Mankato and its growing population have raked in several new businesses to keep pace with residents’ cravings. Within the past year, a variety of restaurants, bakeries and fast-food chains have popped up around town, many replacing old ones.
With new students arriving at Minnesota State each semester, the experiences of current ones will reflect how businesses thrive in the future, and many of the newest businesses have achieved positive ratings so far.
Mankato opened its first Crumbl Cookies Friday, a dessert shop with locations in the Twin Cities, and attracted a line of customers out the door to try its popular treats. The shop, which replaced Bounce Town on Adams St. near the River Hills Mall, releases a different array of flavors each week. Crumbl Cookies has gone viral on social media platforms such as TikTok for its unique flavors and design.
MSU student Emily Waldschmit was one of the many customers in line this week.
“Crumbl Cookies was so good,” Waldshmidt said. “The employees were nice, it was a good atmosphere; I’ll definitely be going every week.”
Another dessert shop in Mankato that was the first of its kind is Bober Tea & Mochi Dough. Opened in early September, the business is located in University Square near campus. The inside of the building contains walls of pink flowers. The business serves both boba tea and mochi donuts.
MSU student Jacob Asleson has tried out the Japanese-inspired donuts he describes as, “warm and fresh.”
“It was amazing,” Asleson said. “I had a great and tasty time. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and sweet snack.”
With the original in Waseca, MN, local bakery Lush Cakes opened at the end of September. Located in Old Town Mankato, Lush Cakes offers numerous bakery items such as macarons, cupcakes, cookies, bars, pastries and more. There is also a lunch menu with sandwiches and coffee to pair with it.
Outside of a dessert route, Mankato recently opened local pub chain Crooked Pint Ale House. Formerly a Shopko, the restaurant is a part of The Pond on Madison, also housing the UNRL rink and Green Mill pizza to go. The Crooked Pint has gained a lot of attraction from Mankato residents, including MSU student Coltin Mak.
“It was a great, warm and friendly environment,” Mak said. “The pints weren’t too crooked.”
The restaurant, known for its Juicy Lucy is accompanied by three pickleball courts, two golf simulators, bowling and arcade games.
“I was smashing at pickleball,” Mak said. “The food was super tasty. I’d recommend it to my friends.”
As Mankato said goodbye to its local Mexican restaurant La Terraza, Catrine’s Mexican Bar and Grill quickly took over its Madison Avenue location in early October. Within its first month open, Catrine’s has maintained a five-star Google review, and appears to be a valid competitor for El Mazatlan, a popular Mexican restaurant among MSU students.
Other new businesses worth a try include MC’s Garage, Maverick’s Sports Grill and Crisp & Green, and plans to open a Jamba Juice and Wetzel’s pretzels in replacement of Costanzas in U-Square are on the horizon.
Write to Mercedes Kauphusman at firstname.lastname@example.org
Header Photo: Each week, Crumbl Cookie’s menu rotates to give you 4 different specialty flavors to taste and enjoy. (Courtesy Business Wire)