Hot intersections: 29th Ave NE & Johnson Street

An idyllic urban neighborhood intersection with all the amenities you’ll ever need. Credit: Photo by Linda Koutsky

It’s a quiet little intersection but 29th and Johnson has it all.

Within about a block is a dry cleaners, auto body shop, home remodeler, healthcare options and a hair salon.  A little grocery is nearby and the Hollywood Theater is awaiting its remodel. There are also a number of fun stores and great dining options so head out to this neighborhood of presidential street names and spend an afternoon or whole day on Johnson Street.

Start at SARAH JANE’S BAKERY, an old-fashioned neighborhood flour and yeast factory with award-winning doughnuts. Get there early because Sarah Jane opens her doors at the crack of dawn and hungry customers line up on the sidewalk. Fruit pastries, cheese Danishes, bars, Napoleons, banana bread, rye bread, sandwich bread, trays full of cookies of all shapes and colors, colorfully decorated cakes, and assorted pies fill the cases in this tiny storefront.

With a second location on Lyndale Ave. S., REWIND packs in the vintage merchandise. Racks of clothes, purses of all sizes and styles, shoes and boots, and cases neatly organized but overflowing with jewelry ranging from stone rings, gemstone earrings, memory coil bracelets, pop art flower broaches, all topped off with a chandelier display dripping with colorful beaded necklaces. This place is a vision to behold. Plenty of stuff for guys too.

It’s not just a sewing store, CRAFTY PLANET is a lifestyle. Yes there are rows of super cute printed fabrics, ric rac, ball fringe, needles, and thread, but this store also has gorgeous yarns for knitters too.  And if you don’t know how to do it, this is your place to learn. Crafty Planet offers classes on sewing, knitting, crochet, needlework, appliqué, embroidery, and quilting. Classes are for beginners on up. And you don’t even need your own sewing machine — they’ve got one there for you. In fact, once you know how to run it they’re available for hourly rental in their Sew Space. Make your own totebag this summer and be the envy of your friends. Or bring your friends along and have a private makers party at Crafty Planet.

The coffee’s strong and ice tea flavored and delicious at  THE COFFEE SHOP NE. This large coffee shop has a big back room used for readings and open mic nights. Check out work by local artists on the walls and browse their selection of home brewing options.

Reupholstered, refinished, and repurposed are some of the treasures to be found at A LITTLE REFINED. This eclectic antique shop has something for everyone. Furniture, pillows, numerous ceramic teapots, vintage cameras, loveseats and dining room sets. Fun handmade items are sprinkled in here and there.

Johnson Street is the third location for A BAG LADY, a funky purse, clothing, and accessories store. It’s good they sell sunglasses here because the sparkle off the numerous rhinestones is nearly blinding! Great gifts and pizzazz.

After all that shopping might as well stay on Johnson Street for dinner! Not many places have the courage to put homemade Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries on their menu, but HAZEL’S NORTHEAST has roots going back to the 1960s in Long Prairie, Minnesota when comfort food was just called “food.” They serve locally sourced meat, veggies, coffee, and tea. Or stop in for the “best pizza ever” at PARKWAY PIZZA. Every day they grind their own sausage seasoned with a secret blend of spices. Salads, pastas, and hoagies round out the menu. Dine in or take out — complete with a pint of ice cream.

As you head home from Johnson Street, named for Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States, see if you can name the previous ones: Lincoln, Buchanan, Pierce, Fillmore . . . 

• Rewind: open Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

• Crafty Planet: open Sunday–Monday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.

• Parkway Pizza: open Sunday–Monday, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.; Tuesday– Saturday, 11 a.m.–10 p.m.

• Sarah Jane’s Bakery: open Monday–Friday, 5 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday, 5 a.m.–3 p.m.

• Hazel’s: open Sunday, 8 a.m.–3 p.m.; Monday–Thursday, 7 a.m.–9 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 7 a.m.–10 p.m.

• A Bag Lady: open Sunday, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.; Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

• A Little reFind: open Wednesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

• The Coffee Shop NE: open daily 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.