All posts by Dan Bergeson

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 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!

Thanks for the Great Party!

Our annual Partnership Celebration was a fun affair. Thanks to New Moon Trio and Area 51 for the great tunes. Thanks also to Board members who greeted folks at the door and sold raffle tickets. As always,Chuck Pryor and his staff at the Grand Event Center were excellent hosts.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the raffle and congratulations to our winner, Jeff Johnson. No, not NDDC Board member Jeff Johnson, the OTHER Jeff Johnson! Thanks most of all to our NDDC volunteers, Partnership Campaign donors, and Taste of Northfield sponsors. Great downtowns don’t just happen!

Here’s a little slideshow for posterity.

NDDC Partnership Celebration 2012 at the Grand

NDDC Marketing Committee Announces New Mini-Grant Program

Click to download app

The NDDC’s Marketing Committee has long supported community efforts to produce events and promotions that help attract people to downtown Northfield.  Whether through bucks or biceps, we’ve always worked to pitch in to the best of our abilities.

Recent work by the committee has resulted in a fine-tuned process.  “Make It Happen” mini-grants up to $100 are now available to help with event funding. The new application form can be found online in the NDDC  Library.

The Northfield Downtown Development Corporation values the outstanding efforts that bring events—and people—to downtown Northfield.  With this mini-grant, we hope to help support many future downtown events, especially those created collaboratively.

So, if you’ve got an idea, some initiative, and an eagerness for collaboration, check out the new NDDC “Make It Happen”  Mini-Grant Program Application.  We’re working together for a vibrant and vital downtown.