Your Guide to St. Louis Park (SLP)
Centrally located and brimming with character, St. Louis Park is quickly becoming the hottest place to live and work in the Twin Cities area. Flanked by convenient highways 394 and 169, cozy France Ave. and popular Excelsior Blvd., St. Louis Park is the perfect ratio of city life and suburban dwelling. Ten minutes will get you from downtown Minneapolis to SLP unless you stop at any of the hundreds of shops and sights along the way.
It’s where you can escape the cramped confines of limited urban space while still being able to enjoy attractions and eateries that make being a Minneapolitan worthwhile. A nature center, 51 parks, a recreation center, an amphitheater, 24 miles of trails, and a plethora of retail stores call St. Louis Park home, so why wouldn’t you? For more than 150 years, St. Louis Park has been a go-to for families and singletons craving the hustle of the city combined with ample space and solitude. Find fun on land with the miles of trails or in the water on one of the nearly 10 lakes surrounding the city. The Realtors at Roost Real Estate know all the thrills SLP has to offer and it’s time you know about them too. When you want the best of both worlds, St. Louis Park is where you can have your proverbial cake and eat it too.
The History of the Thriving Suburb
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, St. Louis Park was home to a whopping 45,250 people with no shortage of growth in sight. With booming industry and a bottomless well of public resources, SLP is the ideal place to go solo or start a family. It’s the ideal arena for living, working and of course, playing. How did this suburb gain its popularity though?
In the 1860s, just west of the heart of Minneapolis was a village called Elmwood. In 1886, 31 people from Elmwood signed a petition asking city commissioners to incorporate the Village of St. Louis Park, a name derived from the Minneapolis and St. Louis railway that ran through the area. To avoid confusion with St. Louis, Missouri, the word “park” was added. And in case you thought St. Louis Park shuttered its past, don’t worry. Elmwood is still a notable neighborhood within the city. This transition marked the point in time that Elmwood went from sleepy town to bustling village seemingly overnight.
The city’s first developer started planning the creation of a series of subdivisions in 188, and in 1890, wild-eyed industrialists sought to develop the village into a hub of residential and commercial use. Growth was inevitable as these barons lusted after putting SLP on the map as a notable destination for both work and play. The year 1890 also saw 600 industrial jobs fill factories, which is mighty impressive given that just a few years prior, the village was just about as big as the crowd at a modern-day 1-year-old’s birthday party.
Financial crisis hit America’s breadbasket and St. Louis Park’s growth slowed dramatically for the remainder of the 1800s. A bright spot came in the form of America’s first concrete tubular grain elevator, a sight that is still standing today. SLP’s city-ship didn’t come until 1954 when voters approved to change the village’s status. Becoming a city lit a fire under improving water systems, paving roads and building schools. Essentially, becoming the city we know and love today. SLP saw tremendous residential growth post-World War II, which inevitably brought retail and commercial development with it.
The St. Louis Park We Know Today
Once you start traveling west across the boundaries of well-known Minneapolis footholds Uptown and Downtown, you hit St. Louis Park. It's arm’s-reach proximity makes it a tempting retreat for those who want the thrills and attractions of a major Midwest metro without actually living in the city. As home to familiar companies like Nordic Ware and MoneyGram, with hubs of local and nationally recognized shops at West End and Excelsior & Grand, this city has grown to include more than 2,700 businesses.
Trains, light rail tracks and buses make St. Louis Park a short commute from work across Greater Minneapolis and you can find yourself at the heart of Downtown Minneapolis in 10 minutes flat by car or 30 minutes by bike via the scenic Cedar Lake Trail. With a mind on such fluid mobility and growth that benefits the good of St. Louis Park compatriots, it’s still a destination for those seeking something different.
If you’re thinking of a move in or around Minneapolis, considering St. Louis Park is a great first step. From culture to resources to nightlife, check out all SLP could offer you in your new roost.
Family Living: Parks and Schools
St. Louis Park is the ideal place to raise a family. A strong focus on providing high-quality education, parks, recreational activities, and arts and culture renders SLP a veritable think tank of progress and culture.
All 7 of St. Louis Park’s public schools have been recognized as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education, making it the only school district in Minnesota to have accomplished this milestone. In addition to the seven high-achieving public schools, there are 10 private schools dotting the city ranging from language-immersion schools to religious schools.
Creating an active lifestyle is also on the top of St. Louis Park’s priorities list. This city maintains 24 miles of walking trails, 17 of which are plowed for year-round outdoor enthusiasts. Trails take anywhere from a quick 5 minutes to a cardio-bumping 1.5 hours to complete (if you’re walking, that is). Regional trails enable carless traveling to Uptown, Downtown, Hopkins, and everywhere in between. Convenient access to the Midtown Greenway Trail allows you to go even further so make a day of it and hit up the Midtown Global Market or even St. Paul.
Eateries, Drinkeries and Beyond
While your short jaunt to bustling Minneapolis hot spots is definitely a bonus, rubbing borders doesn’t mean you have to leave your own city to get some great grub or drinks. If walkable eating and drinking destinations is on your checklist of new house must-haves, you should’ve moved here yesterday.
Finding a place to snack and indulge is easy when you’re in this city. You could check out easy-to-use reservation sites like OpenTable where you can see what restaurants are great and available for you, a date or a big party. Or you could wing it and go to the an axis of fun and good food at the West End and the trending Shops at Excelsior and Grand. Both areas are bursting with favorite retail shops as well as many of the fine restaurants listed below. When in doubt, you’ll never be wrong by heading out to either of those hot spots.
