Village North Shopping Center: Brooklyn Park, MN

January 7, 2009

People give me  “street cred” when I mention that I grew up in Brooklyn Park. Those of you who also grew up in the BP area probably find that statement as ridiculous as I do.  Because if ice skating at the Evergreen Park rink and drying off in the warming house, taking swimming lessons at the Community Center, walking to Tom Thumb, and eating at Bok Ho gives you street cred, then by all means, call me a gangbanger. Ay yo trip! You know what I’m sayin’? Fo’ SHIZ, homeslice!

I insist to people that it was a nice area in which to grow up, but not everyone these days believes me. Rightfully so. The area has gone to pit.

But in the ’80s, it was nice. Even in the Zane Avenue area. Village North, you haven’t been forgotten!

Village North wasn’t just any old strip mall. Architecturally, it looked like a strip mall, with the shops arranged in a linear fashion, but it functioned more like a regular mall.  It was always busy, you could walk the interior of the mall, they held events like craft shows, and by golly, even Santa paid his yearly visit.

Tear it down; Build Condos!!!!

Yep, these ugly townhomes replaced Village North. This particular building style can be found in just about every suburb of Minneapolis. Someone stop Ryland Homes before they take over the metro.

I joke about tearing places down and building condos, but really, that’s exactly what happened to poor Village North. They tore it down sometime in 2003, and by 2006ish, up went a bunch of cookie cutter condos/townhomes. I really don’t know how bad the crime got in the mall – I last visited it in 1998, and it seemed safe enough then.

I apologize for the lack of OLD pictures. It’s not like I didn’t try! With the exception of the Circus Circus pics, all I have are current pictures of what the area looks like today.

You’d never know a landmark strip mall once stood here.

Now it looks like they’re trying to turn Zane Avenue/Brooklyn Blvd into another Plymouth, manufactured city center and all.

The Stores:

I listed these by location – from one end of the mall to the other. This is entirely based on memory, and I could be wrong. Please let me know if you have corrections or additions by emailing me or posting in the comments.

Korner Plaza: Closed in 1987. It was some sort of department store. I believe they sold juniors clothing, toys, and inflatable rafts.  Rafts? Yeah, random, I know. But my mom bought my brother and I each an inflatable raft to use up at the cabin. So they sold outdoor sporting goods too. Go figure.

Minnesota Fabrics: Korner Plaza became Minnesota Fabrics at some point.

Some big pet food store. Not sure if it was a Petco or what…? I can’t remember if  the pet store took over the spot of Minnesota Fabrics when it closed or if they coexisted next door to each other in blissful harmony.

Circus Circus: For us ’80s kids, this was the main draw of Village North. No, it was nothing like its Vegas namesake – this was not a fleabag motel & gambling establishment – it was a kid-friendly arcade. It was just like a Showbiz Pizza or a Chuck E Cheese — greasy pizza, a band of singing mechanical beasts featuring one hella scary gorilla, arcade games, skeeball, bumper cars, tickets redeemable for shit prizes, and the signature dark, dreary decor that gave this place a sinister feeling.

This Circus Circus location had a big ball crawl right near the entrance.  As adults, we all know it’s a bacteria farm. Unless they hired a Hazmat crew to come in to fumigate and sterilize every hour, if you went into the ball crawl, there was a pretty good chance you were going to come out with a rash and a case of the whopping cough. But at least Walgreens was right down the hallway, so you could pick up some Robitussin before heading home :)

Circus Circus, 1988

My family at Circus Circus, April 1988

Sometime in the ’80s, Circus Circus remodeled and expanded. I’m not sure when this was, but it had to have been prior to 1988, as the photos below show the new & expanded dining area. The old dining area turned into some sort of sports bar with a bunch of TVs. It was separated from the main dining area by a glass wall (smoking was allowed in this area). You rarely saw families eating in this area; only really, really creepy old men hung out here, drinking beer and and chain smoking.  The guys in here creeped me out – if they want to drink beer and watch the Vikings, why not go to a bar? For pete’s sake, Blondies is right down the road. Yeah…that’s because today, these same men are probably on Dateline’s Chris Hansen’s shit list. I believe they kept the animatronic show in the old eating area, at least for a while.

The new eating area was much larger than the old digs – and had a 3-ring circus style Rockafire Explosion show! (The old stage only allowed the main band). The animatronic show would just start out of nowhere, scaring the crap out of everyone. Being serenaded by a rat cheerleader, a possum in a trash can, and a scary ass gorilla lip syncing Beach Boys songs while eating greasy pizza was every kid’s dream.

They also installed this glass box that looked like a telephone booth inside the eating area. It was used for birthday parties – the birthday boy or girl would go into the box, the Circus Circus mascot (a scary clown with a huge head) started up a fan and a bunch of tickets would fly around in the box. Your job was to catch as many as you could before the time ran out. All kids were envious of whoever the birthday kid was, regardless if you knew him or not. Because WE WANTED TICKETS. They were our passports to treasure, redeemable for a giant Styrofoam pellet teddy bear, a terrycloth wristband, or a plastic yo-yo!

Elegant dining at Circus Circus

Elegant family dining at Circus Circus. I'm missing from this picture - I was probably off getting a disease in the ballcrawl. My dad is missing too, but he's probably the one snapping the photo - April 1988

When you ordered food at the counter, you were given a number and instructed to watch the monitors for your order to be ready. While we waited for our pizza, Mom and Dad set us loose in the arcade to play games, but instructed us to watch the monitor for our number. And this was how my parents discovered I needed glasses. I kept playing skeeball long after our number came up. Mom thought I was being difficult; truth was, I couldn’t read the monitor. I wasn’t a happy camper! I thought glasses were fug. I only needed them for distance, I didn’t need to wear them full-time. Thank goodness too, because – LIKE, WHAT ABOUT FASHION?!

Great American Music. It had a wood store front. All I can remember is that it sold records and cassettes and was located right by Circus Circus. My mom bought Michael Jackson’s Thriller tape here!

Mario’s Movies & Games: Mario dealt in new and used movies and Nintendo/Sega games. So if you wanted, you could sell your 8-Bit NES and games to Mario (but don’t get your hopes up too high if the only game you had was Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt. You’d be lucky if he’d give you a quarter for it). Too bad eBay wasn’t around in those days. I don’t know if the place was actually owned by a guy named Mario. Probably not. Chances are, he wanted to capitalize on the Nintendo trend and use the namesake of the chubby video game plumber to lure in the hardcore gamer demographic (a.k.a. impressionable 10 year olds). After all, how many MARIOS do you know?

