Downtown

Items related to downtown Northfield

Road construction continues...

Road Construction MosaicThe big Highway 3 road construction project continues in Northfield. N.org is there, and while "our online construction photo gallery":http://flickr.com/photos/northfield_mn/sets/72157594156650253/ won't make your trip any quicker, we hope that the indication of progress will make it a little cheerier.

The construction this summer is in two phases. Phase One (the current phase) is scheduled to be complete by August 18th, "according to MNDOT":http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d6/projects/hwy3/index.html. Phase two will start after that and finish in October. This means that there may be some significant DJJD(Defeat of Jesse James Days) traffic impact.

More inside...


Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFSummer is here in full force, so get out and enjoy it!

On a beautiful day there is nothing like outdoor baseball, and you don't have to wait for a new stadium! The Dundas Dukes are sponsoring a baseball tournament at Memorial Field in Dundas this weekend. The Dukes, the Dukes over-35 team and the Northfield Knights will all be playing.

The rest of the weekend's details are inside...


ISSUES List bubbles with library ideas

Surely you've heard that the city is talking about how to meet the future needs of a library that's bursting at its architecturally significant seams. Well, the Northfield.org readers who have joined our ISSUES List have been batting around ideas for how to solve the problem.

The official report estimates costs could run $9.2 million or more. These ideas haven't been analyzed for cost effectiveness, but they all get points for creativity. You can join the ISSUES List discussion, add a comment below or check out the NDDC forum on the topic Tuesday, June 6.

Here are just a few of the ideas...


Downtowners mix business and pleasure

We're a little late in getting to this, but we wanted to share our appreciation for the fun and conversation at the Northfield Downtown Developments Corp.'s mixer last Thursday. For a business organization, these people sure know how to have a good time! And the upper deck tucked behind the lobby of the Archer House is one of the hidden treasures of the downtown.

NCO board chairman Doug Bratland and I also want to thank Rob Schanilec for the great photos. The only catch is that he was taking pictures while we were talking, so there are a few names we didn't get. Doug knows that the picture above includes Dan Freeman, and Sue and Bart de Malignon. Please feel free to check out the whole gallery and point out our sins of omission. If you find your own face and identify it, I'll buy you an adult beverage at the next mixer!


Locally Grown podcast #19: Peggy Prowe and the Mill Towns Trail

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We took our recording session to the back room of the James Gang Hideaway on Friday, featuring Mill Towns Trail board member Peggy Prowe. The legislature just allocated $1 million dollars for the trail, so I invited Senator Tom Neuville and Representative Ray Cox to chime in.

Click photo to enlarge and continue reading to hear the whole show (30 minutes).


Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFI know it's a long weekend, and you're thinking of leaving town, but you really should stay. There's a lot to do right here, and besides...your friends are here! A quick look at the Northfield Entertainment Guide (you can download it here or pick up a Guide at key spots around town) will tell you all you need to know.

Read the rest of this entry for the full scoop...


Locally Grown features Mill Towns Trail, 2:30 pm Friday at The Hideaway

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We're taking our Locally Grown radio show/podcast to the streets this summer. This week, we're recording 2:30 PM Friday in back room at the newly opened James Gang Hideaway, 421 Division St. Our guest: Mill Towns Trail board member Peggy Prowe. Attend the recording session to help provide ambient background noise and maybe even participate.

The legislature just allocated $1 million dollars for the trail. I snapped the photo (above right) today after Northfield Rotary's lunch at the Northfield Golf Club. L to R: Rice County Commissioner Jessica Peterson, Faribault Councillor Carol King, Representative Patti Fritz, Peggy Prowe, Jim Schlicting, Representative Ray Cox, Mill Towns Trail Friends Chair Meg Otten, Senator Tom Neuville, Peter Stolley, Laurie Williams, Neil Lutsky. (Click all photos/images to enlarge.)


You're invited to a mixer . . .

...no, it's not one of these mixers, although this may be the more familiar variety during construction season.

It's one of those FUN MIXERS, where you can meet and greet your downtown neighbors and fellow lovers of downtown Northfield...free food, cash bar, plenty of socializing and stimulating conversation, hear the latest news, get motivated to make a difference or just kick back with your friends

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation is sponsoring this event which will be held at the Tavern Lounge in the Archer House on Thursday, May 25, from 5 to 7 pm. Meet members of our Board of Directors, tell us what you really think and share whatever gossip you’ve heard. This event is free and open to the public.

Questions? Call 663-0319 for more info.

Dan Bergeson is president of the NDDC.


City faces tough choice on new theater

Editor's note: How many screens, how many cars, how much popcorn does it take to make money in the movie business today? Check back later for an in-depth interview with Steve Mann, one of the owners of the successful Twin Cities-based Mann Theatres chain.

Southgate CinemaAnyone who thinks small town government isn't a challenge is nuts. I've been covering small towns for many years and the questions they decide often leave them in a no-win situation—with friends and neighbors on both sides. They're decisions I wouldn't want to make.

