A new lease and a calendar of fun at MidModMen+Friends

"Swung Vase" by Lisa Rydin Erickson at MidModMen+Friends

MidModMen+friends, a store that specializes in midcentury vintage and refurbished furniture and home décor, has signed a lease for another year in the storefront at 2401 W. University Ave. With that lease comes a promotional plan that includes special events and recurring merchandise focuses.

“Our intent is to make MidModMen+friends more than a store,” says co-owner Neal Kielar. “I’ve always wanted for this business not just to be a place where you look for things to buy but be a place where you have an experience. We want to give people a reason to come here besides buying something.”

The store plans to have four main events this year (that will include “low-cost but delicious white wine,” Kielar says). The theme for the first event—set for either March or April—is “St. Paul Style.” It will be a “celebration and showcase of creative entrepreneurs, artists and artisans who have a connection to St. Paul,” Kielar says. The event will include the store’s resident artist Lisa Rydin Erickson and Nathan Hamlin, a furniture designer and craftsman who has been selling some of his midcentury-inspired work in the shop. Kielar says they hope to bring in a couple of others to showcase.

The next event will coincide with the launch of the light-rail line along University Avenue, “maybe a sidewalk sale during the light-rail launch and get other businesses to do the same so it can be a destination for a weekend,” Kielar says. The Green Line will open on Saturday, June 14.

Kielar is full of ideas to bring fun to his corner of the Central Corridor. Along with four main events in 2014, MidModMen+friends will offer “merchandise focuses,” which won’t include the “low-cost but delicious white wine,” but will showcase a cross-section of the store’s inventory.

Two ideas in the planning stages are a music theme that will feature console stereos, vintage stereo components, record cabinets and racks, and “Mantiques”: “Stuff that might make a guy want to go vintage shopping,” Kielar says.

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