Famous Footwear: Not much to say about this. Though the Village North location is obviously gone, the Famous Footwears of today still look pretty much the same way they did in the ’80s.

Brauns: I HATED THIS PLACE and I imagine if you grew up in this area in the ’80s, you hated it too. It’s where Mom shopped and where kids whined and fussed. Brauns made Mom look like a mom. They sold Mom Jeans, Mom Shirts, Mom Slacks, Mom Vests, and other various Mom Accessories. Hi Mom! :)

Simeks Meat & Seafood:  I LOVED their samples! They always had a plate of meatballs near the enterance, so while Mom finished checking out at Walgreens, my brother and I would wander over to Simecks to feast on some meat.  The cashier would give us the evil eye and alert her manager to boot us out of the store if we were sneaking too many meatballs. They also sold some really good RAW cookie dough too.

Radio Shack: If Village North still existed in 2009, this Radio Shack location would still be in business. This chain should’ve died sometime in the VCR age, but nope. It’s apparently harder to kill than a  cockroach. I guess there’s still enough demand out there for phone jacks, DC 12V car adapters, and metal dectectors to support this place.

Walgreens today. I believe it moved to this location in 1998

Walgreens today. I believe it moved to this location in 1998

Walgreens: This was one of the busiest stores in Village North. Our doctor’s office was around the Village North area, so this is where we got all of our prescriptions filled when we were sick.  Today, Walgreens is located about a block down the road, in its own stand-alone building.

Sabo Flowers

Some dry cleaning place

Hallmark

A barber shop: Even had one of those rotating barber poles!

A pet store: I’m not sure if they actually sold pets other than fish and birds, because I only remember getting flakey fish food and tank equipment at this store. I can’t remember its name. They had a great selection of pretty colored fish tank rocks too.

Plaster Paradise:  Plaster Paradise was definitely different. They sold exactly what you think they’d sell – plaster. Yep, plain plaster sculptures, all ready to be colored in whatever lead-based paint hues you wish. Painting these spackle statues didn’t require a whole lot of artistic ability.  Sure, you could REALLY go all out with these plastered widgets, but for the most part, anyone could make these suckers look halfway decent, even my 8 year old brother who liked to destroy my Barbie coloring books by scribbling all over the pages using Crayola’s Raw Umber and only Raw Umber.

This craft was kind of like Ukrainian Egg Art for the less talented. They had a huge selection of various spackle statues – you could paint your own knock-off Precious Moments doll or Hummel statuette. Besides the statuettes, they sold pretty much every other dust-collecting home decor item you could imagine – doorknockers, bookends, wall hangings, napkin rings, Christmas ornaments, weapons of mass destruction… All with a completely blank slate for the do-it-yourself hobbyist. They sold all kinds of painting supplies here too – different sized paint brushes and every color of paint you could imagine.  Most importantly, it was MISSION CRITICAL not to leave this store without an aerosol can of shellack. Your precious artwork was not complete until you doused it with a coating of glaze, giving your brainchild a shiny varnish, ready for household display.

Company’s Coming: They sold everything you needed to throw a kick ass party, without the liquor. Company’s Coming was a “mom and pop” version of a Party City. It was a very tiny store, which really is the ideal size of a party store. I don’t get why places like Party City occupy a building as large as a Wal Mart. A party store need not to be that damn big!

Ben Franklin: I wrote about this place in my 10 Stores I Wish Were Still in Business post – basically, it’s a scaled-down version of a Michael’s. I went here to stock up on  embroidery thread for my BFF Friendship Bracelet business.

Northwest Book Store: A Christian book store that sold bibles, Billy Graham posters, Precious Moments trash, and Sister Theresa bookmarks. I didn’t like this place because they didn’t sell Babysitters Club or Sweet Valley High books. Probably because a Christan book store would think  Jessica Wakefield ranked right up there with Judas.

IGN Super Valu: I wasn’t a fan of Super Valu. Or its red-headed stepchild, Red Owl (located across the street). This grocer had two good things going for it: #1: The chicken clucking machine at the front of the store, where you’d put in a quarter, the chicken would cluck to the beat of a nursery rhyme, and when the song would finish, you’d get a plastic egg with a surprise inside…which was usually incredibly disappointing. I once got a “gold” smiley face ring that broke me out in a nasty rash.

#2: They had baggers who would sack up your groceries for you, place them in a plastic numbered bin, and put them on a rolling belt at the front of the store. You’d go out to your car, pull up to the curb, and the friendly stock boy would place your bags into your car. How nice.

Burger Bros: Took over the grocery store location.  Burger Brothers was a locally-owned company that was acquired by Gander Mountain in 1995. They sold sporting goods and had a giant bear in the store. Burger Brothers closed in 1997.

Around Village North:

The area around Village North was quite memorable too, so it’s worth covering.

In the parking lot area:

Arby’s: Arby’s was located in the Village North parking lot. It probably faced a lot of competition from the Rax across the street. In the end, Arby’s won the Roast Beef War and stayed in business long after Rax shut its doors.

An ATM: There was an ATM in the middle of the Village North parking lot. I don’t know why I remember this, but for some reason, whenever I picture the Village North shopping center, I always remember that ATM.

Marquette Bank: This was a circular shaped building with glass windows all around it in the Village North parking lot.

AMF Village North Bowl: Even back in the ’80s, my parents wouldn’t take us to this particular bowling alley. They thought it was really seedy. And it was – I think I only went there once as a child, for a birthday party. As an adult, I went there once in 2003, and got my drink on. Enough so that I sang at the karaoke bar and cleared out the place in 7 seconds flat. I sure liked their wireless microphone… The bowling alley was in the “back” area of Village North. I think it MIGHT have been connected to the mall, but I’m not sure. This was demolished in 2005. To fill the void, Brunswick Lanes opened up sometime in 2006. Call ahead to get your name on the lane list and don’t forget your glock!

McDonalds: This was a nasty, noxious McDonalds, even back in the ’80s. It was a franchised owned, not a company-owned restaurant, so they did things their way, and it showed. They served seasonal items like an orange milkshake months after the other Mickey Dees ceased sales. They never got your order right, most of the time the cold fries were knocked upside down and spilled all over the bottom of the bag, their hotcakes tasted & looked like glow-in-the-dark frisbees, and when you bit into their chicken nuggets, you often spotted a pink, cordlike tail.

