Summit Hill (District 16) is a high density St Paul neighborhood. It's a community that prides itself on being welcoming and pedestrian-friendly. It's situated on one of America’s 10 Great Streets as designated by the American Planning Association (Summit Avenue), which is chock-full of historic homes and other historic buildings. The cross street is Grand Avenue, which is well-known for it's commercial endeavors, including unique shops and restaurants.
Today, Summit Hill's demographics skew older with and more educated. The focus on density has resulted in Summit Hill having more people than other comparable neighborhoods (size-wise). It also well-known for its historic homes, but has a surprisingly low number of single-family homes.
Summit Hill is one of the oldest and most historic neighborhoods in St. Paul. Its history can be traced back to 1805, but it didn't really start to flourish until 1854 when the land went up for public auction. The area attracted many of the wealthy and prominent families of St. Paul at the time and the first mansion on Summit Avenue was built by James C. Burbank in 1862. Summit Hill quickly became known as the place to me for the wealthy, including lumber and railroad barons.
Around the turn of the century, the area started to draw more middle-class families who settled in the southwestern part of the neighborhood. A few decades later, the streetcar line created more growth, and the housing turned more to apartments, rather than houses.
Summit Hill looks much today liked it did in the twenties because there has been little major construction since. The one exception to that is that townhouses were built in response to the demand for more housing in the city.
Summit Avenue/Ramsey Street to the north, 35E to the east and to the south, and Ayd Mill Road to the west.
Lexington-Hamline South, Highland Park, West Seventh, Summit-University.
Cochran Park (375 Summit Ave., 651-632-5111) is a small neighborhood park which is primarily known for its infamous bronze statue, Indian Hunter and His Dog. The statue is in the middle of a fountain, and it's a nice place to take a break. There's a playground for the kids as well. Located in Summit-University.
Nathan Hale Park (401 Summit Ave., 651-632-5111) is a serene and peaceful park with several historical statues, including one of Nathan Hale himself, of course, in bronze. There is also a skating rink for those who like to skate. It's the perfect place for a mid-day mini-retreat. Located in Summit-University.
Summit Park (185 Summit Ave., 651-632-5111) is located near the Cathedral of St. Paul. Its pride an joy is the Soldiers and Sailors monument, a bronze tribute created in 1903 to the soldiers who fought for the Union in the Civil War. It was made to honor Josias R. King, the first Minnesotan to volunteer to fight for the Union during the Civil War. Located in Summit-University.
Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking (850 Grand Ave., 651-312-1299) is known for their wood fire ovens, naturally. They are proud of their bold flavors and can offer such dishes as bontons, a Bonfire specialty, blackened shrimp pizza, and a mouth-watering three sausage pizza. If you like your meat with a smoky flavor, this is the place for you.
Brasa Premium Rotisserie (777 Grand Ave., 651-224-1302) features food that is good for your soul. Whether it's their corneal crusted catfish, their scrambled egg & andouille sandwich, or their spicy masa corn cake plate, it will certainly be a delight to your palate. They have a sizable vegetarian menu as well.
Dixie's on Grand (695 Grand Ave., 651-222-7345) has been serving traditional Southern comfort food for the past thirty years. They make everything from baking powdered biscuits to crab bisque to the Vermilion Parish po'boy with either oyster or shrimp. Their authentic take on Creole country food is sure to please your taste buds.
Grand Ole Creamery & Grand Pizza (750 Grand Ave., 651-293-1655) serves two American favorites with a big smile. They started with only ice cream (though over 300 recipes) for over thirty years, then added New York-style pizza to their menus. They use the freshest of ingredients, and they do delivery and catering as well. They were the first gourmet ice cream shop in Minnesota.
India House (758 Grand Ave., 651-293-9124) is committed to serving traditional Indian fare. They have samosas, naan, tandoori specials, vegetarian dishes, and a variety of other tasty dishes. Sip on a tasty mango milkshake while you eat and have some mango pudding for dessert!
