France 44 gets a giant meat, cheese, and sandwich shop makeover

Melty goodness in south Minneapolis

Melty goodness in south Minneapolis Courtesy of France 44

St. Paul can no longer lay claim to having the Twin Cities' best delicatessen

The St. Paul Meat Shop will have to share that honor with its sister store, the new France 44 meat and cheese shop in south Minneapolis.

What was formerly a 600-square-foot cheese shop within a liquor store has now tripled in size and become a shopping/dining destination in its own right. The new store includes two butcher counters, a 28-seat dining space, and all those melty grilled cheese sandwiches the St. Paul Cheese Shop has been wielding as a love spell over the residents of St. Paul.

Courtesy of France 44

To get all the extra room, the France 44 meat and cheese shop snatched back some real estate from the attached France 44 Wines & Spirits. Both spaces rejiggered their configurations, and voila! A little over a month ago, the new and improved one-stop shop for sammies and booze opened its doors.

In the past, France 44 had a deli and even a restaurant upstairs. Those food businesses were eventually closed or downplayed in favor of a larger and more prominent liquor store, but the scales are tipping back in favor of delicious meats and cheeses.

"I've been running the shop in Minneapolis for nine years. We were bursting at the seams," says Benjamin Roberts. "Getting this luxurious space and having it look so great is awesome."

Courtesy of France 44

At the deli counter, expect the same whole-animal butchery you'd find at St. Paul Meat Shop, as well as a menu of salads, sandwiches, and melts. And fromage fans, don't fret: The separate cheese counter will still satisfy your every cheese board need. The best news? They've got that 10-sandwich punch card that pays for your 11th pastrami on rye or fancy grilled cheese.

They're currently open six days a week from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., but when Sunday sales becomes law in July, they'll be serving up heavenly melts on the Lord's day.

France 44 Cheese Shop
4351 France Ave. S., Minneapolis