Other places around the area:

Heaven help us, it's still here...

Heaven help us, it's still here...

Godfather’s Pizza: I can’t believe this dump is still around. The proof is in the photos!

There was also some sort of cowboy/hee-haw/Cattle Company style restaurant located in the Godfather’s Pizza/Century Court apartments/Blondies vicinity. You couldn’t see it from the main drag, and I can’t remember the name. It didn’t last long, and we only ate there once. All I remember is that ties were not allowed, and if you wore one, they make you take it off and replace it with one of those cowboy Randy Travis-style bolo ties — you know, with the ugly sheriff’s star pendant and a leather rope looped through it.

Century Court/Huntington Pointe Apartments: Brooklyn Park’s version of Cabrini Green. Was notoriously known as the ‘Most Dangerous Place in Brooklyn Park” by my

Huntington Pointe

Brooklyn Park needs more slum lord apartments, not fucking PARKS. :P

circle of friends. You did NOT go here at night! Century Courts was owned by Harv and Marv – 2 notorious slumlords. It was renamed  “Huntington Pointe” in the late ’90s to improve its image. The entire complex was razed in April 2008 and in its place is a park. Like Brooklyn Park NEEDS more parks…. ;)

Blondie’s: This bar is trouble – recent murder scene. Nice.

Across the Boulevard:

Ponderosa Steak House: If you’re not familiar with Ponderosa Steak House, please, for the love of god, don’t let the name fool you. Technically, yes, it’s a steak house, but if you’re expecting Ruth Chris’, Murray’s, or even Timberlodge, you will be quite disappointed. Ponderosa tried to pass itself off as a chophouse, but really it was a toned-down version of the Old Country Buffet.  When a “chophouse” offers a smograsboard (with a taco bar) AND a western-style atmosphere, you’re not going to get a prime cut of meat. You couldn’t pop bottles here (no liquor licence), but you could pop buttons – since you could order a steak AND graze the buffet, you buckaroos could really get your gorge on.

Rax:  It was a fast food roast beef chain, similar to Arby’s. This location used to be a Country Kitchen. We didn’t go here very often, because my mom hated this place. I don’t remember much about it except that they had good shakes, the building looked like a solarium with all the windows, and had wicked cool alligator shaped plastic bottles for the drinks. (Don’t get too excited, Rax didn’t have a liquor license either. Can you imagine what fun drinking a cap’n coke would be in an Uncle Alligator bottle? Blondie’s has the liquor license & it’s across the street, but they sure as hell don’t serve moonshine in an alligator glass. If you asked for something like that, you’d probably get a cap in your ass.

Burger King, photo courtesy of the City of Brooklyn Park

Burger King, photo courtesy of the City of Brooklyn Park

Burger King: Closed in 2004. Demolished in 2006. According to the city of BP, there’s supposed to be a medical building up in its place.

Koops Red Owl: Yuck. Didn’t like grocery shopping here either. It reminded me of a small town grocer, especially with the hanging vinyl strips in the freezer sections, that you had to dip in and out of to get your foodstuff. It was a tiny grocery store and we only went here when we were waiting for our pizza to be ready at the nearby Little Ceasers. The fresh produce section was a mess – you really had to watch your step since half of the produce was smeared all over the floor. The fruit looked too nasty to buy, anyway – wormholed apples, peaches so bruised that it looked like they got in a bar fight, and bananas so spotty it looked like they had a case of the herp. Koops is now a Family Dollar.

Little Ceasers, Clean N Press For Less, Cost Cutters: These were all located in a small strip mall near Koops. The strip mall is still standing but the standard Brooklyn Park lineup of a check cashing place and an employment office prevails. I got my first perm at this Cost Cutters when I was in 3rd grade. I was going to write about how crazy my mom was for letting me get chemically-enhanced hair at that age, but these days, 9 year olds are getting botox, so I guess a perm is pretty tame.

Rocky Roccoo

Mr. Roccoo is still here!

Rocky Rococo: And it’s still here! Rocky himself looks more Panama Jack than Italian Pizza Connoisseur but hey, whatever works. They have great pizza! For Valentine’s day, pick your lover up a heart-shaped pizza pie and prepared to get laid. Hubba, hubba!

Goodyear Tires: Still around today!

Denny’s: Yep, Brooklyn Park once had its own Denny’s, a soulless, homogenized version of a greasy spoon-type diner. The only time it’s okay to go to a Denny’s is if it’s 3AM and you’re trying to sober up by eating a chicken fried steak after a night of painting the town red. I didn’t eat at this Denny’s much, maybe a handful of times. When it comes to the 24-hour diner type places,  I always preferred Perkins to Denny’s any day of the week. Two words: WISHING WELL. When I eat greasy diner food, I’m going to shit it all out anyway, so by god, I at least want a cereal-box quality souvenir to commemorate the event.

Dunkin’ Donuts: They served donuts when donuts weren’t kool, krispy, or kremey. There were no community service officers directing traffic in and around this place. No reporters from WCCO. No people pitching tents and camping out for a fucking bear claw. Just donuts, no drama. Donuts didn’t become “cool” in Minnesota until the Krispy Kreme in Maple Grove opened in 2001. I’m guessing this place was closed by 2001 but I’m not entirely sure. I know it was open in 1998, but that’s the last I remember it.

Budget Power: I believe there was a Budget Power in this area, across from Village North. Budget Power was a local hardware chain. I don’t think we ever shopped there. All I remember is that the logo had a lightening bolt.

More places

Rapid Oil Change: Rapid Oil Change turned into some car audio equipment store sometime in the late ’90s. Now it’s some place that’s part barbershop, part spinning rims dealer. Not surprising in the least.

The former Rapid Oil Change location

The former Rapid Oil Change location

White Castle and Dairy Queen: Yep, both are still standing to this day!

Seedy Strip Mall off of Brookdale Drive: I can’t recall ANY time we EVER stopped here because even back in the day, this place was a little shady. They had (and still have) a Chinese restaurant here. I’m not sure if it’s the same one or not.

Moonraker Apartments: (At least I think they were the Moonraker Apartments. Please correct me if I am wrong). They always had that sign that said, “If you lived here, you’d be home by now.” These apartments were shit even back in the ’80s.

Please enjoy the rest of the photos – all photos (except where noted) taken December 2008.

