Saturday, August 23, 2014
Peace Coffee-Lyndale Gardens Coffee Bar
6420 Lyndale Ave S
Richfield, MN 55423
Open since June 2014, Peace Coffee-Lyndale Gardens is located inside Lakewinds Food Co-op which is the first building on a large-scale development project in Richfield. The only downside to the location (two blocks south of Hwy 62 AKA Crosstown Hwy) is that the walk from my home involves a busy street (Lyndale Avenue) and going under I-35W/Crosstown Hwy. Since I live near a bicycle boulevard (Bryant Avenue), I wish that there was a bike/walk trail connecting southwest Minneapolis with Richfield. While I love the Lyndale Connector when I'm in a car, I abhor it while traveling on foot.
So, my primary goal for this walk--besides procuring a delicious sweet cream cold press--was to find the most pleasant route possible. Easier said than done I discovered.
Companies installing automatic sprinklers in my neighborhood love to soak the sidewalks. I know this can be avoided which makes being confronted with the choice of walking in the street or getting wet even more irritating.
That said, I do love spotting beautiful blooms on my walks and they need water to stay happy.
I walked through the Kowalski's Lyndale Market parking lot to take a peek at one of the prettiest gardens in my neighborhood thanks to Clover Point Designs.
After leaving the Kowalski's parking lot, I hit a T intersection and in order to stay off Lyndale Avenue, I need to go around Annunciation Parish Church and School. I've never walked up to the building so it was fun to get an up close and personal look since I've been by it a million times on the bus and on the other side of the street.
After cutting through the church parking lot, I walked south on Harriet Avenue S. Though the process of tracking it, I would like to be able to say I've walked down every street in Minneapolis like a few others have. One reason I love walking so much is spotting all of the cute homes. Harriet Avenue has a great mix of styles and here are a few that caught my eye this morning.
At 59th Street my time on Harriet Avenue S had to come to an end thanks to the Oak Hill Cemetery. I chose to head west and did find an open gate so I walked through a part of this non-sectarian cemetery. I wasn't sure if the Bachman buried in Oak Hill is part of the Bachman family who started Bachman's but the cemetery is part of their history according to Wikipedia. Henry Bachman involved his sons in the family gardening business by giving each of them a greenhouse. Albert Bachman planted carnations and sold them outside of Oak Hill Cemetery.
This walk led me to understand that dumping snow in cemeteries is apparently serious enough to warrant a special sign.
Along this stretch of Lyndale Avenue, there are a few businesses and a lot of apartment buildings.
Scott loves the proximity of our home to Northern Brewer's Headquarters. I love that they have a collaboration with Wil Wheaton!
A couple blocks south of Northern Brewer, and I'm at my least favorite part of the trip to Lakewinds and Peace Coffee Bar. I know that there's not much that can be done to make walking or biking under an Interstate enjoyable but I think we can do better than the current state of affairs that is Lyndale Avenue and 62nd Street. It is dark and a little scary when alone even in the daytime. There appear to be lights but I've never seen them on. Personally, I believe this stretch could benefit from some murals and lighting.
I'm so glad that the good people of Peace Coffee brought the colorful, cheery design to this coffee bar. I was told that their marketing manager, Mel came up with the gnome theme and the little coffee mug planters at the cash register made me so happy. I'm adding both Peace Coffee retail locations to my winter survival kit since hanging out in their space is like a blast of sunshine. My favorite drink is the sweet cream cold press (no surprise there) and have been making a lighter version of it at home.
I took my coffee and headed north and this time decided to stay on Lyndale Avenue all the way home.
The Lyndale Gardens development project seems to plan on tying the community to Richfield Lake. When I was searching for more information on Richfield Lake, I found a 15 minute video of someone walking on the trail the goes around the perimeter of the lake when it looks pretty cold. So, I'll add that trail to my walking wish list! I do find the Hennepin County Park map website to be a bit perplexing-I can't link to an individual park page.
Another place on my winter survival list is Bachman's Garden Center. I love getting a hot drink and treat from Patrik's Bakery and Cafe and enjoying the blooms around the cute seating area. Here are photos from 2011 when I needed a winter pick-me-up.
Just a few blocks north and at point where Lyndale Avenue splits off into the Lyndale Connector there is another garden store, Uncommon Gardens. They have gorgeous plants and the smaller scale makes it an enjoyable experience. While buying plants to beatify my yard, I can also buy fresh produce from Untiedt's Vegetable Farm's vegetable stand in the parking lot.
Across from Uncommon Gardens is a couple of old motels. I actually love the Aqua City Motel sign but both Aqua City Motel and Metro Inn have caused the Windom neighborhood concern over criminal activity and code violations.
I'd love to go back in time and visit these motels when they were first built. While searching for some historical information on these properties, I came across this fun trivia worksheet from the Lyndale Avenue South Renewal-Creek to Crosstown Project which led me to the 174 page South Lyndale Corridor Master Plan.
There are a lot of changes happening at 54th/53rd and Lyndale Avenue South right now (which I failed to photograph since I walk by this block several times a day):
Walgreens is moving across the street to the former Borton Volvo dealership. This is some ways a loss for the Kenny neighborhood as Borton was a huge supporter of their neighborhood events. It is also a milestone for the city since it was the last remaining car dealerships in Minneapolis
Boulevard Commons is filling spaces left by Caribou and Hollywood Video:
Hopefully the hole left by Diamond Lake Rental and Beek's Pizza will soon be filled by a retail/apartment building (progress on this is a bit slow for my taste).
My neighbors and I have started placing our bets on what will go in the current Walgreen's space once they move. Any guesses? Better yet, do you have intel to share?!
As always, when I take walks with the goal of noticing my surroundings along the way, it is gratifying well beyond the time when I'm actually walking. I love returning to my computer to debrief my findings and scour the interwebs for more information. It is how I feel most connected to my community. Try it!
Inspiration & Goals
The Nivens Family