Plaza del Sol: Creating community in a St. Paul market square

Located at 990 Payne Avenue, in a spot that was formerly Borgstrom’s pharmacy, Plaza Del Sol offers visitors a new shopping experience. Owner Sonia Ortega has renovated the 40,000 square foot property to create space for independently owned businesses, including Señor Sol Mexican Grill and Tazmal Pupuseria. In addition to these restaurants, the Santa Fe coffee shop offers drinks that are unavailable elsewhere, such as a popular sour, spicy mango smoothie. Other businesses include a document translator, two clothing boutiques, and a jewelry store, and Romeo and Julieta Salon.

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Little Mekong Night Market: Coming soon to St. Paul

The Little Mekong Night Market is coming to St. Paul on June 14, from 5-10 p.m. Common in Southeast Asia and throughout the United States, night markets are similar to traditional farmer’s markets, but they include more food and entertainment, offering visitors the opportunity to stroll and enjoy the sights and sounds at a more leisurely pace.Although there are other farmer’s markets in the Twin Cities, the night market’s focus on local restaurants and crafts will bring a unique experience to the Twin Cities.  Kia Kehrer, special projects manager for the Asian Economic Development Association says that the market will be similar in some ways to Mill City Market, but will operate at night. The Little Mekong district is sponsored by the Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA) as part of a larger effort to promote the businesses in the area between Mackubin and Galtier streets in St. Paul, which is home to a flourishing business community. It’s named for the river that connects many of the countries and cultures of Southeast Asia.The night market is located between Mai Village and Little Sichuan on University Avenue. The market will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. on June 14, July 5, July 26, August 16, and September 6.  Admission is free.In addition to the market, AEDA intends to make the Little Mekong Plaza available for public art and events.  Kehrer says that the plaza and the market will benefit the larger community by activating a public space to bring people together: “We bring community and tourists together, creating a destination… people want to keep coming back to. Continue Reading