Feel free to share your memories of Village North Shopping Center in the comments!

dasdsa

The backend of what was Village North

Another view down the Boulevard

Another view down the Boulevard

Another view of the Godfather's Pizza

Another view of the Godfather's Pizza. It's empty, yet open for business

Woo hoo! Dairy Queen's still around

Woo hoo! Dairy Queen's still around

Brunswick Bowl - come for the lanes, stay for the knife fights

Brunswick Zone - come for the lanes, stay for the knife fights

Koops is now a Family Dollar...and it's probably just as nasty inside as it used to be

Koops is now a Family Dollar...and it's probably just as nasty inside as it used to be

This was the strip mall right by Koops. There used to be a Little Ceasers, Great Clips, and Clean N Press for Less here

This was the strip mall right by Koops. There used to be a Little Ceasers, Great Clips, and Clean N Press for Less here

A sign for the seedy strip mall off of Brookdale Drive & Zane (right across from the Dairy Queen...and MORE slummy apartments)

A sign for the seedy strip mall off of Brookdale Drive & Zane (right across from the Dairy Queen...and MORE slummy apartments)

Century Court Apartments, pre demolition *Photo courtesy of the City of Brooklyn Park*

Century Court Apartments, pre demolition *Photo courtesy of the City of Brooklyn Park*

Moonraker Apartments

Moonraker Apartments

Rocky Rococo sign

Rocky Rococo sign

Another view of the townhomes

Another view of the townhomes

It's no surprise that White Castle survived!

It's no surprise that White Castle survived

Godfathers Pizza sign

Godfathers Pizza sign

With Blondie's reputation, showing the UFC fight might not be a good idea. Recipe for trouble?

With Blondie's reputation, showing the UFC fight might not be a good idea. Recipe for trouble?

Another view of Blondie's

Another view of Blondie's

Yates & Brookdale Drive. More icky apartments tarnish the BP skyline

Yates & Brookdale Drive. More icky apartments tarnish the BP skyline

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59 Responses to Village North Shopping Center: Brooklyn Park, MN

  1. The Old Scowl on January 8, 2009 at 7:28 PM

    The Dunkin Donuts had a Baskin Robbins ice cream store as well in the same building. It’s a little strange to see competitors sharing such close quarters when they are out for the same junk food dollar. But then, that’s how you get Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (do you remember those commercials)?

  2. Doug O'Riley on January 8, 2009 at 10:27 PM

    Yeah, I grew up in Brooklyn Park in the late 1980′S/early 90′s and remember the Village North well. When I was in Minneapolis a couple years ago, I drove back to BP to see what was going down on Zane Ave. I must say that I was shocked with what I saw; it resembled Germany after World War II.

    Concerning Village North, I remember the sports bar that was connected to Circus,Circus… I remember sawing logs for a cub scout event while the awkward, drunk weirdos stared at us all the time…yeah, weird. Mario’s was located next to Circus Circus, right? Yeah, Mario’s was the place we rented our movies from–we never went to Mr. Movies, Panorama, Speedy Video, or Adventures in Video. I remember Mario’s smelling a little funky. Was there a Title Wave Video in BP? or was that Crystal where Title Wave was located?

    Yeah, what happened to Brooklyn Park?

  3. kalorie on January 9, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    Mr. Steak was where Blondie’s is now.
    Remember the Melting Pot restaurant….different foods from all over the world.
    Country Kitchen.
    Tom Thumb

  4. TheOldScowl on January 10, 2009 at 8:52 PM

    I do remember TitleWave had a store in Crystal in the mall that had the Shinders and the Old Country Buffet, but don’t remember the mall’s name.
    I can’t say I remember the melting pot restaurant in the area, but I do remember another one with a Dutch theme:
    Just west of the intersection of Zane and Brooklyn Boulevard (there is an auto parts store there now) there had been a Pannekoeken restaurant that had a team of Clydesdale horse sculpture at the front of the restaurant. It went out of business around the late 1980s/early 1990s and the building was around for a few more years. I had found a Pannekoeken restaurant around 2000 or 2001 near Maplewood Mall but it had none of the atmosphere of the Brooklyn Park site.
    I miss the Tom Thumb stores. Back when Gatorade was in glass bottles, as well as 8 pack bottles of soda you could return to the stores for the deposit.

  5. Vacant on January 12, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    At one point, I believe in the same location as Great American Music/the pet store, there was a vendor selling new and used arcade games and pinball machines to consumers. A high-class Bally machine called Hotdoggin’ purchased from there graced our basement for many years.

  6. Disco Studd on January 15, 2009 at 4:48 AM

    OMFG, my old man moved to Century Corut North apts right after my parents divorced! I can’t believe they finally tore that shithole down! Good riddance, I say. That place truly was a roach motel, even back in ’87. I can’t imagine what became of it by the time they tore it down. When the rest of Brooklyn Park was still considered classy, that place was indeed the ghetto.

    I can remember spending quite a bit of time (and allowance) at that Circus Pizza in Village North after my dad moved out on his own. I seem to remember they had a big Carousel inside, along with a mini golf course and a bumper car track. Now that I think about it, I took my wife (who was merely my girlfriend at the time) there on our 1 month anniversary and we got our pictures taken in the B&W instant photo booth. I remember taking her niece there a few years later, and a little “brother” told me that his daddy was gonna pop a cap in my ass after I told him to leave our niece alone. Did I shed a tear when they tore that mall down? Hell no!

    I can’t believe Rocky Rococo’s is still in business!!! I might have to get my conceal and carry permit, buy me a Gloc and go get me a pan pizza from Rocky’s one of these days.

    I also remember there being a Schwinn shop inside Village North. I bought a set of frame standers for my Huffy Sigma from that place in the summer of ’87…

  7. BP Alum on January 16, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    Corner Plaza turned into petfood warehouse next was great american music the circus

  8. frank on January 18, 2009 at 11:49 AM

    Robberies Plymoth 9 to Brooklyn park 118 a 1,311% more,Maple Grove 118 to 21 a 461% more,Bloomington 51 to Brooklyn park 118 a 131% more!Aggravated assault Plymouth 32 to Brooklyn Park 169 a 528% more,Maple Grove 23 to Brooklyn Park 169 a 634% more,Bloomington 61 to Brooklyn Park 169 a 177% more.Crime is what has and will bring this city to be the next NORTH MPLS!!

