Photos by Caitlin Abrams
Four years after brothers Eric and Andrew Dayton opened a little shop filled with their favorite guy things, they are fully realizing their focused brand vision in a new Askov Finlayson store, which opens Saturday in the North Loop. If the original store was the kids' basement rec room, the new store next door brings Askov Finlayson upstairs with the grown ups—albeit, grown ups who play bubble hockey in their tweed blazers and rugged khakis.
The rectangular shaped store, with whitewashed brick and slate blue shelves, feels like a modern boy's club. It's the space "North" visionary Eric Dayton has been dreaming about pretty much since the day Askov Finlayson opened as a front room to lauded restaurant Bachelor Farmer. There's a fantastic Martin Parr pond hockey photo above the cash wrap. Just to the left of the entrance, note the 32-star U.S. flag—a reference to Minnesota becoming the 32nd state. Those aren't easy to come by, but the governor's son—an art lover and active member of museum boards—has his sources. He also found a place in the store to display the parka given to him by explorer Will Steger after their trip to the Canadian Arctic.
The Askov Finlayson brand—pants, shorts, bags—are front and center, with more to come in September. Men's dress clothes (yes they did stock blazers, dress shirts, and ties in the old store, you just didn't notice them on the crowded racks) are toward the back, seamlessly opening onto Warby Parker's showroom, which will be staffed by an optician (let's hear it for frame adjustments!).
Side doors open the store onto a new patio (what?! hard to believe this polished, inviting outdoor space was a gravel driveway a few weeks ago). My go-to food and dining compadre Stephanie March has the details on what to expect out there, and in the soon-to-open cafe that will take over the old retail space.
Saturday's grand opening festivities at Askov Finlayson will kick off with Dogwood Coffee's famous cold press Zamboni parked outside the store, which opens at 11 a.m. Lunch will be provided by the Bachelor Farmer sausage cart and drinks, of course, from Marvel Bar. Cheers to the north! 204 First St., Mpls.