Known simply as “The Village” by locals, St. Anthony Village is a first-ring suburb of Minneapolis. St. Anthony, a former-township-turned-city with about 8,500 residents, should not be confused with St. Anthony Park, a neighborhood in St. Paul, nor with St. Anthony East or St. Anthony West (both are neighborhoods in Minneapolis). Despite its seemingly common name, St. Anthony is truly a one-of-a-kind city, from its geography to its beloved annual events to its emphasis on promoting small business.
The city’s geography is unique in that two-thirds of the city are located in Hennepin County, while one-third is located in Ramsey County (the dividing line is 37th Avenue). St. Anthony is also conveniently located just about five miles northeast of downtown Minneapolis and eight miles northwest of downtown St. Paul. Additionally, both the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses of the University of Minnesota are only a 10 to 15 minute drive from St. Anthony. Despite its proximity to the big cities with their metropolitan amenities, St. Anthony has been able to maintain the advantages of small town living, which locals love. Village residents pretty much have the best of both worlds!
For covering less than 2.5 square miles, St. Anthony manages to pack in a whole lot of must-dos and must-sees. Each year, over the first weekend of August, the city hosts its summer celebration, Villagefest. Even though it’s downsizing a bit this year, attendees can still expect a lot of fun events, including a car show, street dancing, musical entertainment, a kickball tournament, a pancake breakfast, and a fireworks extravaganza. Enjoyed by locals and visitors alike, the festival has an ingenious method to draw in extra attendees this year:
But whether or not you’re a Pokemon Go master, you will definitely enjoy spending some time walking around St. Anthony, which features the beautiful Silver Lake and several parks, including Salo Park. Named after St. Anthony’s sister city of Salo, Finland, Salo Park is located adjacent to the highly walkable Silver Lake Village shopping center on the city’s north end. The park hosts an annual summer concert series at its amphitheater, and musical acts range from the St. Anthony Civic Orchestra to jazz bands and swing ensembles. It’s a perfect way to spend a warm summer evening, and residents appreciate the fun, free, & local entertainment!
It’s really no wonder Villagers enjoys listening to music in the park, given that the city puts such a strong emphasis on arts and culture. The St. Anthony Community Theater, for instance, has grown from putting on a 12-person production in 2001 to being today’s theatrical destination in the area. Since it was established 15 years ago, the theater has put its own spin on popular plays such as Mary Poppins, Seussical the Musical, A Christmas Carol, and The Wizard of Oz. There are plenty of opportunities for performers and stagehands alike, and it’s a great way for creators of all ages to get involved with their community. For artists who prefer slinging paint to singing show tunes, there’s Created to Grow, an arts center that provides creative education in the form of instructor lead art classes and guided open studio creativity. If that sounds a bit too tame for you, then try out Wine and Canvas, where you can combine your love of design with a drink of fine wine. And who knows? Perhaps one day you’ll see your creation on display at Corner Books, a bookshop that showcases the work of local artists.
The median sales price for homes in St. Anthony as of July 2016 is just over $240,000 while the number for the metro area as a whole is hovering around $227,000.
Most houses in the Village were built in the 1940s & ’50s, during the post-war housing boom, thus the abundance of suburban ramblers and bungalows that were favored at the time. However, more recently, the city has seen its share of development, which would explain the newer construction condos, townhouses, and apartments, especially around the Silver Lake area. Considering the housing stock, it comes as no surprise then that a large portion of the St. Anthony population are married couples without children, who like the area for its amenities, walkability, and proximity to both Twin Cities.
If you’re a family looking to move to the area, though, don’t fret – there are plenty of housing options for you too. Over the last six months, single-family homes with 3+ bedrooms in the city have been going for around $250,000 and up. And if you’re searching for an exceptional school district for your children, then St. Anthony might definitely be your best bet. Last year, St. Anthony Village Senior High School was one of ten Minnesota high schools to rank on Newsweek’s Top 500, and in 2014 the school was given a gold medal by the US News and World Report.
High schoolers aren’t the only ones who thrive in St. Anthony; small businesses also experience the perks of being part of a tight-knit community. The St. Anthony Chamber of Commerce, for one, works hard to make sure all business owners who come to the city feel welcome and appreciated, by holding a ribbon cutting for all new businesses. The chamber also hosts a myriad of events to encourage entrepreneurship, including happy hours and workshops that teach local proprietors how to better their businesses. The chamber doesn’t stop there, though. Each year, they name an Outstanding Business of the Year, an award established in 1993 to recognize an outstanding business located in or serving the community of St. Anthony Village. For individuals, there’s the Villager of the Year Award, which honors and recognizes a resident of St. Anthony who has made outstanding contributions to improve the quality of life in the community. Both award winners are honored with a celebratory dinner in April.
Speaking of dinner…the Village has a sizable selection of dining options, ranging from some of the best Mexican cuisine in the Twin Cities at Catrina’s to all-you-can-eat Chinese food at Great Dragon. Maybe you’re in the mood for some basic-but-tasty bar food. To satisfy that craving, you’ll want to head to The Unofficial Dive Bar & Grill, which just celebrated its grand re-opening over the weekend. It’s officially the best place in town to grab a burger or beer or to play some Bingo.
If you’re looking for a city that feels like a Village, or a small town that has access to all the amenities of a big city, then St. Anthony is probably for you! Check it out today!