  9. Tony on January 27, 2009 at 3:44 PM

    I remember there was a fabric store at the very end of village north were we would go and get patterns for helloween costumes, and next to that was a magic store. I do know that circus circus bought out the magic shop and extended the game area in the mid ’90s and the fabric store became a pet store in the ’90s.

  10. Bill on February 19, 2009 at 11:35 AM

    The pet food store was The Pet Food Warehouse, and I don’t think Circus moved into that space, it was on the end and Circus was next-door.

    By the way, an arguement my brother and I always had was “Circus Circus” vs “Circus”. The sign said “Circus Circus” but I think it was like a shadow, I don’t think it was meant to be said twice. Who knows, good memories there!

  11. April on February 28, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    Absolutely loved this. Sounds like we grew up in B.P. at the exact same time. I remember going to Korner Plaza for my first pair of Guess jeans; I saved $3 a week for 9 wks. to but them. Then I ripped them climbing a fence the next day.
    Marios bought our Nintendo and all our games for $10; and we thought we got a great deal!
    We used to ride our bikes to Tom Thumb every day for candy–the other day there was something on T.V. about Jacob Wetterling and it made me sad because he was about my age and disappeared on his way to Tom Thumb.
    My brother and I also had the Circus/Circus-Circus argument; with me defending the former.
    Moonraker Appts: One time my Mom decided to leave my Dad and we toured them with her. Thank God they never got divorced because those hallways smelled terrible.
    Brooklyn Park was lovely, but I moved away in 1992, and I guess that was about the right time.

  12. Matt Braun on March 1, 2009 at 3:08 AM

    I grew up in BP, and my parents moved away after my first year of college. Didn’t make it back there too often until my company relocated to BP last summer, so I’ve made a few trips down Brooklyn Blvd recently. Those townhomes just don’t look right!

    Village North also had a jewelry store named Jensen Jewelers (I believe). It was close to Walgreens, on the Circus side. I think the grocery store was first a Super Valu and then an IGA. There was Village North Barbers, where Edna cut my hair, and there was McLean’s, where Brenda cut my mom’s and sister’s hair. (Brenda is in Wayzata now, where my mom now goes to see her every month.)

    White Castle moved all of about 200 yards in the early 2000s, when Walgreens bought the corner spot and pushed them back. My first part-time job was at Pannekoeken Huis in 1989.

    The bowling alley wasn’t connected to VN, it was across the street, closer to Godfather’s.

    I ate at Rocky Rococo’s for lunch just a couple of weeks back.

    Thanks for the memories!

  13. Sue (Bertram) Rohlfs on March 3, 2009 at 10:35 AM

    What about further down the road to the Starlite Drive-In Movie Theatre and the 52-HI Drive-In Restaurant? I worked at both back in the day. I lived on Brunswick Ave-1 block off Zane. A few blocks from White Castle. It wasn’t White Castle when we first moved there, but I can’t remember what was there.? It sounds like the area has really changed and not for the good. Thats too bad. It was a pretty good place to live when we were there. Thanks for the memories!!

  14. Dave on March 7, 2009 at 10:20 PM

    I remember the Starlight and 52-HI! I grew up on Georgia Ave. I could see the movie screen from my back yard.

    Village North was my stomping ground. Worked at Pannekoeken Huis, Penny’s Market (which would become SuperValu), and Ponderosa.

    Mr. Gatti’s pizza, (before it was Rockey Rocco) was the place to be on a Friday night after a football game.

    Anyone remember the “car show” in the VN parking lot that turned in to a giant drag race on Brooklyn Blvd? One chick was clocked over 100mph. Hundreds of people milling around. Cops with K-9s broke it up.

    Sue, I remember there was a DX gas station in the late 60′s/early 70′s before they built the Castle on the corner.

    How about Gordon’s in the Park? Couple of my brothers worked there.

    I could go on, but I’ll stop…after I say BP was a great place to grow up. Can’t think of anyplace better.

  15. John LeQuire on March 10, 2009 at 2:13 AM

    Wow, this brings me back. I grew up in BP in the 70′s and 80′s. Even worked at Circus in late 80′s before working for BP police. As far as the name, It started as Circus Circus but had to change its name after a cease and desist order from the Circus Circus in Vegas so it changed to Circus Pizza. How Vegas found out about a chain of 6 stores in suburban Minnesota I have no idea. I cannot rememeber for the life of me what the owners names were. Last name of Heilicher or something like that? I remember riding my bike down to village north and leaving it unlocked on the sidewalk. I also remember responding to a shooting there several years later as a police officer.
    I live in Raleigh NC now but still look back to those childhood days in BP with fondness. Too bad it has gone the way it has.

  16. Rootfish on March 16, 2009 at 11:30 PM

    Holy shit! That cheerleader rat looks like something from David Lynch movie!

  17. APFelon on March 20, 2009 at 12:37 AM

    When I was very young, I used to love going to Village North with my family. Before Korner Plaza came along, that area of the mall was occupied by a store called Murphy’s. I remember buying many Star Wars toys there. I remember very little about it (it closed when I was eight or nine) but it seemed to be a typical department store.

    Once Murphy’s closed, a portion of the space went to Korner Plaza, and the other portions went to Company’s Coming, Circus Pizza and Great American Music.

    Mario’s Music and Games was a bank before it closed up… The old sign out front that told the time and temp belonged to the bank until they closed up and Circus took over the sign.

    The mall was so full of life back in the late 70s- early 80s. So much energy. All of the storefronts had businesses in them and the mall area was full of people.

    I knew Village North was doomed when I could walk from one end of the mall to the other and pass more closed stores than open ones. Everything looked dingy and the carpeted areas looked downright funky. Drug dealers sold pot right outside of Circus without any fear or nonchalance.

    The whole city is in the crapper now. I call it Zane Rot… if you are familiar with the city, that should make sense.

    Peace

    APFelon

    Park Center class of 1989.

  18. Dave on March 21, 2009 at 9:09 PM

    Anyone remember that the original name of Denny’s was Sambo’s?
    Never could figure out why they changed their name….

  19. Sue (Bertram) Rohlfs on March 21, 2009 at 9:37 PM

    What was in the spot that Circus Circus took over? Was it a department store?…I just can’t remember…
    There was also a “head shop” in the mini strip mall, by Gordens in the Park. Does anyone remember what the name of that was? I can’t remember what else was in that little mall either…maybe a dry cleaner? (I must have spent too much time in the head shop…lol.)
    Dave…I remember Gordens in the Park …I had a brother who worked there also.
    This is great, trying to pull all these memories to the surface…not as easy as I thought it would be…lol

    • Bill on July 26, 2013 at 10:06 AM

      Wasn’t it called “In-Zane”?

