Yearly Archives: 2016

Union Depot Hosts Top Twin Cities Bakeries at Fourth Annual Holiday Bake Sale on December 10

November 15, 2016

From gluten-free cupcakes to honey-infused chocolate confections, Union Depot will offer visitors a sweet day of shopping when its Waiting Room is transformed into the Fourth Annual Holiday Bake Sale on Saturday, December 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  The popular event will showcase top bakeries from around the Twin Cities, hostess and holiday gift vendors, and a sneak peek at Lowertown Pop, a Minnesota-made event that will take place at Union Depot April 15, 2017.

“Each year, proceeds from ticket sales at the signature Bake Sale are donated to a local community group. This year, Merrick Community Services Food Shelf is the beneficiary of attendee generosity,” said Rafael E. Ortega, chairman, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority.

Guests will enjoy baking and cooking demonstrations by participating chefs – scheduled every 30 minutes – as well as musical performances. There will also be on-stage demos with Lowertown Pop vendors Hagen & Oats showing their wood cutting craft techniques and American Craftsmen demonstrating bending wood. For a complete list of demonstrations and to purchase Bake Sale tickets in advance, visit www.uniondepot.org/bakesale.

Admission is $5 for adults and includes a free tote bag. Seniors 60+ and kids under 12 are free (no tote bag with free admission). VIP admission is $10 and includes a commemorative train-themed cookie cutter gift set, free tote bag, and recipe cards from participating bakeries. Those receiving free admission may purchase the tote bag alone for $5 or the tote bag with the commemorative cookie cutter gift set and recipe cards for $10, while supplies last. One hundred percent of proceeds from event admission and the tote bag purchase will be donated to Merrick Community Services Food Shelf.

 

This year’s participating bakeries include:
Nikkolette’s Macarons
Potters Pasties
Cravin’ Pie
T-Rex Cookie Company, LLC
Honey & Rye Bakehouse
North Mallow & Co. LLC
St. George Greek Orthodox Church
Curly Girlz Candy, LLC
Bread Art
Groundswell
Cookie Cart
MinneCookies
The Buttered Tin
Heavenly Treats, LLC
Taste of Love Bakery
Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar
Kerry’s Donut Bites

Vendors offering hostess gift ideas will include:
Double Take Salsa
Jamazing, LLC
The Blue Heron Soap Company
Patti’s Granola & Nuts
Wild Country Maple Products, LLC
Grandma’s Gourmets
Mademoiselle Miel
Panache
Favorable Treats

The Lowertown Pop preview will feature 10 of the local artisans and craftspeople who will participate in the April 2017 event, offering shoppers an array of unique items for holiday gift-giving and entertaining. For more information about the 2017 Lowertown Pop event and a list of some of the vendors, please visit https://www.uniondepot.org/lowertownpopmakers/.

Lowertown Pop participating makers will include:
Moxie Malas
Serendipity Accessories
Gardenagerie
Nest Pure
Desdamona Doolittle’s Trash to Treasure Leather
American Craftsmen
The VOICE Community
Hagen and Oats
StormSister Spatique
Bodylish

 

For more information about Union Depot’s Hub for the Holidays events, please visit www.uniondepot.org/holiday or www.facebook.com/uniondepot. Information about Merrick Community Services Food Shelf is at http://www.merrickcs.org/services/food-shelf.

 

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Getting to Union Depot

 

Bike:  Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus: Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations
Car Share:

Car Rental:

Zipcar
Hertz

European Christmas Market Returns to Union Depot with More than Double the Number of Vendors

November 10, 2016
Union Depot European Christmas Market

The festive European Christmas Market will return to Union Depot’s East Plaza with more than double the number of vendors from last year’s event, and an expansion of dates to include Thursdays. The market will run December 1-4 and December 8-11. Inspired by “Christkindlmarkt,” the traditional open-air holiday festival common across central European countries during the Advent season, the free eight-day event with more than 23 exhibitors will feature handmade goods from local makers and artisans, and seasonal food offerings and drinks will be available for purchase. Attendees will find holiday décor, crafts, clothing and accessories, toys, candles, packaged artisanal food products, and much more.

Santa and his reindeer will greet children, and carolers will delight visitors with the beautiful sounds of the season.  European-inspired foods will be served, such as traditional sausages, pretzels with mustard, pierogis, spaetzle, apple fritters, potato pancakes, eggnog and more. Crave will offer traditional glühwein (mulled wine) and other beverages.

