Minneapolis’ Stadium Village growing, catering to students

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As new apartments and businesses sprout up in Stadium Village, the University of Minnesota-adjacent neighborhood could become a new locale for student nightlife.

My Burger, a local burger and beer chain, will replace the old Oak Street Textbooks site this month. The restaurant will join the new wave of business in Stadium Village as the area experiences more student-focused development.

When looking to grow his business, My Burger co-owner John Abdo, said Stadium Village seemed like the perfect spot for a new location.

“We want to become a part of the neighborhood,” he said.

The Oak Street location will cater to University students — “Study Hall” will be painted on one wall, while another will display the walking times to campus buildings.

The sit-down restaurant is awaiting city approval for late-night and liquor licenses, which would allow them to sell wine and beer until 2 a.m.

Although My Burger wants to serve the late-night crowd, Abdo said they’re not looking to be a “party bar.”

My Burger will follow suit with other Stadium Village restaurants, which typically cater to a calmer, day-time crowd. However, some area businesses are hoping new developments and the light rail will bring a more vibrant night life.

Stub and Herb’s Restaurant and Bar manager Josh Zavadil said he’s seen a surge of more young people in the neighborhood and hopes the lightrail will bring more late-night customers.

Area developers are hoping for the same attraction.

Daniel Oberpriller, president of CPM Property Management, said the new housing will bring more students to Stadium Village.

CPM will start construction July 26 on a 98-unit apartment complex where Sally’s Saloon and Eatery now stands. CPM will also start construction down the street on the 333-unit WaHu student housing development by the end of the year.

Dinkytown restaurants and stores may find a rival in Stadium Village in the future, Oberpriller said.

“This side of campus is more appealing as more apartments come in,” he said.

Espresso Expose manager Sam Lewis said Stadium Village has the potential to evolve into a Dinkytown-like area.

“It will be interesting to see what happens in the next year,” he said.

Other business ownerses disagreed.

“The area’s definitely changed,” Zavadil said. “But I don’t see it becoming the new Dinkytown.”

Dinkytown Business Association President Skott Johnson said Stadium Village could easily become a late-night gathering place but doesn’t see it replacing Dinkytown.

“They have some great places over there,” Johnson said. “We’ve both always been unique in our own way.”

Erich Erdmann, chemistry sophomore, said he’s usually in Dinkytown on weekends but likes what’s happening to Stadium Village.

“More people want to live here,” Erdmann said. “It’s becoming more popular.”

More housing will bring students into Stadium Village, said economics and statistics senior Jake Goss-Kuehn, but Dinkytown will stay a late-night destination.

“People will still make the trek,” he said.