  20. Dave on March 21, 2009 at 9:46 PM

    The original store was Murphys before it was Circus. It was a pretty big place, from TCF all the way to the end. My sister worked there for a while.
    The head shop was In Zane Ltd. They ended up moving, appropriately enough down Zane near Zanewood Elementary. Now they’re on Brookdale Dr. and Xerxes.

  21. red730 on April 7, 2009 at 7:56 AM

    The family dollar store is actually where Snyders used to be before moving to its most recent location (which is now closed). Koops was right next door. And the scary thing is that I still have my green smock and nametag from when I used to worked at Koops.

  22. Sarah on April 17, 2009 at 11:41 AM

    Such fond memories of Circus Circus. I spent quite a bit of time there about 17+ years ago. I thought I was awesome because my sister was dating a guy that dressed up as the clown, what was the clown’s name, Bumpers?? At one point when he was working, long before they started shredding tickets that had been redeemed, my sister’s b-friend found multiple garbage bags stuffed FULL with them. We all sat around counting them for days before confiscated by our parents, we have well over 30,000 tickets. Got some pretty awesome stuff with the tickets we were able to keep. I still have one of the old tokens. I thought the bumper cars were the greatest. Anyone remember when they put in the mini bowling lanes?! Took over the spot where the mini golf was. I met my first “real” boyfriend there when I was 12. I’ll never forget that place!

  23. Bryan on April 19, 2009 at 8:17 PM

    I used to play fooseball all of the time at what is now Godfathers. Anyone remember the name of the place? It served beer and was a great place to play fooseball?

  24. Brian on May 5, 2009 at 2:45 PM

    Wow, great memories. I remember almost all of this, but had forgotten. I remember my mom thinking Circus was too dangerous, but I’d sneak up there anyway. She would always go up to the Northwestern Book Store and JoAnn Fabrics on the other side of the mall. Loved Marios and Circus.

    I remember a bike store in there as well, not too far down from Marios, maybe next door.

    I also seem to remember a Maaco next to the Godfathers Pizza.

  25. Bryan on May 8, 2009 at 4:48 PM

    I think I remember the name. Was it Barnaby’s?

  26. Dave on May 9, 2009 at 7:50 AM

    That sounds very familiar. Didn’t they close after a fire? Digging deep into the memory banks for that one!

  27. Rick LaReau on May 17, 2009 at 12:06 PM

    What a great review! For me as well, I remember the ATM in the middle of the parking lot, and probably spent 80% of my allowance at Great American Music. Wasn’t there also a Baskin Robins inside the mall? Right in the middle at the “elbow.” Or am I confusing that with the one at Brookdale?

    Park Center, class of 1982

  28. jim on June 6, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    here a few few more store globe cleaners, northwest fabric’s Johnson jewelers sliver dawn robin lee’s hallmark bargain’s galore famous footwear there was also a golf store and some ice cream place

  29. mike w on June 11, 2009 at 9:01 PM

    I grew up across Brooklyn Blvd from Village North, spent MANY hours there…I bought many 45′s and cheap X-mas gifts for the family at Murphy’s… My brother and friends would also spend hours playing on the HUGE pile of snow that they’d plow the parking lot snow into…Anyone remember the horse-drawn haywagon/flatbed thing they would have near x-mas that would trot slowly in a loop around the whole parking lot ? Lame, but something to do… Also, back in the days of Great American Music, waiting out overnite for concert tickets a few times…Has anyone mentioned that stereo store, whatever it was…Or Coast to Coast hardware? Tater Daze carnival stuff in the parking lot ?? Ah, youth…

    • dumpystripmalls on June 12, 2009 at 9:09 AM

      YES! I remember that horse-drawn carriage they’d bring out every Christmas season. I completely forgot about it! It’d pick you up outside the Walgreens or whatever, and you’d enjoy the picturesque view of the Village North store fronts, as it trotted you around a parking lot covered in dirty snow. How…romantic! LOL

      I’d ALWAYS bug my mom & dad to go for a ride in it – they gave in a few times. And I always wanted to bring a slide to play on the mound of snow piled up in the lot – I remember being so jealous of the kids who were playing on it because we were never allowed too. We went to Central Park or Norwood Park to go sliding.

      I remember that stereo store too…I have no idea what its name was though.

  30. Dave on June 12, 2009 at 9:28 AM

    When the mall opened there was a stereo place called Delmonico’s House of Stereo. I think I actually bought a stereo there in the late 70′s.

  31. [...] Loaded baked potato? Sounds good now as an adult, but most kids would prefer to eat soggy pizza at Circus Circus, doggy-paddle their way through the ball crawl, and come home with the Chicken [...]

  32. Ben on July 10, 2009 at 10:52 PM

    Here are a few things that people didn’t mention about the area:

    1)there was a Sinclair gas station across the street from Village North,sorta by Red Owl. (it had a cartoon dinosaur symbol)
    2)Brooklyn Park Bank was very near Village North. It was sorta near where Arbys was and across the street from Blondie’s. Later on,Marquette bought it out,and then Wells Fargo bought out Marquette banks.

    3)Shingle Creek (and a tiny wooded area) was behind Village North & the Bowling Alley was across the creek,I believe. By the way,the creek was destroyed a few yrs ago to make room for townhomes.

    4)There was a Taco Bell very near Village North. (it’s now gone)
    5)Village North used to have a Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors located at the intersection area where part of the mall would head off toward the tiny Shingle Creek parking area.
    6)There used to be a Country Kitchen where that Rax used to be.
    7)Behind that DQ mentioned,back in the 1970s,was a fun amusement place where there were gokarts and I think minigolf and batting cages as well.

  33. Pseudo3D on July 14, 2009 at 8:36 PM

    I ate at a Godfather Pizza, once, in 2002.

    A large grease puddle was suspended above the pizza…

    …but is that necessarily a bad thing?

  34. Pseudo3D on July 15, 2009 at 11:26 AM

    Village North is still on Google Maps…it’s a “J” shaped stripmall.

  35. kalorie on July 17, 2009 at 10:32 PM

    Remember Kelly’s Pizza? In the strip mall next to Gordons???