“We anticipate that visitors will enjoy the experience of strolling along the East Plaza, which will be decorated in a welcoming style for the holidays,” said Rafael E. Ortega, chairman, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority. “Free entertainment will be included on both market weekends.” The complete list of European Christmas Market entertainment and Santa’s schedule will be posted soon on https://www.uniondepot.org/event/european-christmas-market-2016/ and http://www.facebook.com/uniondepot.

European Christmas Market Hours

  • 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 1
  • 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Friday, Dec. 2
  • 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3
  • 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 4
  • 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 8
  • 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m., Friday, Dec. 9
  • 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10
  • 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11

 

European Christmas Market Vendors

 

Crafts and Gift Items:

 

3D Cards 4 You — 3D holiday cards

DoodleTown Toys — Wooden toys for children

Christian Engelbrecht — Paper star ornaments

Fierce Design Studio —Hand-blown glass ornaments, glasses, wine stoppers, vases and more

German Specialty Imports — German ornaments, nutcrackers, incense burners and light arches

Gifts from Poland — Ornaments and more

Honey Pot Bee’s Wax Candles — Artisan candles

Lucy Iburg — Hats and mittens

Joslin Pottery — Pottery items

Look What We Found For You — Ornaments and more

Mother Earth Gardens — Wreaths and more

Roseberry Kids — Children’s sweaters, hats, mittens, tutus, wooden and knit toys, and socks

Sew Trendy — Faux fur luxury scarves, shawls and throw blankets

Süß Treats and Trinkets — German candies and European ornaments

Wolly Wolly — Sweaters and scarves

 

Food Vendors:

 

Burbach’s European Pancakes — Potato pancakes, Jaegerschnitzel, pretzels and hot cider

Crave — Glühwein and more

Cheese Brothers — Variety of packaged cheeses

German American Business Services — Brats

Nuttin Like It — Roasted nuts

Pierogi Place — Perogies and blintzes

Three Rivers Farm — Maple syrup

Venus Spaetzle Haus — Spaetzle, apple fritters and eggnog

 

The European Christmas Market will join the roster of Union Depot’s “Hub for the Holidays” events — coinciding with: Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration (Dec. 2); “North Pole Express” Holiday Train (Dec. 1-4 and Dec. 8-11); Holiday Movie Nights (Dec. 2-3); CP Holiday Train (Dec. 9); and Holiday Bake Sale (Dec. 10). For more information about Union Depot’s holiday events, please visit www.uniondepot.org/holiday.

# # #

 

Getting to Union Depot

 

Bike:  Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus: Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations
Car Share:

Car Rental:

Zipcar
Hertz

Hertz® Will Host Grand Opening at Union Depot With November 15 Ribbon Cutting and Public Celebration

November 8, 2016

The Hertz location at Union Depot will celebrate its Grand Opening at a public celebration with refreshments and a ribbon cutting on Tuesday, November 15.  The ribbon cutting will take place at 3 p.m. at the rental counter, located in the entrance at 240 Kellogg Boulevard East, next to the Amtrak® ticketing and baggage area. Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority Commissioner Rafael Ortega will officially cut the ribbon.  Hertz recently signed a two-year lease agreement at Union Depot and opened for business on November 1, just in time to meet holiday travelers’ needs. The rental car office operates Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. Customers will have a wide array of vehicle options to suit every need and taste, from sporty convertibles and eco-friendly, fuel-efficient models to classic sedans, SUVs and minivans for family travel.

 

The Hertz service will round out Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority’s multimodal vision for Union Depot as a full-service transit/transportation station and will complement its existing transit and transportation options. “Hertz’s newest location at Union Depot is an important connection for people arriving in St. Paul,” said Commissioner Ortega. “Opening just in time for the busy holiday season, the car rental option offers flexibility to travelers who cannot reach their final destination by transit.”

 

“We are proud to open our doors at Union Depot,” says Hertz General Manager Jeremie Torok. “We look forward to offering our car rental services to St. Paul visitors and local residents. Existing and new Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members can earn points toward free rental days, and enjoy additional benefits and features on our Hertz app.”

 

Hertz rental cars will be easily available in the Lot B drop off area, accessible from Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway, with six stalls available and no fees for parking, allowing for convenient pick up and returns.  Rental car customers will be able to rent or drop off cars for round trip or one-way travel.

 

Hertz will also offer vacation deals to travelers as well as 50 Amtrak Guest Rewards points per day on qualifying Hertz rentals.

For more information about Hertz, please visit www.hertz.com.

