New shops landing in LoHi East

Branding effort promotes shops and coins new name

Proper & Prim, one of several new stores in the Lyn-Lake area, opened May 29 at 2743 Lyndale Ave. S. Credit: Michelle Bruch

If “Lowry Hill East” doesn’t roll off your tongue, some area shops are trying a new neighborhood catch phrase: LoHi East.

The name covers Loring Park, the Wedge and Lyn-Lake, according to Carter Averbeck, the Omforme proprietor who is coining the phrase. He compared it to the North Loop’s shortened NoLo, or New York’s SoHo neighborhood.

“Neighborhoods trying to go through a revival often have a name change, shortening up to an acronym,” he said. “This is the new, old version of Uptown. … Some people aren’t using Lyndale as a raceway anymore.”

Averbeck said Lyndale Avenue’s relatively affordable rent prices are attracting the independent venues that once dominated Uptown. Newer arrivals include Serendipity Road, Pharmacie, Showroom and Proper & Prim.

To promote the shops, Averbeck envisions closing down a portion of Lyndale later this year for a “humongous fashion show.” Jen Chilstrom of Showroom anticipates monthly ladies’ nights with promotions up and down Lyndale.

“You can spend a whole evening here, have happy hour, see a show or exhibit, grab dinner, shop around and so much more,” she said.

A new LoHi East email list promotes store products and events.

Omforme at 24th & Lyndale is looking forward to a Mad Men-inspired barbeque on Aug. 14, in which the building’s parking area will be revamped into a 1950s-era backyard, perhaps with a petting zoo. The event will benefit Smile Network International.

Showroom at Lake & Lyndale features artist Doug Forbes on July 26. Forbes painted 52 portraits of people that inspire him. Showroom is welcoming two new designers this month: Joeleen Torvick, a Minnesota-based feminine fashion brand; and East Fourth Street, an eco-brand of jewelry by Susan Crow.

One of the newest “LoHi” neighbors is Proper & Prim at 28th & Lyndale. Sisters Teresa and Ashlie O’Day are the buyers, and their first store opened in Fargo four years ago.

Ashlie said they look for on-trend, youthful clothes, keeping price point top of mind. Everything is under $100, she said, and the store carries new arrivals all the time.

“Things don’t have to be expensive to be special,” Ashlie said. “I don’t want to carry anything I can’t afford myself.”

Proper & Prim’s neighbors on Lyndale include World Street Kitchen and the Regla de Oro Gallery. 

“It’s nice, the whole building is filled out and alive,” Ashlie said.