11 years ago

For years, downtown Minneapolis has been without a full-service grocery store that meets the needs of an energetic and diverse community filled with residents and a fast-paced work force who visits this urban playground on an almost daily basis.

That is about to change with the grand opening of a new Lunds on the corner of 12th Street and Hennepin Avenue. 

This 20,000-square-foot store opening on June 14 will feature an impressive selection of foods produced locally and sourced from around the world. That includes everything from prepared foods to dry-aged beef and sustainable seafood to USDA-certified organic produce. Additional amenities will include a Caribou Coffee and Bachman’s floral arrangements. Couple that with an incredibly friendly and knowledgeable staff (who just might be your neighbors), and we can assure you this store will feature everything you’ve come to expect from Lunds and Byerly’s.

Adjacent to the grocery store will be a 4,100-square-foot Lunds Wines & Spirits shop with a global selection of microbrews, wines and spirits. Nestled between the grocery store and wines and spirits shop will be a rain garden featuring a patio seating area.

To appreciate the look and feel of these two buildings in the Harmon Avenue Historic District, it’s helpful to know their history. In the early 1900s, both buildings were used as automotive show rooms and repair shops. Today they represent a couple of the city’s best remaining examples of a vital industry that engaged thousands of entrepreneurs, workers, and customers.

The grocery store is housed in a building constructed in 1912 by the Reno Motor Company. It’s one of the earliest automotive buildings that still exist along Hennepin Avenue. Floor to ceiling windows once showcased shiny new vehicles. Today, similar windows will show off our incredible food offerings. Large elevators inside the building were originally used to transport cars from one level to the other. Those elevator shafts will now be used to transport products from our prep areas to the grocery store.

Because of our commitment to refurbish and reuse existing building materials in addition to identifying and implementing many other green building solutions, we will be going through the process of acquiring LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, making this our first truly “green” grocery store.

The Wine and Spirits shop, known as the Sturr-Bullard Motor Company building, was originally built in 1914 and served as a showroom for Nash and Ford vehicles. Large carved oak panels, once admired while showcasing new Ford Model Ts, will continue to adorn the ceiling of this wines and spirits shop.

There’s a rich history to these buildings, and we’re looking forward to preserving their retail heritage while providing today’s urban residents and workers with a shopping experience that’s second to none.

Brian Kopp, general manager, Lunds Hennepin