Dear Grand Avenue Businesses and Supporters,


Welcome to our new GABA Newsletter! We hope you enjoy staying up to date on GABA events, featured businesses, and important updates that impact us all. Our newly adopted mission statement is simple and clear: We support Grand Avenue business success and promote our community as a unique destination experience.


In recent years, Grand Avenue business leaders with a passion for the Avenue have come together with a focus on rebuilding GABA to serve our member businesses for decades to come. To support our rebuilding efforts, we have engaged the St. Paul Area Chamber’s WorkStream professional services division to help us create a new Strategic Plan, focus on rebuilding trust, growing membership, re-thinking Grand Old Day for 2023, securing the staff, financing, and oversight necessary to achieve these goals AND reengaging businesses through enhanced communication (like this newsletter).


Over the next three years, GABA will focus our efforts to achieve the following goals:

  • Promote Grand Avenue
  • Create Family-Friendly Seasonal Events
  • Support Member Businesses
  • Partner With Community

Many thanks to our 2022 board members who have stepped up to rebuild GABA for the benefit of their businesses and others, and the community at large:

  • Nancy Berger, CBBurnet                 
  • Angela Brasel, CBBurnet                 
  • Lanai Koep, Kinderberry Hill            
  • Deanna Seppanen, Macalester College
  • Nick Sundsmo, Lloyd’s Automotive
  • Brian Wagner, Coldwell Banker, MGCC Representative
  • Holly Weinkauf, Red Balloon Bookshop  

The future is certainly Grand! Be part of the rebuilding effort and renew your membership or join todayOur Board welcomes member feedback and our success requires your engagement. Please join us at Paws on Grand on August 7th and later this summer for our next GABA Happy Hour. Watch for more information on the date and location!

I'm grateful for the opportunity to partner in rebuilding this exciting vision for the future. Great things are ahead and I look forward to working with you to get there!

Chris Jensen, 

Axia Home Loans  

President, GABA



Paws on Grand - Join us August 7th!

Celebrate our Furry Friends on the Avenue

Time for some fun. Register for Dog Races and our Fun Walk and visit the Paws on Grand Marketplace.

There will be 11 great rescues at host businesses along the Avenue, Pet Portraits, and more! View our Facebook page for more activities and location details.

Find out more!


Happy Hour at Red Rabbit

Check it out!

We appreciate our Grand Avenue restaurants! Many thanks to Derrick Schrader and Michael Giacomini at Red Rabbit for hosting the June 24th GABA Happy Hour!

Support this generous member business and check out their summer Happy Hour every Tuesday - Friday. 2 - 5 PM.

Red Rabbit Happy Hour

Holly Weinkauf


Red Balloon Books

"So much of my life revolves around Grand Avenue. Not only do I own a business on Grand Ave, I also live in the neighborhood. I love connecting with other Grand Avenue businesses and know that having a strong association is important for all of us. We currently have a great group of people involved in GABA and lots of good energy. I’m excited for what we all can do together! "

July Featured GABA Member:

Holly Weinkauf & Red Balloon Bookshop

Red Balloon Bookshop has been helping children, teens, and adults in the Twin Cities connect with great books and great authors for more than 35 years!

This charming local independent children's bookshop also features storytime, toys & games. 

Owner Holly Weinkauf and her bookselling team are dedicated to serving our community with books, gifts, and events that inspire, inform and entertain, helping children of all ages - and adults live imaginative and rich lives.

Holly has also dedicated time to reviving GABA and putting the tools in place to grow the association. She currently serves as the GABA Treasurer.

As an engaged business partner in the community, this month Red Balloon has had Waldo, the famous children’s book character in the striped shirt and black-rimmed specs visit 25 different local businesses, including Red Balloon Bookshop.

You can even see Waldo wandering Grand Avenue on TikTokThere is still time to pick up a “Find Waldo Local” stamp card and collect stamps when you find the well-hidden Waldo at any participating businesses and win prizes.

Join the We Found Waldo Party on Sunday, July 31 at 1:00pm! 

Shop Red Balloon!

Membership Matters!

Your membership will help rebuild GABA and create an operational fund to ensure you are on our roster, can participate in upcoming events, and re-establish communication and promotion for our members through this newsletter and social media. 

GABA Membership Form

Important Updates for Grand Avenue Businesses:

Summit Avenue Regional Trail Masterplan - Share your viewpoint!

The City of St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department is completing a draft of the Summit Avenue Regional Trail Masterplan. GABA recognizes that there are many viewpoints and tradeoffs that may impact your businesses in different ways. It is extremely important for each Grand Avenue business to learn more and share your perspective on the future plans of our neighboring Avenue!

The approval of the master plan will provide access to federal funding for reconstruction of bike paths on Summit. The plan will guide the redesign with tradeoff effects on safety, bike path location, reduction of parking, change to the historic look, and some trees close to the existing street. The Project Overview and FAQs on the city website will provide detailed information on the project schedule of the master plan and how to provide feedback. There are also several advocacy groups providing support for specific priorities. We will continue to keep you informed of the process and opportunity for input.

The section of Summit Avenue between Lexington and Hamline is slated for reconstruction in 2023. Although it is a separately funded project, the design of this section will be influenced by the proposals included in the master plan.

Public Works is continuing to reconstruct the curb cuts from Snelling to Lexington on Summit Avenue in preparation for the mill and overlay this summer. 

View the  Project Overview and FAQs.

2024 Grand Avenue Reconstruction

The city of St. Paul is redesigning Grand Avenue between Fairview and Snelling. This $7 million dollar investment is scheduled for reconstruction in the summer of 2024. In addition to the impact in that area, the new design will likely create a template for other areas of Grand, so share your feedback now!

Viking River Cruises is coming to St. Paul

Introduce your Grand Avenue business to the hundreds of Viking River Cruise guests who will dock at Lambert's Landing on August 20. Travelers from around the world will arrive in St. Paul and embark on their exploration of America's Heartland. 

If you would like to be included in the Viking River Cruise visitor information, please submit this form.

Help rebuild our photo library and promote your business!

Send us your photos of people living, shopping, dining, and enjoying Grand Avenue! Send photos to and include a photo credit and we'll feature more imagery in our monthly newsletters and social media. 

Grand Avenue Business Association