Victorias Secret opens in Uptown

Victoria’s Secret opened the doors of its new Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street store at 10 a.m. today, much to the delight of some eager area shoppers.

“I love it. I’ve been waiting a long time for it to open,” said Carissa Wolfe, 24, an Uptown resident and Calhoun Square employee who was among the first Victoria’s Secret customers.

Remodeling of the 3000 Hennepin Ave. S. space, which the GAP occupied for more than a decade, started last summer. The revamped two-level building now houses the only freestanding Victoria’s Secret in the state, said District Manager Julie Paulson.

The store is done up in white, pink and black and is adorned with black and white photos of Victoria’s Secret models. A scantily dressed mannequin sitting on a round, pink couch greets customers with a seductive pose near the entrance.

Everything one would expect to find at a Victoria’s Secret is there: underwear, loungewear, lotion and more.

“I’m impressed. There’s a good selection,” said Meredith Buchbinder, 24, as she paused from browsing the store’s upper level.

Buchbinder works at JUUT Salonspa across the street and said she and her colleagues have been looking forward to having a Victoria’s Secret in the area.

“All of us girls have been excited,” she said.

Not everyone welcomed Victoria’s Secret when the undergarment giant first announced plans for its Uptown site.

Some in the community thought a big chain store wasn’t edgy enough to succeed in the area. Victoria’s Secret advocates pointed to Uptown’s status as a beauty Mecca and said the store would fill a void.

Uptown’s newest addition comes at a time of great change in the area. Outdoor clothing retailer The North Face will open a new store later this month on Hennepin Avenue just south of Victoria’s Secret and shopping center Calhoun Square across the street is awaiting redevelopment.

Hours for the new Victoria’s Secret are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. The later Thursday-Saturday hours were set to cater to the area’s nightlife, Paulson said.