If you’re wondering whether the folks at Edina’s Southdale Center are concocting a plan that would have us visit and never (need to) leave, you’d be right.
The 2015 opening of One Southdale Place—luxury apartments and penthouses attached to the mall itself—marked a shift away from retail and toward a new mixed-use terrain encompassing all things lifestyle, centrally located inside Southdale for the convenience of Edina’s consumers. Since then, Southdale has become less and less “mall” in the traditional sense, and more and more home by design.
Their most recent move involves taking on Rustica, Minneapolis’ nationally recognized bakery whose baguettes and cookies have a cult following, for their a tenant. This is smart, because it’s hard to literally live at a mall and survive on Auntie Anne’s for any length of time.
To be fair, that’s not exactly Southdale’s mentality… but neither is it far off.
Around the same time as Edina’s Rustica will debut—teeming with scrumptious pastries, their famous bittersweet chocolate cookies, baguettes, and artisanal coffee drinks—Restoration Hardware is set to open its doors, as will a luxury version of Life Time Fitness. All of these go hand-in-hand, despite their disparate natures.
“It’s just a good start to a new direction for us. It’s really where shopping centers are going,” explains Judy Tullius, general manager of Southdale Center. “Rustica actually ties into that focus of curating a tenant mix of the best retailers and restaurants from around the Twin Cities. The other thing Rustica does is it’s part of our plan as being more than just a place to shop, but a place where the community joins together…. Where better can you go to have a cup of coffee with your friends? It’s a wonderful bakery.”
When it comes to the reason why America’s first shopping mall would court a lauded bakery, almost any answer will make sense. Hell, I’d put Rustica in my basement if they let me.
For fans of the extant powerhouse of gluten, Rustica’s new Southdale outpost will have all the original’s hits, plus a new twist: “They’re going to offer online cookie ordering as well, where you can purchase cookies by the dozen for delivery, which is really cool in this area, because there are so many apartments and hotels and luxury apartments going in,” said Tullius.
Rustica at Southdale is set to open in the “fourth quarter” of this year. Stay tuned for when I try to get these award-winning cookies delivered to my not-luxury apartment in not-Edina.