The light from Bobby & Steve’s Auto World at the corner of Washington Avenue and Interstate 35W has given relief to many motorists and downtown Minneapolis visitors, offering assurances of a full tank to fuel them home.
Now it looks like the service station is about to get bigger.
Public records show the owners of Auto World purchased an adjacent land parcel that has hosted a brick building since 1909, best known as the storefront home of Scandia Furniture. Scandia plan to move to a new location in Richfield at the end of September.
“The building wasn’t for sale,” said Mike Solac, Scandia’s owner, “But we felt the price was right.”
Solac and his siblings have owned the building since 1986. While there’s a certain degree of nostalgia with the site, Solac said they don’t feel they need to be in downtown Minneapolis for their business to thrive.
The $1.5 million purchase gives Bobby & Steve’s nearly full-block dominance on the busy corner in the fast-growing east downtown neighborhood. The northernmost sliver of the block occupied by Maxwell’s American Pub is the only plot not under Bobby and Steve’s control.
Representatives from the company did not immediately return requests for comment.
There are eight Bobby and Steve’s locations in the metro area.
Kristen Leigh Painter