Heading to the newly reopened Palace Theatre this weekend? You’ll compete for parking spots and restaurant tables with hockey fans at Xcel Energy Center and operagoers at the Ordway. So here are some tips for visiting the remodeled theater, which opens with three shows this weekend.
If you’re coming from Minneapolis on I-94, take either the 5th or 10th street exits. If you’re on northbound I-35E, take the E. 11th St. exit. If you’re on southbound I-35E, exit at 10th St./Wacouta St. If you’re driving west on I-94 from the east metro, take the 6th St. exit.
The Palace is on a pedestrian-only street, and there is limited street parking in downtown St. Paul anyway. The closest parking facilities are at the old Macy’s/Dayton’s (the building is being remodeled but the ramp is open); the Children’s Museum (it’s behind the Fitzgerald Theater) and the surface lot on 6th & Wabasha (across from the Amsterdam).
Other options are the Lawson Commons ramp (it often charges by the hour or event and tends to be more expensive) or the Victory and Lowry ramps (both on Wabasha).
Farther away are a surface lot next to Traveler’s (it’s not always open), the pricey St. Paul Hotel ramp and, of course, the ramps at the Science Museum and RiverCentre.
If you want to valet park, you could dine at Meritage, Pazzaluna or St. Paul Grill at the St. Paul Hotel.
The light rail’s Green Line will get you a couple of blocks away from the Palace. Be sure to disembark at either the 10th St. station or the Central station.
Where to eat preconcert
There is some terrific fine dining in walking distance at Meritage, Pazzaluna, St. Paul Grill, Kincaid’s and the new Herbie’s on the Park (next to the Ordway). If you don’t have the time or budget for a high-end meal, consider the medium-priced Sakura on Wabasha or Vieux Carre on W. 7th Place, a few steps away from the Palace.
For quick and casual in the neighborhood, there are sandwiches and great fries at the Amsterdam, bar fare at Great Waters Brewery on W. 7th Place, and flavorful ethnic eats at the Afro Deli right next to the Palace. And, of course, there’s Mickey’s Diner, the St. Paul landmark that never closes, a block and half away from the Palace.
If you’re willing to park twice, there are many good choices in the Lowertown area, including Saint Dinette, Faces Mears Park, Barrio, the Public, the Bulldog, the remodeled Black Dog, the Handsome Hog and Golden’s deli.
Where to eat/drink post-concert
Pazzaluna and the St. Paul Grill serve food till midnight and alcohol till closing; Herbie’s is open till 11 or midnight, depending on the day. Great Waters has food till 11 p.m. and booze till 2 a.m.; same for the Wild Tymes, a bar with burgers and sandwiches that’s next door to the Palace. However, the Amsterdam — one block from the Palace — serves food and drinks till 2 a.m.
Of course, there’s always Mickey’s, with breakfast, lunch and dinner 24/7, and various spots in Lowertown.