The Barnes and Noble book store near the Mayo Clinic is the coolest book shop i've been in. The shop is located in an old theater and looks like a castle inside. The store has 2 floors of books with an escalator in the middle and a Starbucks on the 2nd floor.
What to buy: Books.
What to pay: Just as much as any other Barnes and Nobles.
The Galleria Mall is going down hill and the city isn't intervening at all to help the downtown business centers to survive.
The movie theatre closed two years ago and the major stores (The Gap and Footlocker) have moved. Right now the only stores in the mall are: Laura Ashley, Talbots, Nordic Shop, Games by James and Pearl Vision.
Because the downtown area is all connected by a series of subways and skyways, the mall is connected to the Barnes and Noble which is in the old Chateau Theatre building.
Apache Mall is the largest of two enclosed shopping malls in Rochester. It is flanked by four major department stores: Sears, JC Penney, Marshall Fields, and Herbergers. Some of the other major stores which are in the mall are: The Gap, Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, Lerner's, Victoria's Secret, Footlocker, Payless Shoes, Rogers and Holland, and more!
There is a newly remodeled food court which has a Subway, Taco Bell, A&W, Sbarro, some Chinese place, and a few others.
Another main facet of the mall is the large Barnes and Noble bookstore which has a eat-in cafe.
They are currently building a detached Macaroni Grill. There is an Applebees on site which is ALWAYS crowded (I haven't figured out why yet, as the food isn't that great) and a new Chinese noodles place which looks great.
on clothing or food for home consumption!
Minnesota considers clothing a necessity (but really, who doesn't), so they have not imposed an sales tax on it. Also, you will not have to pay taxes on food that you buy which can be consumed at home. In other words, if you buy Mac and Cheese at a grocery store, there won't be any tax...but if you go to a restaurant and order Mac and Cheese, there will be a tax.
One other interesting tax fact: There are only four other states that have a higher sales tax rate than Minnesota.
Rochester has a large population of Indians and we have a very health competition going on between the Indian grocery merchants in town. Rice and Spice is the newest of the store and in my opinion, is the nicest. While International Spices is a much larger store, Rice and Spice's owner is the sweetest man ever and for that I rate his store higher.
When we visited the store shortly after it opened in the summer of 2003, we had an interesting experience. We shopped around and picked out various items to buy. We had no cash and were planning on paying with our Visa card. However, the store was not yet equipped to accept credit cards. The owner offered to let us take home the groceries and come in to pay him later. We were shocked! We didn't take him up on it and actually went back later with cash, but we could not believe how nice and trusting he was.
We went in recently to buy more basmati rice and we discovered that he is now expanding into the shop next door. He will now be selling fresh foods and adding to his stock of frozen and refrigerated foods. Business for him is booming. It is so great to see such a wonderful man do so well with his store.
What to buy: Basmati Rice
British and Indian brand teas
Heintz Beans (a British staple)