Askov Finlayson

The Dayton brothers take on retail

Stephanie Colgan

Retail makes it a hat trick for brothers Eric and Andrew Dayton, who opened a store called Askov Finlayson in the historic North Loop building that houses their Bachelor Farmer restaurant and Marvel Bar.

The name comes from the Northern Minnesota towns of Askov and Finlayson, which share exit 195 on I-35. The brothers passed that sign every summer on the way to their family’s Lake Vermilion cabin. Eric says it stuck in their minds as a distinct moniker.

“Our whole project is very much about staying authentic to where we are,” Eric says. “We’re not trying to transport people to another place; we want to do Minnesota in a way that appeals to us.”

That “way” emphasizes timeless men’s apparel from classic brands such as Woolrich and Penfield, as well as high-design objects for home and individual.

The store hasn’t received as much attention as the Nordic-themed Bachelor Farmer and speakeasy-style Marvel Bar, but it is actually where Eric and Andrew have the most direct influence. “We don’t cook the food or make the drinks, but we get to decide what goes on the shelves,” Eric says. “We respond to good design.”

Retail instinct does run in the family, even if Eric brushes off comparisons to his great great grandfather George Dayton, founder of Dayton’s Dry Goods, which became Dayton’s department store. Says Eric, “Those shoes are too big to even think about.”

One step at a time.

200 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-206-3925,