ST. PAUL, Minn. — The circus hasn’t left town. It’s just found a bigger big top.5:25 p.m. — Inside the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar and outside on the Lowertown St. Paul streets it begins buzzing. Casual attire, business dress and a few black-and-blue baseball jerseys are nestled against wooden chairs as baristas take drink orders — some for a pick-me-up, others for a slow-me-down. Outside, a vendor sells vinyl records on the corner of Broadway and Prince. On the opposite corner, smoke rises from a Romocky Bratz and Dogs stand. A block to the west, scalpers pace in front of the St. Paul Farmers Market, which tonight has been converted to a fully occupied beer garden. At 5:30, as a brass band tunes up its instruments, CHS Field’s gates open for the first time, and hundreds of fans waiting outside them flood in, grab a free, black St. Paul Saints cap and start soaking in the Twin Cities’ latest sports venue convocation.This is the new face of Lowertown St. Paul, a once-neglected area repurposed in the last decade and now hemmed together by a 7,210-seat, $63 million ballpark named for an Inver Grove Heights farming co-op, owned by… Read full this story
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