News from the Downtown Alliance
May 14, 2021
A note from the president

Friends,
 
As I’m sure you know, it's been another big week of news, announcements and stories. Aside from the big news from Governor Walz that the statewide mask mandate will be lifted for fully vaccinated Minnesotans in most circumstances, plenty else has been going on as well.
 
On Tuesday night, Lowertown welcomed the newly minted Triple-A St. Paul Saints back to CHS Field for the 2021 season. We stopped by to enjoy the festivities and despite a tough loss, the energy and excitement from the crowd felt like a win.
 
In other sports news, the Minnesota Wild start their playoff run this weekend in Las Vegas and will bring it home next Thursday evening at the Xcel Energy Center. We're looking forward to cheering them on back in the State of Hockey.
 
Other exciting news and happenings this week:
  • Ox Cart announced that the best rooftop bar in downtown has officially reopened;
  • Viking cruises are officially coming to downtown (more on that below);
  • City Council approved the next leg of the Capital City Bikeway; and
  • The annual Friends of Mears Park planting event is coming up this Sunday morning. Stop by between 9 a.m. and noon to visit with neighbors and enjoy the gardens and restored stream if you're around.
 
Finally, I got a kick out of this article in the Pioneer Press this morning. There's a decent chance you've heard me share my story of glimpsing the hidden brick and terra cotta façade of the Metro Square Building after a storm blew off one of the blue glass panels years ago. I couldn't believe what was hidden underneath all that glass. I've since learned (after crossing my fingers it wasn't so) that the original façade was too damaged to restore after the metal framework was added in the 50s, but right now you too can get a look at Saint Paul history as the panels are removed for maintenance.
 
Whew. That's all from me for this week but keep reading for even more downtown goodness.
 
Enjoy the weekend,

Joe Spencer
President
Saint Paul Downtown Alliance
Find the StPL!
Show your Saint Paul pride and snap a picture with the #StPL monument when you see it around downtown this summer! Be sure to tag us (@stpldowntown) and #WelcomeBackStPL to spread the word. Keep an eye out as you make your way around - it'll be on the move!
All aboard to head down the Mississippi
Yesterday, it was announced that the long-discussed Viking river tour between Saint Paul and New Orleans was the real deal. The 15-day journey is already sold out for 2022, but tickets for the following two years are still available. We're sure more exciting new and information is yet to come, but as Visit Saint Paul's CEO Terry Mattson put it,

"This is a big deal for Saint Paul."

We couldn't agree more!

Share your thoughts about the future of Minnesota Street
The City of Saint Paul plans to reconstruct Minnesota Street between Kellogg Boulevard and 11th Street starting in 2023. Project goals include improving safety, implementing a bikeway connection, improving the transit user experience, modernizing the aging infrastructure, creating a resilient and people-oriented corridor, and supporting the evolving needs of downtown users. What are your goals for the project?

Share them by taking the Public Works project survey.
Blood donations needed more than ever
Since March of 2020, several dedicated Lowertown volunteers, including Bill Hanley, Kelly Cipra, and Lee Ann LaBore, have been working with the Red Cross to organize a monthly blood drive to supplement the loss of employer-organized events.

Nationwide blood donations are down but the need is as great as ever. Appointments are still available for this month's blood drive, happening next Thursday at Union Depot. If you're able, please consider signing up to donate.

Downtown restaurant and retail options
Stumped for where to order dinner from these days? Or who has a patio to visit?

Have questions?

Banner photo cred : Visit Saint Paul