Saji-Ya (695 Grand Ave., 651-292-0444) is a Japanese restaurant that serves a variety of Japanese food, but is known for its sushi. Elegant, delicate, yet intensely flavorful, once you try their nigiri, sashimi, and rolls (including the eponymous Saji-ya), you'll want to go back for more as soon as you can. They also have teppanyaki and a respectable gluten-free menu as well.
Salut Bar Americain (917 Grand Ave., 651-917-2345) is a traditional French bistro with an eye out for the Americans. The menu is a mixture of French and English, but the food is mostly French. From escargots to beef tartare, there is something for everyone here.
Tavern on Grand (656 Grand Ave., 651-228-9030) loves its walleye, and it's not afraid to flaunt it. They convinced state officials to serve it to Mikhail Gorbachev when he visited the state, and they serve up to 2,000 pounds of walleye a week. If you have a hankering for a taste of the state fish, this is the place to go. You can have it served traditionally or with a jalapeno tartar. The possibilities are endless.
The Lexington (1096 Grand Ave., 651-289-4990) is back, and it's much better than it ever was! A longtime favorite of lifelong St. Paulites, it was closed for renovations for a few years. The Lex delivers elegant food that is simultaneously comforting, such as duck & foie meatballs in stroganoff, lobster ala diavlo, and salmon Oscar. If you've never been to The Lex, now is the time to try it.
The Uptowner Cafe on Grand (1100 Grand Ave., 651-224-0406) is the place where everybody knows your name. It's a local favorite where the staff is warm and friendly, and the food is hot and comforting. The food is homemade, and the breads and buns are made every day. Whether you're in the mood for biscuits 'n gravy, the Uptowner club (sandwich), or the Uptowner Eggs Benedict, you'll find it all here.
Atelier957 (957 Grand Ave., 651-646-0111) was started in 2012 by two sisters from Ukraine who wanted to share their love of clothing with as many people as possible. They sell clothing and accessories from small designers in Europe and from local artists who make their creations by hand. They care about finding the perfect fit for women of any and all sizes, shapes, and tastes.
Avivage Massage (649 Grand Ave., #2, 651-222-8222) provides soothing massages for couples and for singles as well. They believe that massage is a gentle way to release tension and stress, and they believe in the unity of the body, spirit, and mind. They are trying to bring positive energy into their clients' lives, and they are dedicated to giving their clients' a respite from their hectic lives.
Bibelot Shops (1082 Grand Ave., 651-222-0321) has been a staple in St. Paul for over fifty years. It's a warm and welcoming boutique that has high-quality gifts such as paintings, jewelry, purses, dolls, Minnesota-themed items, and plenty others. They believe in fair trade, being environmentally responsible, and local artists.
Evereve (867 Grand Ave., 651-209-0222) is a Minnesota-based store started by a woman's dream to provide moms with cute clothing that was also comfortable and easy to, well, be a mom in! The first store opened in 2004 in Edina and now has more than eighty stores around the country. They believe in classic lines and timeless designs.
Mischief Toy Store (818 Grand Ave., 651-493-3307) is filled with delightful toys for both adults and children. Whether your interest lies in Magic the Gathering cards, anime, comic books, zip lines, or unicorn snot (who doesn't like glittery snot?), you are sure to find the perfect toy for yourself or others here. The emphasis is on fun, and the staff is friendly and helpful. Discover your inner kid again and remember why playing with toys was so much fun.
Moxie Hair Salon (700 Grand Ave., #100B, 651-251-6820) is committed to making you the best you that you can possibly be. They are passionate about hair, thinking of it as art. They are eager to work with you on a vision for your hair, and they have classes for people in the profession to keep up on the latest techniques, styles, and other details. You will walk away feeling like a million bucks once you've had your hair done here.
Paper Source (857 Grand Ave., 651-224-7011) is your premier place to shop for cards, invitations, and other paper-based products (such as planners). You can buy pre-made cards/invitations, or they can personalized your purchases for you. Their array of paper products will surprise and delight you.
