15 Mar Neighborhood Spotlight: St. Paul’s Mac-Groveland
Exploring St. Paul
Once an original part of Fort Snelling, Mac-Groveland quickly boomed in development in 1890 when the first electric streetcar line was built, which linked this neighborhood to downtown St. Paul. As a result of this connection, further streetcar lines were put in place in the area, paving the way for the future of this popular neighborhood.
Surrounding the prestigious Macalester College and the University of St. Thomas, the Mac-Groveland neighborhood offers historic charm paired with a modern, hip, and youthy vibe. At the corner of Snelling and Grand Avenues, you’ll find the first-ever Dunn Bros. Coffee, a notorious study spot for a lot of Macalester students that offers exceptional roasts in a quaint and very cozy setting. A block away, you’ll find pristine and gorgeous Victorian mansions along Summit Avenue, recalling the feel of an era long gone.
Delectable eateries and shops are dotted along the bustling tree-lined Grand Avenue, and you can see the progression of the development of St. Paul homes as you head west from downtown, where houses constructed in the late 1880s transition from sprawling Golden-Age mansions, built for the rich and elite, into charming bungalows and craftsman-style homes constructed between 1905-1930. Immediately west of Macalester College lies the most unique residential area of Mac-Groveland known as “Tangletown” due to its numerous winding streets and wonderfully creative mix of architecture. Stained glass can be frequently found in homes in this neighborhood.
Mac-Groveland is home to Grand Old Day – St. Paul’s first rite of summer! The famed Grand Avenue closes the majority of its 30-block stretch every year on the first Sunday in June, for a day-long celebration with live music, beer gardens, delicious street food, assorted activities, and a morning parade. Appealing to all ages, Grand Old Day has been around since the late 1980s, and attracts thousands of visitors every year… inviting them all to experience a decades-old tradition enjoyable for all!
Where the Locals Hang
Cafe Latte is a long-standing cafe that offers coffee and wine, homemade cakes, and delicious fare for lunch and dinner. Its two-level location is smartly designed and offers a hip cafeteria vibe.
J & S Bean Factory is another popular coffee shop and, although it may be a little small, there is a spectacular outdoor patio that many locals spend time at in the warmer months. They also roast their beans on-site, so if you live within a few block radius, you can smell the delicious beans being roasted. They also host a summer art fair!
The Nook offers Minnesota’s famous Juicy Lucy on their menu, which is the most incredible burger you’ll ever have. Although Matt’s Bar and The 58 have a long-standing feud on who created the Juicy Lucy first, you can’t go wrong with piping-hot cheese stuffed in between two hamburger patties. The Nook’s version is outstanding! They also have an ancient bowling lane in the basement, called Ranham’s, with a full-service bar whose ceiling is covered in dollar bills.