine Shop
Sam’s is a bottle shop in the classic sense. You won’t find lots of liquor or beer here, or big names like Beringer and Kendall Jackson. You will, how-ever, find really good wine and accessible prices. The seasonal vintage will probably be on sale, as noted on a gigantic chalkboard, to encourage sampling. The shop also holds a popular winetasting the first Wednesday of every month.
218 Washington Ave. N., 612-455-1045
One on One Bicycle Studio
A bike shop, art gallery, and cafÃ© all in one, One on One is not your typical anything. Since the 1970s, the space has been inhabited by an array of artists and musicians. Today, its walls are lined with local art and old bicycles. One on One is a place where both tattooed bikers and blue suits sit down for a fresh, garlicky Greek tuna sandwich on wheat or a bowl of creamy butternut-apple soup. The menu changes monthly, but there’s always fair-trade coffee and giant baked goods. Take these delicacies to go, or stay and enjoy them to the sounds of Lynyrd Skynyrd.
117 Washington Ave. N., 612-371-9565