Inver Grove Heights residents like to complain about the lack of restaurants in the city.
The reality is, they are complaining about lack of convenience, not lack of restaurants.
Think about it:
Inver Grove Heights has a lot of restaurants. Want proof?
Inver Grove Heights has 16 independently-owned restaurants – and 41 total restaurants/places that serve food. The City of West Saint Paul has 43. Two more than IGH? Hard to believe right?
But, Inver Grove Heights restaurants are not all in one central, or convenient location, like on Robert Street in West Saint Paul, Eagan’s Town Centre Shopping Center, and like all of Woodbury.
There is also not a hub of fast food restaurants in one convenient location – like in all of the cities above.
They are spread out, all over the city, and people complain about it, because they have to drive a little farther, and it’s not convenient for them. One Eat IGH reader once complained that White Castle, located on the border of IGH and WSP off Robert Street – but still in IGH, wasn’t close enough, and should go on Cahill and replace a McDonald’s. Close enough to what? His needs or where he lives? So that there tells us that reader wants convenience. What do people want in the old KFC location in IGH? An Arby’s, or Taco Bell (never happening). Why? Because it’s more convenient for them than driving to the nearby cities that do have those restaurants.
Everyone complains they have to drive to Eagan or Woodbury to do their shopping. Well, yeah. Those are bigger cities, with more people, more traffic. So why would a business like a Kohl’s, Hy-Vee, or Costco, or any number of restaurants that people always wish would come to IGH – open in IGH when they can open in an area with more people/traffic?
The great thing about IGH is it’s located next to everything, but has a small town vibe, in a way. It’s not super busy (see Woodbury traffic lights), but close to everything. That is the best of both worlds.
The point is this: There are numerous good restaurants in IGH, but because they are not convenient for people to get to, in one central hub, people complain about lack of restaurants.
Five new restaurants open
In the past two years, there have been five new restaurants that have opened up in IGH:
- 1.2.3. Pasta
- IWA Sushi
- Rincon Mexicano
- Taqueria El Rincon
- El Azteca
How many times have you been to each?
When a new restaurant comes to town, people get excited, try it, then forget about it, or don’t go back. People seem more excited about finding out what the restaurant is. They then fall back into their same routine. How many times have you been to 1.2.3 Pasta – which serves up some really good Italian food and has a new menu monthly? How many times have you been to IWA Sushi – which is fantastic, and has really affordable happy hour lunch and dinner specials? Did you also know, on certain occasions, IWA Sushi serves $1.50 domestic bottles, and has a full bar? Did you know they have much more than sushi, including hibachi filet mignon and noodles that are as good as you will get anywhere (see pic at top of article, or below). Not to mention, B52 Burgers and Brew added a new rooftop patio over the summer. You were excited to hear this news, right? How many times have you actually gone to B52 and sat on the rooftop? Have you tried the new lunch menu at The Mississippi Pub? What about the beef stroganoff or Alfredo Mac and Cheese at Jersey’s? They serve that type of food? Yes – and it’s good.
When people go out to eat, they want something fun, new, exciting, and that tastes good. Makes sense.
But people who live in IGH already know everything about these restaurants, or so they think, so it’s not new and exciting to go to an IGH restaurant.
Take Dominick’s Pizza. Excellent philly cheesesteaks. Decent pizza. When is the last time you thought to go to Dominick’s? Probably been a while right? They have limited delivery, and are on the border of Eagan off highway 3/South Robert Trail – much too far out of the way for many.
How about Pizza Hut? Do you even remember there is a Pizza Hut off Mendota Road in Southview Center in IGH? And one inside Target? We forgot too!
We actually have lots of options in IGH, including these:
16 independently owned restaurants
Want to support small businesses? Dislike chain restaurants? Rooting for the “little guy” trying to make it? IGH is home to 1.2.3. Pasta, B52 Burgers and Brew, Cahill Diner, Drac’s Pub, Dominick’s Pizza, Jersey’s Bar and Grill, Mississippi Pub, Overboard Bar and Grill, Old World Pizza, El Rincon Mexicano, Taqueria El Rincon, J’S Fish and Chicken, Turitto’s. Not to mention three independent Asian restaurants – A&L Chinese, SuperWok, and Little Asia Bowl.
That’s 16 independently owned, non-chain restaurants. Sixteen! That’s almost three times as many as Cottage Grove, too.
IGH also has these restaurants:
Casual chain restaurants
Bierstube (not a traditional chain but there are multiple, so we include here)
Fast food chains
McDonald’s (two of them!)
Subway (three of them!)
Chain pizza restaurants
Pizza Hut (two of them!)
Peterson’s Popcorn and Ice Cream
There’s even The Mediterranean Grill – a restaurant inside a convenience store (but that convenience store/gas station, off Babcock, is not convenient, right?), and Celts, which serves up great Coney’s, as well as pizza, burgers, and other food. The King of Diamonds also serves food (eat at your own risk!), so does The Inverwood Deli.
Lack of central hub
But things are spread out. There’s the hub in Arbor Pointe – A&W, SuperWork, Ruby Tuesday, and even a Caribou. There’s the area off Upper 55th and Highway 52 – B52 Burgers and Brew, Old World Pizza, Outback Steakhouse, Applebee’s, and another Caribou.
There is the area off Concord – Turitto’s pizza, Jersey’s Bar and Grill, Celts Pub, The Pub, and Overboard Bar and Grill.
And then there is Cahill – considered the main “hub” by most, which includes two McDonald’s, A&L Chinese, J’s Fish and Chicken, Bierstube, Carbone’s, Drkula’s, and Dairy Queen, between Upper 55th and 80th.
But people drive by these same restaurants every day, and they are simply bored with them.
A quick Google search shows that West Saint Paul has 43 restaurants/eateries with WSP addresses – only two more than IGH! However, West Saint Paul has more fast food and fast casual restaurants – a Chipotle, Culver’s, Taco Bell, Chick-fil-A, Raising Cane’s, Arby’s, Burger King, Panera, Panda Express – all the popular fast food and fast casual restaurants in a convenient, central location, off Robert Street. Disclaimer: We did these calculations of WSP restaurants based on Google searches of WSP restaurants, and knowledge of WSP, so there may be more WSP restaurants – but either way, it’s a lot closer than we would have ever thought between the two cities.
Do you ever hear anyone say West Saint Paul needs more restaurants (or more auto parts stores)?
It’s hard to believe IGH has nearly as many restaurants/eateries than WSP. But in IGH, they are spread out throughout the city.
And that isn’t good enough for many IGH residents. Look at most of the complaints. It’s about having to go to WSP, or Eagan, or Woodbury to shop, or eat at some of these restaurants.
And proves the point: IGH residents want convenience, not more restaurants.