Originally built in 1951, Texa-Tonka Shopping Center sports a newly re-imagined, mid-century façade and offers a unique tenant mix with public spaces for outdoor dining and events.
At this stop on the Artventure, you’ll find our “Bowling Guy,” located prominently in the center of the shopping center by the pergola covered patio. He’s picked up some tasty donuts and has decided to bowl a few frames at the nearby Texa-Tonka Lanes. Let’s hope he throws a strike!
Of course, this isn’t the only art you’ll find at Texa-Tonka. If you walk towards Erik’s Bike Shop, you’ll see that the entire eastern side of the building has been painted with a beautiful mural, designed by artist Jake Dwyer, that pays homage to the history of the city and its residents, as well as that of the shopping center and its businesses. The design itself was influenced by the stylings of artists from the ‘40s-‘60s.
The right-hand side of the drawing was based on images from the St. Louis Park Historical Society and features the original mall, Red Owl, Piggly Wiggly, Mike Zoss – a Coen brothers pseudonym (the Coen brothers were born in SLP!), and classic cars. The left side reflects contemporary figures and life in St. Louis Park. A small portion on the south side is focused on bicycles and the timeless importance of skilled labor. It’s definitely worth checking out.
Fun fact: Mike Zoss Drugs was one of the two original stores in the Texa-Tonka Shopping Center. During the 1960’s, the Coen brothers’ mom would drop the boys off at the drugstore while she went grocery shopping next door. They would play in the store and Myron “Mike” Zoss would watch over them. In the last 90’s, the Coen brothers asked if they could rename their production company Mike Zoss Productions in his honor. Their film “No Country for Old Men” also featured a drugstore called “Mike Zoss Drugs.”
Delicious Dining Options
If you’re feeing hungry, Texa-Tonka is the place to be. You’ll find a world of flavors all within walking distance.
Start your day off with Angel Food Bakery & Donut Bar, where everything is made from scratch in small batches. Choose from an array of hot, fresh donuts, scones, cookies, cupcakes and more, along with a full complement of coffee beverages. They even make beautiful birthday and wedding cakes.
Next door you’ll find Brito’s Burito, featuring the best burritos, bowls, tacos and quesadillas on freshly made tortillas.
Across the patio, Revival offers the best classic Southern comfort foods and cocktails, with delicious fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, hush puppies and other favorites.
Nearby, you’ll find Wok in the Park. This modern Asian fusion bistro serves fresh Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and French-inspired food. Plus, they offer numerous vegan and gluten-free options. Be sure to snap a picture of their beautiful cherry blossom mural. It was painted by Japanese artists Kazuta Kuroki.
If you’re looking for a quick grab n’ go meal, you’ll want to get take out from La Bodega Taco Bar. This family-owned taco shop serves tacos (American or street style), burritos, tortas and quesadillas. Be sure to try their famous birria tacos served on crispy corn tortillas with cilantro and onions and a cup of consommé!
Families with kids will love the American grill classics at Texa-Tonka Lanes. The bar & grill serves up tasty appetizers (wings, cheese curds, onion rings and more), 13 types of burgers (with fries or tots), sandwiches, pizzas and salads. They offer lunch specials and discounts on domestic and premium beers during happy hour.
For an icy treat on a hot summer day, head back to Angel Food Bakery and check out FrioFrio, located at the back of the bakery. They serve some of the best ice lollies in town, as well as some FrioFrio inspired cocktails!
Truly Unique Shopping
Looking for something out of the ordinary? You’ve come to the right area.
At Ax-Man Surplus Store, you’ll have a blast searching through all the many odds and ends the store carries. They sell scientific, industrial, electronic and mechanical surplus, as well as arts & craft supplies, tape, failed consumer products and the weird and wonderful!
Erik’s Bike Shop will get you rolling along in style. This full-service bike shop has all the latest equipment, apparel and gear, as well as electric bikes, skateboards, longboards and pro scooters. Stop back in winter and they can also outift you for skiing and snowboarding.
If you’re looking for the latest in fashion, Judith McGrann & Friends is a delightful boutique filled with unique, seasonal finds, including clothing, jewelry, bags, scarves, socks, gifts, cards and trinkets.
Across the street, The BeaHive Mercantile offers an eclectic selection of vintage clothing and other vintage finds. (Open weekends only.)
Next door, Eye of the Beholder Thrift Boutique has a wide array of gift items, antiques and home décor. (Open Thursday – Saturday.)
At Elequent Jewelry, in business for over 35 years, they have an amazing selection of exquisite and unique jewelry. Pick up a beautiful ring, pendant or pair of earrings. They also offer jewelry sizing, repair and appraisal services.
Fun & Games
Kids (big and little) will love Dreamer’s Vault Games. They sell cards, comics, toys, games and hobby items. They also host organized play tournaments for Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Pokémon and other card and roleplaying games.
If you can “spare” some time, Texa-Tonka Lanes will bowl you over with their 24-lanes of bowling, with automatic scoring, optional bumpers and an on-site pro shop. They also have big screen TVs for watching the game and pull tabs if you’re feeling lucky!
Explore the neighborhood! They are several parks located within walking distance of Texa-Tonka Shopping Center. Go one block east and north, and you’ll find Rainbow Park (2908 Sumter Ave). This lovely little park features picnic tables and a brand-new play structure that kids will love.
Travelling north and west along Virgina Ave S. will bring you to Texa-Tonka / Lake Victoria Park (2750 Virginia Ave S). Located along the banks of Lake Victoria, this park features paved trails, picnic tables, a play structure, a community garden and soccer fields. Plus, the North Cedar Lake Regional Trail, perfect for biking, runs right through the park. There is also ample off-street parking.
A few blocks south and west of Texa-Tonka lies Aquila Park. This large green space has everything you need for an afternoon of outdoor fun. The park features softball diamonds and football fields, basketball courts and tennis courts, horseshoes and a playground structure. There are sun shelters, public restrooms, picnic tables and outdoor grills – perfect for a picnic lunch or dinner. The trail system runs throughout the park for biking, walking and running.
Go for a bike ride! Just to the west of the shopping center lies the North Cedar Lake Regional Trail. This 4.4-mile trail offers urban skyline views and woodland serenity. The trail begins in Hopkins and passes through several St. Louis Park neighborhoods, including Aquila Park and Texa-Tonka park, before connecting to trails around Cedar Lake in Minneapolis.