Lowertown is really one of the more pleasant neighborhoods in either city. It has a lovely scale to it, thanks in no small part to the fact that it avoided the wrecking ball better than most places in either downtown (though Minneapolis was a far worse offender in its day). One of the traits I like best about it is that even as it becomes ever more “known” it is still a working neighborhood with shops that serve the neighborhood as opposed to an entertainment district.
Lowertown Wine and Spirits (262 East 4th St.) clearly caters to the locals. Started by former St. Paul City Councilman Jerry Blakey and his former aide Gerry McInerney, the store is downtown’s only full service liquor store (at least that I can think of). It’s on the ground floor of a lovely building across from the Books for Africa store. I went in last Friday, and they had the Lake Superior Kayak Kolsch and Surly’s Hell that I was looking for. The place is not huge, but still packs a great selection. If you work downtown, you’re set, but if you work downtown it is still very convenient to pick up the requisite evening materials before heading home.
And then there is this great online commercial.