Steel Toe Brewing
Craft microbreweries aren’t just for the hipsters in Minneapolis. They’re also meant for the hipsters in St. Louis Park! All jokes aside, craft brews are some of the finest beers around, created by some seriously passionate beer-lovers. Steel Toe Brewing is bringing an amalgamation of ales, porters and more to the fine folks of SLP, one pint at a time. With “big dream of staying small,” you can rest assured that this brewery will stay a hometown favorite where everyone can know your name. And with finger-licking food trucks parking curbside, you can also pick up some of the best food in town to accompany your brew.
Bunny’s Bar and Grill
A staple of SLP, Bunny’s is a household name when it comes to your classic bar and grill. Serving ice-cold craft beers alongside baskets of fries, burgers and wings is what they specialize in. Camaraderie and a good view of a large-screen TV comes on the house.
Punch Bowl Social
What do you get when you throw a couple lanes of bowling, vintage arcade games, big screen TVs, karaoke, table games, and, oh yeah, a bar and kitchen together? You get the social be-all end-all Punch Bowl Social. Adult ice cream beverages and clever cocktails will have you saddling up to the gorgeous round bar in the center of the action all night. Small plates and hearty entrees will have you licking the plate. Plus, all the things to do around you will ensure your Saturday night is fun from start to finish.
Located right in the Shops at West End, The Loop is here to make you feel right at home. A cozy and wildly hip interior make it easy to loosen up, sit back and enjoy a local brew from the tap. The menu is riddled with comfort foods like mac ‘n’ cheese and fried chicken, but don’t underestimate their wilder ventures like their kung pao tofu.
Mill Valley Kitchen
When the cold wind blows and a winter storm tucks SLP under a blanket of snow for the season, get some Californication. Dubbed “California-inspired fine dining and cuisine,” Mill Valley Kitchen fits the bill for first dates, special events and treating yourself. Flatbread pizzas and entrees chock-full of kimchi, pappardelle bolognese and kalettes are sure to send sunny vibes your way.
Wok in the Park
This modern fresh Asian bistro mashes the cultural cuisine of Japan, Vietnam, China, Thailand, and France all onto one menu to bring you twists on food you love. Wok in the Park handcrafts fresh high-quality ingredients into dishes that’ll give your taste buds a one-two punch of ingenious and delicious.
Yum Kitchen and Bakery
Sitting on the cusp of Minneapolis and St. Louis Park, Yum! Kitchen and Bakery provides made-from-scratch breads, pastries and other lip-licking desserts to anyone craving real good food. They also cook up a variety of sandwiches for boxed lunches, which you can pick up with your coffee and muffin on your commute to work.
There are enough must-eat-at-now restaurants around St. Louis Park that the food is reason enough to plant your roots here. Others include:
Cooper Irish Pub
Kip’s Authentic Irish Pub
Taste of India
McCoy’s Public House
Good Day Café
Ariana Kabob & Gyro Bistro
Shop ‘til You Drop in St. Louis Park
Forget that the Mall of America (the nation’s actual mecca of shopping and dropping) is a quick 20-minute drive away, St. Louis Park can hold its own when it comes to being a shopping destination. Shopping centers and well-loved local stores line the city so let’s take a look at what you can expect on the shopping front.
The Shops at Excelsior and Grand
Walk store to store to get everything you need from groceries at Trader Joe’s to hair product at The Hair District. You’ll feel like you’re living in Smalltown, USA as you take in the rare quaintness of these shops set in a big city.
The Shops at West End
With popular stores like Anthropologie, lululemon, Charming Charlie and Creative Kidstuff, the Shops at West End can provide you with a shopping experience unlike any other. Flanked by award-winning restaurants and a handful of grocery stores, this area becomes a one-stop shopping destination for anything you need.
Shoppes at Knollwood
The Shoppes at Knollwood has been a longstanding shopping center for St. Louis Parkians for generations. Dotted by restaurants, coffee shops, and clothing outfitters, coming to Knollwood will satiate your shopping hunger in no time.
While any of the aforementioned restaurants double as classy nighttime escapades or bar meetups, St. Louis Park is also home to a handful of venues designed to keep you entertained well into the night.
Park Tavern Bowling and Entertainment
Live music, great food, flowing beer, billiards, and bowling make this a great place to go on a date, meet with friends or bring your whole family.
Punch Bowl Social
This expansive new restaurant is outfitted with everything you could want in a nighttime excursion. Serving creative cocktails and adult milkshakes, you can sip away while playing a myriad of classic arcade games, bowling or kickin’ it at foosball. You won’t regret getting out of your pajamas and into something more socially appropriate once you enter the doors of this trendy and casual watering hole.
Find Your Roost in St. Louis Park
What are you waiting for? The best of city and suburban living is knocking at your door. With a vibrant cultural scene, flourishing schools, well-maintained parks and trails, and more top-notch restaurants than you can shake a stick at. St. Louis Park may be exactly what you’ve been dreaming of.
When it comes time to choosing your next place to call home in or around Minneapolis,give Roost Real Estate a call. With passionate and highly experienced Realtors, we can provide you the best service possible while finding you a place to roost. It’s time to live your adventure right in St. Louis Park.