  36. Disco Studd on July 18, 2009 at 3:19 AM

    Kelly’s?!? Hell yeah I remember Kelly’s. I grew up across the street from the one on 63rd & Boone, by Cherokee Center (they called it “Kelly’s On Boone.”) My old man always used to hang out there after work and get tanked. My mom used to have me or my brother ride our bikes by there to spy on the old man.

    I remember they had a 2nd location over off 85th (and Noble, I beleive – my aunt and uncle lived over there many moons ago) that I think was called “Kelly’s 19th Hole.”

    Neither of them were near Village North, however. If there ever was a Kelly’s over in that area, it must’ve been before 1981.

    I remember liking their pizza when I was a kid. Wonder if it’s any good nowadays…

  37. Irvanna on November 2, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    Check this video at the time 2:15 and let me know if those are the characters from Circus Circus http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmZexg8sxyk Me and my sister swear they are the robot band at Circus Pizza but we just want to me sure.

    • Ralph on May 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM

      Yes, that’s The Rock-afire Explosion. They were the house band for ShowBiz Pizza Place coast-to-coast from 1980 to 1991, including the one that was on John Martin Dr. & Shingle Creek Pkwy. The MN ShowBiz chapter folded in 1987, then Circus bought the Rock-afire shows for their six stores around Minneapolis, including the original in Village North. They reigned over V.N. until Chuck E. Cheese bought Circus in 1998 and closed the Brooklyn Park store instead of converting it.

  38. Chad on January 5, 2011 at 1:13 AM

    Gosh, I remember Village North from my childhood. I grew up in BP during the late 80s before my family and I moved to Maple Grove in 1991. Sadly, the area had really begun to slide. Crime (both petty and violent) was getting worse. But I have great memories of the Circus-Circus at VN, having spent much time there. I remember the Berger Bros. store and a few others, but that’s about it. I remember there was (maybe still is) a Taco Bell just west of VN that had some nice architectural elements to it (a bell tower-type of thing). I remember Ponderosa, Rocky Rococo’s, and Denny’s along the main strip there. The last time my parents brought my sister and me to Circus-Circus, it was in terrible condition. Water leaks were beginning to destroy the ceiling (and carpeting beneath them), rides were in disrepair, etc. It was a sad sight. Just a few years later, the mall was razed.

    I have great memories of the singing animatronic animals. I spent so many hours just enamored with how they worked. Were they real? How did they move? All of the amazement that being a child brings. One time, when we were a little older, my parents brought us to the place just as the robots were being serviced. The repairman was nice enough to explain to us how they worked, and let us watch him service the robots. I will absolutely never forget that. It was so cool to see how they worked!

    I am so sad to see what has happened to Brooklyn Park/Brooklyn Center over the last two decades. What used to be a nice, modest area for middle-class Minnesotans has turned into a really rough area. It would be a really interesting case study to see what happened. What political decisions were made (or not made) that allowed the area to decline so rapidly? I really hope that BP can build itself back up into a respectable area. There are still a lot of great people there. Thanks for this website! It’s nice to be able to look back on days gone by, even if it is sometimes depressing.

  39. vanessa on February 10, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    OMG, wow this brings back so many memories. Got druck at tators, village north bowl. And that ATM, Yep i remember that. I use to snowmobile where all the townhomes are on zane. Its been along time since I’ve been there.

  40. Osseo 81 on March 2, 2011 at 9:44 PM

    I didn’t see anyone mention the Zantigo’s that used to be on Zane Ave. south of Brooklyn Blvd, my buddies always preferred it to Taco Bell…prior to Zantigo’s demise anyway. I spent too damn much time at Circus back in ’79-82 playing Pac Man.. I’m afraid I was a real “vidiot” back then, but hell, a lot of us were. I was at Village North one of those nights that the drag racing was going on too, that was a wild, crazy night. A lot of wasted youth at Village North, I didn’t realize they had torn it down.

    A couple other highlights from back in the day:

    Got my hair set on fire at Pannekoeken Huis by a drunk bitch being careless with a cigarette at the table in back of us.

    I saw that tornado in July 1986 forming overhead while sitting in traffic on Zane ave. at Brooklyn Blvd. coming home from work that was later videotaped by the Channel 11 traffic copter over Fridley.

    I moved out of state in ’88, what the hell has happened to the Osseo/Brooklyn Park/Brooklyn Center area? I was up there last year for the first time in about 15 years and didn’t recognize the place. I guess everything changes, and not always for the better.

  41. Andrea on August 7, 2011 at 7:38 PM

    The Plaster Store used to be called the “Golden Mushroom”. It was the greatest place to buy unpainted plaster! And everyone NEEDS unpainted plaster, right?
    Village North…. ah, those were the days. Korner Plaza. My dad bought me my first pair of HART downhill skis there when I was in 9th grade. Some of my first LPs were from Great American Music! I thought Village North was cool with that huge open area that was carpeted. Then I remember the ceiling leaking and it stunk. It really became like a ghost town. Sad.
    Godfathers was Barnaby’s, yes! A great hang out after PC games. Osseo people would be at the McDonalds and the PC crowd would be either at Godfathers or at BK. Cops just hung out amongst the high schools awaiting the breakouts of fights.
    Growing up in Brooklyn Center and on the boarder of Brooklyn Park was awesome. Although I have to say, the richer kids and families were all from Brooklyn Park. What a fun place to hang in the early 80s….

  42. Wendy Scott Wiczek on August 8, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    There also used to be a Schmidt Music in Village North. There was a midget guy that worked there. There was also a Lieb’s clothing store. There was also a beauty salon that had two sides – I can’t remember the name – but it had two sides – one was more expensive than the other.

  43. Wendy Scott Wiczek on August 9, 2011 at 7:53 AM

    There was a Lieb’s clothing store for a while. When the mall first opened there was a Schmidt Music store. I remember in the strip mall across the street next to Red Owl grocery store was a Hof Brau House German restaurant. Love looking at these memories.

  44. Ben on September 7, 2011 at 8:43 AM

    Your blog is fantastic and your writing style makes this even more enjoyable. Grew up in area, spent too much time snaking up to VN, Speedy, BJ’s BikeShop, Jan’s Scoop Shop, etc. I recall my mom warning us to stay away from Circus – ‘that place is lousy with dirtballs.’ Speaks of BP’s relative innocence when the primary concern for my parents were ‘dirtballs.’ Not exactly sure what she was referring to but we knew to not get caught there.

