News from the Downtown Alliance
January 29, 2021
A note from the president

It's a bittersweet weekend in downtown as the Winter Carnival kicked off its 135th year. While COVID-19 has prevented some of our favorite events from happening downtown, I encourage everyone to check out the fun adaptations the Winter Carnival has made in order to continue the tradition. With Roy Wilkins now serving as a vaccination site (more below), I am feeling optimistic that our favorite traditions will soon resume in our downtown.
Our team continues to put the pieces in place to launch the Safety Communications Center. Its great to have John on board, and we should have more to share about the team and the technology we are putting in place in the days ahead. We’re also working on ramping up a campaign help accelerate our recovery in downtown Saint Paul. It is exciting to think about our employers bringing workers back, and our venues bringing visitors back (when the time is right). More details will be coming soon.
Finally, as I have often said, Saint Paul benefits from the commitment and partnership of many organizations. In navigating 2020, we saw support come from a variety of organizations, including our hometown utility District Energy St. Paul. They were gracious enough to ask me to share my thoughts in their 2020 Annual Report

Stay warm and take care, 

Joe Spencer
Saint Paul Downtown Alliance
What's all the buzz about?
Earlier this week the latest episode of the 99% Invisible (99PI) podcast from KALW in San Francisco caused quite a bit of buzz in downtown Saint Paul. Why?


The 99PI team took a deep dive into the history of the Minneapolis and Saint Paul skyways and how they've evolved alongside both downtowns over the past half century as well as what their future could look like. As is to be expected, there are a number of varied viewpoints on the downtown infrastructure we love to debate. We'd encourage everyone to listen for yourselves and if you're so inclined feel free to share your thoughts on the SPDA Facebook post.

Optimism as vaccines continue to roll out
Roy Wilkins Auditorium, which has been functioning as a COVID-19 testing site since October, also became a vaccination site this week. A push to vaccinate 15,000 educators in five days kicked off yesterday. The excitement is palpable every day more Minnesotans receive their vaccines.

The staff at the Saint Paul RiverCentre have devoted significant work to make the space safe and available for Minnesotans all over the region, and we're incredibly grateful for all of their efforts.
Small Business Spotlight
Legacy Chocolates
When Lorraine and Mark Dixon purchased Legacy Chocolates in 2012, the shop was located in Menomonie, Wisconsin, but there were countless requests to come back to Saint Paul. The Saint Paul location on Marshall Ave. had closed three years earlier but was never forgotten. In 2014 the Dixons moved the whole operation to the Pioneer Endicott building in downtown. Beyond out of this world truffles, the Dixons added a bakery with a variety of options available daily and hand-poured coffee with fresh roasted beans.

From Lorraine,

"Legacy Chocolates is dedicated to restoring the fine craft of real chocolate wherever discerning mouths are found. We are committed to the production of fresh, handmade, nutritious, high-quality chocolate at affordable prices. Our intent is to have everyone know about, and fall in love with the earth’s most perfect food - REAL chocolate."

If you're like me and have essentially lost all sense of time, please consider this week's Small Business Spotlight a gentle reminder that Valentine's Day is two weeks away. Whether you're shopping for someone else or yourself (absolutely no shame in that game), it's a good idea to stay ahead of the curve and place a chocolate order with Legacy sooner than later. Orders can be placed online for pick up or delivery, and current shop hours and information can be found here.

This year we'll be regularly featuring the small businesses that make our downtown second to none.
Have a business you own or love and want to see it featured?
Downtown restaurant and retail options
Stumped for where to order dinner from these days? Or who might have that perfect gift?

Have questions?

Banner photo cred : Visit Saint Paul