Wedding Shoppe, Inc. (1196 Grand Ave., 651-272-3452) has been matching brides with their dream dresses since 1977. They have a vast array of dresses in every style and fashion, and they don't leave out the men, either. It's a family-owned business that is is proud of their commitment to their customers and the community.
Billy's on Grand (857 Grand Ave., 651-292-9140) is a neighborhood bar where you can go to root for your favorite team or sing karaoke with your friends on Friday. Come for the pub food and the nice array of microbrews and stay to show off your singing chops.
Emmett's Public House (695 Grand Ave., 651-225-8248) is a jovial watering hole with a strong Irish tradition. It's a great place to have a pint with your friends while you're spinning yarns until the wee hours of the morning. If you have a sudden urge for a Scotch egg, Irish mac & cheese, or corned beef & colcannon, you want to hurry down the road and grab a pint of Guinness at the bar here.
Evla Pottery (42 Dale St. S, 651-224-6700) sells handcrafted pottery that highlights the relationship we have with every day object. It is a family-owned store, and they believe in the marriage of function and beauty. In addition to their pottery, they sell paintings as well that can be described as evocative.
Grand Hill Gallery (333 Grand Ave., #101, 651-227-4783) is the premier place to go if you need a piece of art custom framed since 1997. They believe in excellent customer service and matching each customer with the perfect frame. They also have an art gallery in which they display original art, much of it from local artists.
Legacy Art and Gifts (1209 Grand Ave., 651-221-9094) is known for their hand-painted and handcrafted Polish pottery. They have been in business for nearly two decades, and they continue to showcase fine arts at reasonable prices. They also have plenty of amber jewelry crafted by artists in Poland as well as pieces by local artists.
Linwood Community Recreation Center (860 St. Clair Ave., 651-298-5660) is a neighborhood center with activities for the whole family. Open gym, preschool activities, ice skating, and field rentals to name a few.
The Grand Hand Gallery (619 Grand Ave., 651-312-1122) was opened in 2004 because of the desire to share fine American arts and crafts with the neighborhood. They prefer art that is authentic, and they showcase artists with distinct styles. The artists featured are predominately from the Upper Midwest, and the media range from glass to clay to jewelry.
Tibet Arts (1087 Grand Ave., 651-224-0600) opened in 2004 with the intent of sharing beautiful Tibetan jewelry with St. Paul--along with other meaningful crafts from Tibet, India, and Nepal. They put a lot of care into their offerings, and the vibrant colors are a joy to behold.
History Pub Crawl: Summit Hill (345 Kellogg Blvd. W, 651-259-3015) happens in the summer, and it's way to learn more about one of the most historic neighborhoods in St. Paul while simultaneously enjoying a pint or two. The crawl follows along the old streetcar routes and passes the haunts of F. Scott Fitzgerald, one of St. Paul's most famous sons.
Summit Hill House Tour (860 St. Clair Ave., 651-222-1222) is a biennial (once every other year) tour of all the historic houses in the area. Summit Hill is one of the oldest neighborhoods in St. Paul, and the tour provides the opportunity to explore the richness of the Victorian-era houses and other amenities. It's become a destination event and is nationally known.
St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Lower School (K-5), Goodrich Campus (1150 Goodrich Ave., 651-696-1560) is a private school and has three main components to their philosophy of teaching. Student/teacher ratio, a team-teaching mode, and differentiation. They are committed to adjusting each student's coursework to accommodate the student's unique skills and learning methods.
St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Middle School (6-8), Randolph Campus (1712 Randolph Ave., 651-698-2451) is a private school, and they emphasize handling the transition from childhood to young adult through safe exploration of a variety of subjects. The academics are rigorous, and the school is careful to provide their students with all the tools they need to thrive and succeed.
St. Paul Academy and Summit School, Upper School (9-12), Randolph Campus (1712 Randolph Ave., 651-6982451) is a private school that encourages their student to participate in lively debates as well as advanced curriculum. They believe in the Harkness table philosophy of teaching, and they have a robust student support system in place to help their students as they continue to excel.