    I think I still have an aerosol can of shellack from Plaster Paradise in the basement. Still have Halloween crap that my brother, mom and I painted. I recall wanting one of the huge panthers but mom was having none of it.

    Spot on takes on all the stores, especially Circus, Mc Donalds, and PP. Thanks to the posters for helping me remember Murphy’s. Mom used to take us shopping and we’d, on occasion have lunch and a grape soda at the ‘restaurant’ inside. Remember the Pop Shop?

    The backside of VN was sketchy as hell. Today, the creek has been somewhat restored and there is walking paths, etc. Those cookie cutter townhouses are indeed hideous but better than Century Court.

    Thanks again for the trip back. I wish there were more photos. I’ll try to dig out the old albums to see what I can find.

    Park Center 92

  45. Justin on December 15, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    Thanks for your descriptive breakdown of 80′s Brooklyn Park. I grew up in Champlin but all we had was a gas station and Champlin Plaza, a village north ripoff that was already sounding its death knell by the late 80′s. Circus Circus ran the gamut of my childhood memories along with one you might remember off shingle creek parkway, Showbiz Pizza, which threw in the towel long before Circus Circus did.
    To add to your wonderfully ambitious and comprehensive breakdown of the 80′s Village North area I remember a restaurant near Rocky Rococo’s that played daytime soaps on a projection tv while moms smoked Merits and kids fought over the table top Ms. Pacman

  46. William Hoffman on December 21, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    I worked at the Starlite Drive-In during the 77 and 78 seasons. Once we advertised a family movie, but the reels that showed up were for Kentucky Fried Movie! I remember they hired an usher who was an Osseo High School wrestling star, and he beat to hell some poor kid on his first date, kicked in several peoples car doors, got into a half a dozen other fights with the patrons. What an Ass!

  47. Lauren Sunshine Rigoli on February 22, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    This article is fantastic! I grew up in BP, worked at the Circus Pizza as a teenager, and watched the city slowly but surely fall apart. I remember when InZane was actually locate on Zane Avenue, near the bowling alley. Skateland was the hot-spot in the late 80′s and early 90′s – I wasn’t allowed to attend the “all nighters” as a child because the police were so often called to break up fights. I remember when the crappy apartments were Century Court and Century Place before they tried to give them a “make-over” and changed the name to Huntington Place. I use the term “make-over” loosely……

    (previous poster) Kelly’s has two locations – Kelly’s 19th Hole on the corner of Noble and 85th and Kelly’s on Boone on the corner of Boone and 63rd. Their pizza is still fabulous, it has not changed at all.

  48. Bob on April 16, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    3 years later, I think it is time to wake up this thread… I used to work at the Rapid Oil Change at Zane and Brooklyn Blvd back around 1990-1992. Other than Century Courts, Point of America (aka Point of Africa) apartments, and the other shitty apartments further south on Zane, it wasn’t a bad area. I went to Park Center in the 1980′s, and it was a great school. It went totally ghetto after that time period, though. I remember all the places mentioned above. I used to love Brooklyn Park, but now it is nothing more than a trashy ghetto.

  49. Francisco on May 30, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    Love this blog. I grew up not too far from here up on 85th and this was my old stomping grounds as a kid in the 80′s and 90s. So many good memories of the area. I lived at Circus Circus and Mario’s movies and games. When I got old enough to work my first jobs were at some of the places in that mall. I specifically remember the crappy fair they had there every summer with the huge slide. I used to get so excited. A couple of things missing. I held a job there in my teens at some cut-rate 2nd tier electronics store called Petterman or something like that. I forget. We had blue polo’s though and it was sort of off to the side and not in the mall itself. Also the Rex I think became Miami Subs and I used to go there quite a bit.

  50. Amy on June 2, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    I forgot how much I loved this site! So happy you’re back!

  51. [...] Recent CommentsStevie B. on Knock, knock? Anyone there?Stevie B. on Skateland: Brooklyn Park, MNEJ on Golden Valley Shopping Center: Golden Valley, MNEJ on Plymouth Center: Plymouth, MNAmy on Village North Shopping Center: Brooklyn Park, MNArchives [...]

  52. Mike S. on June 7, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    My father was the manager of G. C. Murphy Co. store in the mid to late 70′s. Graduated from Park Center High School. Went back recently and totally different. Went from a typical middle class American town to a half deserted hole in the wall……..

  53. Charlie on June 20, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    There was a photo developing place in Village North too. My mom used to trek us there from 10 miles away because she’d save like $1 by mentioning that she saw them on the “Good Company” show on KSTP. I think it was called The Photo Mill?

  54. TheOldScowl on June 22, 2012 at 5:45 PM

    Just an update regarding the Village North area:
    The building that housed the sports bar and grill known as “Blondie’s” was reported as being in the process of being purchased by the city of Brooklyn Park. The owner of “Blondies” and the preceding business, a “Mr. Steak” restaurant franchise, Dick Gunderson, died last year (Dec.7, 2011).

    Star Tribune obit on Dick Gunderson:
    http://www.startribune.com/local/north/135899733.html

    A link(dead) of the purchase plan from a MN SUN article:
    http://www.mnsun.com/articles/2012/…/brooklyn_park/…/11bp29blondies….
    A short dated summary found with a google search:
    Mar 29, 2012 – The city of Brooklyn Park plans to buy Blondie’s Sports Grill and Bar, which closed Feb. 20 after the Dec. 7 death of its owner, Dick Gunderson.

    I don’t know of what the city plans to do with the structure or the lot.

  55. Tim on July 1, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    My wife and I lived in the Century Court apartments in 1983, we were hicks from the country (Monticello) and didn’t know any better. We lived there about a year and there were always weird people/things going on in the parking lots. Going to the shoddy laundry room down the hall was an adventure to, you never quite knew what to expect.

    We shopped at Village North quite a bit and it seemed fine. But even in 1983, we wouldn’t go near that bowling ally.

    We got the heck out of Century Court summer of 1984 when we heard there was a murder in the complex.

  56. Scott on August 16, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    I grew up in Brooklyn Park and it’s amazing the stupidity they did with the Village North property. Century Court was the slums of BP and they thought something shiny like new block townhomes would be a good idea. In 15 years, those will be the next Century Court.
    The border between Good and Bad sections of the city is currently 85th Ave. Because the city can’t expand much more north than it has, that line will probably hold for a long time.

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