Located at the corner of Snelling and Grand, Stoltz Dry Cleaners closed for good on January 2. The business was founded 100 years ago and has been owned and managed by the Tracy family since 1979. They cited fewer customers and smaller business margins among other reasons for calling it quits in a televised report by CBS Minnesota (WCCO).
The Minneapolis-based and family-run burger chain My Burger along with Nothing Bundt Cakes — a bakery franchise with stores nationwide — will move into the building later this year.
While it was not the only dry cleaner in the neighborhood, Stoltz’s proximity to campus made it a convenient option, especially for first-year students.
Ong Kar Yan ’20 said he went to Stoltz to get his pants pressed last semester because “it was the only one [he] had seen thus far,” and added that he felt the service was affordable.
Ruby Elliott Zuckerman ’20 described staining her boyfriend’s designer jacket with ink and having to treat the splotch immediately. She was impressed with the attention she received from the staff and their ability to remove the stain despite the jacket’s material.
“They were very understanding of my predicament… and they were definitely helpful so I’m sad they’re not in business anymore”, Zuckerman said.
Former Geography Professor David Lanegran told The Mac Weekly in an email that he felt “the service was always excellent.” He had “patronized the cleaners for four decades.”
“I respect the owners wishing to retire from the business,” Lanegran wrote. “I wish Macalester had been able to buy the land and develop it with student housing and shops.”
Last year, the High Winds Fund, which manages off-campus Macalester-owned properties, decided against purchasing the building to develop it into mixed-use student accommodations similar to the Grand Cambridge Apartments. This was after an environmental review found that the land had been exposed to chemical pollution from the dry cleaner and petroleum from a gas station that predated Stoltz.
John Abdo, president of My Burger, said that the company had been eyeing a location in St Paul. Other locations in surrounding neighborhoods were considered but were simply not “the right spot.” My Burger currently has three locations in Minneapolis and one in Richfield.
“We feel like [our menu] is great for all ages, which is partly why we chose to be near Macalester,” Abdo said. The Abdos purchased the building and will share part of the space with Nothing Bundt Cakes in a deal struck last December.
Abdo said he foresees a mid-summer opening and hopes to bring a food truck to the building’s driveway for select dates in the meantime.
“I have no objection to the new management and their plans for the corner,” Lanegran said.
Zuckerman, on the other hand, lamented the loss of a neighborhood icon and warned that the two food establishments might bring gentrification.
“It felt like [Stoltz] was from the ’50s and I thought it added an old-time quirky feel to the neighborhood and those kind of shops keep raising [rents],” Zuckerman said.
- Editor’s note: in the original article, it was said the Tracy family operated the building for it’s entire 100 year history. That is incorrect. the Tracy family have maintained the building since 1979.