All posts by Dan Bergeson

Restaurant Specials During Downtown Taste Tour June 15th

Our last post gave you all the details about the upcoming Downtown Northfield Taste Tour on June 15th except . . . details about  the food!!  Here is a map showing the 12 participating restaurants and the descriptions of their offerings. Remember, $1 buys 1 ticket. Tickets available in Bridge Square beginning at 4:45pm. Get your passport stamped at 4 stops and you’ll be entered in a drawing for 2 free nights in the Archer House or the Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah, Iowa.

Content Bookstore is moving!!

Have you heard the news? Content Bookstore is moving to a new location in Downtown Northfield. But don’t worry about having a hard time finding the new store, the owners are only moving it across the hallway in the same building!

The shop will open at its new location on Saturday, April 29th, as indie bookstores around the country celebrate the third annual Independent Bookstore Day.

“When we opened the shop, we knew this was a community that would enthusiastically support an indie bookstore,” says owner Jessica Peterson White. “We didn’t know quite how enthusiastic our customers would be! We already find we need more space to support our robust events schedule, to expand our offerings for kids and families, and to continue to cultivate the cozy, relaxed atmosphere and lovingly curated selection our readers appreciate.”

Customers will still find Content at The Shops at 314 Division St., in the heart of Downtown Northfield. In their new space, they’ll gain about 30% more square footage and a huge increase in shelf space. The shop already has a full events schedule set for the new space, including Lorna Landvik on May 1 and Kathleen Ann Kenney on June 22. Details of events are available at www.contentbookstore.com.

Independent Bookstore Day has always been a favorite celebration at the store, and this year it will feel extra special,” says Peterson White. The shop will open at 10 am with free donuts and coffee for customers. At 11 am, local illustrators Aimee Hagerty Johnson and David Huyck will help young readers 4 and up make their own Little Golden Books, in commemoration of the iconic books’ 75th year in print. At 4 pm, the shop will host a celebratory happy hour in the shop.

From April 24-28 business will be anything but usual at Content. Don’t be surprised if you’re asked to pick up a box or two and carry it over the threshold!!

Let’s Make Downtown Northfield “America’s Main Street”

We need your help. Downtown Northfield has been nominated to become “America’s Main Street” in a contest run by a non-profit organization called Independent We Stand. What’s the payoff you ask? $25,000!! The Stihl Company is sponsoring the cash and other prizes for the winner. The public can vote once a day from now until April 24, 2017. After that, there will be another round of voting for 25 semi-finalists.

Friends of Downtown Northfield can go to America’s Main Street website, find the “Downtown Northfield” profile and click on the “vote” button. Everyone is also encouraged to share this voting opportunity with all contacts in their social and professional networks, especially their contacts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There are share buttons for these platforms on the Downtown Northfield profile on the America’s Main Streets contest website. Make sure that you vote every day and tell your friends to do the same!

Smoqehouse Satisfies Eager Customers

This week I went along with a welcoming delegation from the NDDC to pay a visit to Downtown Northfield’s newest dining venue, Smoqehouse. Owners Andy and Heidi Kubes opened Smoqehouse on March 15th at 212 Division St. in the Archer House River Inn and have quickly generated a steady stream of daily patrons. Smoqehouse is a fast casual eatery featuring handcrafted sandwiches with smoked pork, chicken and beef, salads and soups. The café in Northfield is the second location for Smoqehouse. Andy and Heidi located their first restaurant in Faribault, Minnesota in the fall of 2015. Foodie magazine HeavyTable.com called their porchetta sandwich “one of the best sandwiches in the state.” Smoqehouse uses ingredients from local sources like Downtown Northfield’s own Brick Oven Bakery and Northfield Olive Oils and Vinegars.

The restaurant occupies the Archer House space formerly used by Bittersweet Café. However, diners who are familiar with the previous tenant won’t recognize the space. Andy told us that they basically gutted the space and rebuilt it from a bare shell, doing much of the work themselves. They separated the kitchen and order counter from the seating areas and traffic seems to flow much more smoothly with the new floor plan.  Future enhancements include craft beer and possibly wine in the coming months. Smoqehouse offers takeout catering and occasionally operates a food truck during the summer as well.

Smoqehouse is open Monday – Saturday from 11am-7pm. They’re closed on Sunday.

NDDC Relaunches Its Downtown Northfield Blog

Welcome back! We here at Downtown Northfield are rebooting the blog that was published on this site for many years. For a number of reasons, the blog has recently been dormant, but 2017 seems to be a good year to make it come alive again.

The site will publicize upcoming events and issues of relevance to the Downtown Northfield community, and will also go behind the scenes and discover the fascinating stories of the people who own and work in the buildings and businesses in the district.

NDDC Executive Director Jenni Roney
Jenni Roney

The first person we want to introduce is Jenni Roney, the new Executive Director of the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation (NDDC).

Jenni operates Wordsmith Marketing & Design, a graphic design and strategic marketing company located in Northfield.  Previously, she was the Marketing Coordinator for the Northfield Area Family YMCA during the inaugural year in its newly opened facility. Prior to that she was an advertising consultant for Huckle Media, a multi-media company based in Michigan and former owner of the Northfield News.

Jenni began work in her new role on January 1, 2017. She has spent the first few days of her tenure getting to know business owners, Northfield city staff and elected officials, and the other economic development partners in Northfield: the Northfield Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the Northfield Economic Development Authority, and  the Northfield Enterprise Center.

Jenni will be a contributor to the Downtown Northfield blog along with Griff Wigley, NDDC social media consultant. I’ve been involved with the NDDC for more than a decade and am currently on the Board of Directors so I plan on writing a post now and then myself. Stay tuned for more NDDC news!