Posted by womanabouttown | Posted in Restaurants, Shopping, Willmar | Posted on 20-01-2013
Ever since we lost the Kmart at the mall, I’ve been casually compiling a list of things that Willmar “needs.” It’s primarily a retail wish list, so there’s nothing deep, philisophical, or political here. This is the perspective of a 43-year-old woman (me), so take it with a grain of salt/read at your own risk. Anyway, my suggestions:
- a free, public, and easily accessible indoor playground (in the mall?)
- a Cracker Barrel restaurant – in the southernmost part of town or right off Hwy 12
- a bistro or cafe across the street from WEAC (to enable pre-performance dining with one-time parking)
- Great Harvest bakery
- Petco or Petsmart
- Old Navy
- DSW (shoe warehouse)
- more trees along 1st St
- maternity clothing store, or bigger maternity sections in the existing department stores
I normally like to tout the local, independent businesses, but sometimes you gotta hit the big-box stores, and that’s often where you get the biggest bargains.
A year or so ago, I would have had more suggestions for downtown, but there seem to be changes/potential going on there. There are a couple of boutique-type shops, and a sports-bar is going in. I don’t normally care for sports bars, but it might be good for Willmar.
Cracker Barrel: Mmm, mm good. There is only one Cracker Barrel in Minnesota, and it’s in Lakeville, south of the Cities, on I-35. What about travelers and truckers on Highways 71 or 12? Cracker Barrel in Willmar would make a killing. It’s down-home cooking, and there’s a cool country store attached.
Regarding more trees along 1st Street: That main thoroughfare could use some beautification in general, and more trees would be a great start. Look to ACMC, which did a great job in planting trees all around its building. A good time to plant a tree or 2: when new construction is going up and the concrete is all torn up anyway, like when they replaced the old Burger King with the new, or with the the new Goodwill.