Weekly Business Roundup, 1/3 – 1/10


Your business week: The first of 2018


Did you get everything you wanted from Santa? Target sure did. Minneapolis’ signature department store had a very good holiday season.

  • Target has raised its quarterly profit and sales forecasts after 3.4% comparable sales growth from November – December, driven, in major part, by (gasp!) strong online sales.
  • Target has been pushing digital sales, to compete with Amazon, for a long time.
  • Although, there have been talks (rumors, rather) that Amazon might be looking to buy Target this year. Maybe not. Who knows.

The Minneapolis Institute of Art is building an ice maze for the Super Bowl.

  • Built by Minneapolis-based MADE, the maze will feature art enclosed in ice at the corner of 24th and 3rd Street.
  • Because football people can be art people too.
  • It will looking something like this:
Rendering of what the maze will look like (ostensibly from overhead), courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

The 510 Lounge & Private Dining is already closed.

  • The posh restaurant and event space, which featured an extensive wine list and caviar service, that took over the even-posher La Belle Vie space, only lasted 6 months.
  • Owner Don Saunders will focus his efforts on his 5-year-old Kenwood restaurant, which remains open and beloved in the Kenwood neighborhood not far away.

The (new) Viking Bar in South Minneapolis is also closed (again).

St. Paul

Summit Brewing Company, for the first time in its 32-year history, is laying off workers.

  • Where they once enjoyed the luxury of being the only real craft brewery in the state, the number of breweries that have popped up in the Twin Cities metro and beyond has taken a bite of profits.
  • It’s a dog-eat-dog (beer drink beer) world out there for breweries.

Ecolab + Cascade = Forever

  • St. Paul’s largest company bought New York-based Cascade Water Services, a water-treatment business.
  • 2018 looks bright: This is their sixth major acquisition since last September.

The St. Paul Ice Palace is well underway.

  • The capital city’s 70-foot Ice Palace, their first full-size Ice Palace since 2004, is being constructed using ice blocks from Green Lake near Spicer, MN.
  • This is what it will look like:
Photo courtesy of the St. Paul Winter Carnival


Lift Bridge Brewing Company is expanding in Stillwater.

      • For $10 million, the brewery, one of the state’s largest, will build a brand new, 35,000ft2 headquarters/brewery/taproom not far from their original 16,000ft2 location
      • They’re looking to produce 27,000 barrels of beer this year, after making just shy of 20,000 in 2017.
      • That’s a lot of beer, though still about 100,000 barrels fewer than Summit.

Mystic Lake Casino Hotel has already finished their expansion in Prior Lake.

      • They’ve added new event space and 180 hotel rooms in a new tower. Just in time, of course, for the upcoming Super Bowl.
      • Why before the Super Bowl? Well, the obvious marketing boon, as the expansion makes Mystic Lake one of the largest hotel properties in the state, but also because of this: Nomadic comes to Minneapolis for Super Bowl LII


In other beer news, the hops gods at SmartAsset gave Duluth some love, ranking the small city #3 nationally for beer drinkers.

  • How did they earn this recognition? The number of breweries per capita, their average score on Yelp, and average price ($2) per pint.
  • It was the only city in Minnesota to make the list, which might irk some Minneapolis residents. But then, does anything cost $2 in larger cities anymore?