For example, lots of cities face zoning issues where community officials know that a developer can take a lucrative project to another city if they don't approve it. Rarely, however, does the developer have the option of moving a mere 80 feet away to get to that other community.

That's the philosophical debate the City Council will face in June when they receive a Planning Commission recommendation to refuse a change in the Comprehensive Plan to allow commercial zoning for about seven acres of land along Highway 3 across from Target. The change is the first step needed for landowner James Gleason and a developer to build a multi-screen movie theater complex.


James Gang Hideaway is open!

Joan and Jim SpauldingHey Northfield tastebuds – you now have some fresh and flavorful options such as grilled asparagus, brie, roasted red peppers, with a basil pine nut pesto or fajita chicken, grilled zucchini, roasted red onions, topped with provolone cheese and pesto mayo – both on ciabatta bread and hot off a pannini grill. That’s the sort of fare being offered at the James Gang Hideaway now open downtown on Division Street.

Co-owners Joan and Jim Spaulding (pictured) also operate the James Gang Coffeehouse on Highway 3. They’ve brought over many of the mainstays from that enterprise and added a whole lot more.  “Our appetizers are not your standard fare,” says Joan, offering olive tapenade, basil pine nut pesto and Italian oils and bread for dipping as examples. The HideAway also provides deli service with fresh pastas and pre-wrapped sandwiches to “grab and go.”

Their wine and beer list is unique to the area, too. They have selected “the best of very good products.” By limiting their list to a dozen or so wines and half a dozen beers, they’re confident they’ll be able to give their customers quality beverages at a reasonable price.


Locally Grown podcast #18: Streetscape and ArtsPlan '06 with guest Howard Merriam

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Howard Merriam, Director of Resource Planning for the City of Northfield, was the guest for Friday's Locally Grown show, discussing plans for the downtown Streetscape & Way-Finding Plan (bike racks up first) and the ArtsPlan06 project. (L to R: Howard Merriam, Morgan Weiland, Ross Currier, Tracy Davis.)

Click photo to enlarge and continue reading to hear the whole show (30 minutes).


Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view PDFIf you’re thinking of enjoying some outdoor dining, tonight’s the better bet for the weekend – high of 70 and no call for rain. The May Entertainment Guide lists all the outdoor options within a contest on page 23 – a chance to pick up a gift certificate to boot!

Otherwise – Friday finds Pigs in a Pen (bluegrass) at the Cow and Kevin Steinman (acoustic guitar) at Hogan Brothers. Jeff and Sabrina are at the Tavern and Whiskerfish returns to Dawn’s Corner Bar. Carleton presents the Choir and Chamber Singers and the theatrical “Waiting for Godot” at 8.

Saturday you’ll find Celtic Cat and Prairie Dog at Hogans, Dana Drives at the Cow, Joe Paulik at the Tavern and Whiskerfish is still holding court at Dawn’s. There are also dance and senior recitals on the latter part of the weekend. Download or pick up a copy of the Northfield Entertainment Guide at key spots around town for details on these and other happenings throughout the month of May.

Enjoy the weekend!


Post Office roof repairs may come this summer

Time to get caught up on my to-do list.

Hole in Post Office roofA couple of weeks ago, local architect Steve Wilmot pointed out a hole in the roof of the Northfield Post Office. Postal officials at the time said a work order had been submitted, but no date had been set for repairs.

One reader commented on the post to suggest raising the money locally to make the repairs to the historic building, then letting the United States Postal Service pay the money back when the repairs were authorized.

I decided it would be a good idea to follow up on the issue and contacted postal officials again.

That led me to some interesting discussion with the folks in Kansas City and the big twin to the north. I'm not taking their side in the issue, but they did offer some food for thought.

Richard Watkins, a spokesman from the Kansas City regional office, looked at the roof damage in the picture on Northfield.org as we spoke by phone. He said he was impressed by the offer of help, but added that it wasn't necessary.


Photos: spring wine-tasting event at the Grand

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Left: Northfield Liquor Store's Steve DeLong and Just Food Co-op's Stuart Reid were two of the managerial beauties on duty at tonight's "Drink Global, Shop Local" spring wine-tasting event at the Grand. Click the photos to enlarge and see the Flickr photo set or the N.org old style album for a dozen more.


Drink Globally, Shop Locally at NDDC wine tasting tonight

Northfield Downtown Development Corp. boss Ross Currier posted this information on the NDDC blog:

This Third Thursday—TONIGHT!—at 7 pm at the Grand, the Northfield Wine Club is throwing open the doors to the public for wine tasting, cheese tasting, and (this is Northfield after all) spirited conversation.

The guiding themes are Shop Local, Reinvest in Your Community and Support Northfield Businesses.

So come on down(town) and join your friends and neighbors for an evening of wine, cheese and conversation. The Northfield Liquor Store is bringing the wine, Just Food Co-op is bringing the cheese and the NDDC is bringing the...shameless promotion. Admission is free.

Ross also mentions our ISSUES List discussion of potential sites for a new proposed movie theater in town. Check out the NDDC blog or go straight to the ISSUES List for more.


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