 

Getting to Union Depot

Bike:  Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus: Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations
Car Share:

Car Rental:

Zipcar
Hertz

Union Depot to Participate in Fall Saint Paul Art Crawl with Free Visual Arts Exhibits, Musical Performances and “Wishes for Peace” Origami Project

September 28, 2016

Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul will participate in the 25th anniversary Saint Paul Art Crawl and Saint Paul Classical Music Crawl October 14-16 with visual art exhibits by 35 artists, classical music performances by four ensembles including VocalEssence and Apollo Master Chorale, and a month-long installation of the “Wishes for Peace” Origami Peace Crane Art Project that will open October 1.

The art crawl hours at Union Depot will be Friday, October 14 from 6-10 p.m.; Saturday, October 15 from noon-8 p.m.; and Sunday, October 16 from noon-5 p.m.  Visual art exhibits will be displayed in the Waiting Room and will include work by painter Marjorie Moody and award-winning photographer Charles Hezsely, as well as numerous other artists.  Moody’s watercolor and oil paintings are recognized for their loose, expressionistic style. Her subject matter includes florals, landscapes, figurative and abstracts. Hezsely specializes in photographing architecture, businesses, events, landscapes, and people. He leads Mobile Photography Adventure workshops in the Twin Cities and has self-published photography books.  For more information about the artists’ work, please visit www.mnartists.org/Marjorie_J._Moody and www.charleshezselyphotography.com.

“Wishes for Peace” is a community engagement art project led by artist Yang Mee-Moua Yang that involves families, students, artists, businesses, organizations, schools, and communities who want to share a message of peace through art. The project goal is to engage 2,000 people who will fold 5,000 origami peace cranes, with wishes for peace written inside. The peace cranes will be displayed as an installation at Union Depot through the month of October. The cranes will then be sent to children in Saint Paul’s Sister City of Nagasaki and to Hiroshima. The peace crane idea dates back to WWII when a 12-year-old Hiroshima girl named Sadako Sasaki folded cranes with a wish for health after developing radiation sickness from the atomic bombing 10 years before. Her goal was to fold 1,000 cranes so she could recover and when she succumbed to the illness, her classmates folded the remaining cranes in her honor. Those cranes are all displayed at the Hiroshima Peace Park.

Below is a schedule of musical performances:

Music:  Union Depot will participate in the Saint Paul Classical Music Crawl with a series of live performances from noon-8 p.m., Saturday, October 15.  All performances will feature 15 minutes of music repeated four times, on the hour and half hour.  Performances include:

  • Noon-2 p.m.: Apollo Master Chorale
  • 2-4 p.m.:           Glorious Revolution
  • 4-6 p.m.: Bach Society of Minnesota
  • 6-8 p.m.:           VocalEssence

The Saint Paul Art Crawl and Saint Paul Classical Music Crawl events at Union Depot are free and open to the public.  For more information about the activities taking place at Union Depot, please visit www.uniondepot.org or www.facebook.com/uniondepot.  For information about the Saint Paul Art Crawl, please visit www.saintpaulartcrawl.org and for information about the Saint Paul Classical Music Crawl, please visit www.saintpaulclassical.com.  Visitors for the Saint Paul Art Crawl events are encouraged to explore the public art installations within Union Depot. There are five small-scale and five large-scale pieces throughout. For information visit www.uniondepot.org

“Hub for the Holidays” Festivities at Union Depot Begin December 1

September 14, 2016

Union Depot in downtown St. Paul will transform into the “Hub for the Holidays,” kicking off the festive holiday season Thursday, December 1 with the European Christmas Market and the North Pole Express train, followed on Friday, December 2 by the annual Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony with live musical entertainment, fireworks, and the first in a series of free Holiday Movie Nights. Merrick Community Services Food Shelf will be this year’s recipient for community donations of food and cash during our holiday season with details for giving available on our holiday website.

 

The holiday family events will be held the first two weekends in December at the historic venue. The schedule changes each weekend so you will experience something different with each visit. Below is a list of events:

 

  • Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony: December 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; guests will enjoy a live musical performance by Six Appeal, a six-person acapella group; the ceremonial lighting of the Union Depot Holiday Tree at 7:15 p.m., and fireworks.
  • European Christmas Market: December 1 – 4, and 8 – 11; inspired by the success of its inaugural year at Union Depot, the market will expand to include Thursday and more than double the number of vendors in this year’s event. The market is based on the traditional, charming, and festive open air Christkindlmarkts that spring up in Germany, Austria and other countries during the Advent season.

 

  • Canadian Pacific Holiday Train: December 9; the brightly lit Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will once again roll in to Union Depot to light up the winter night.  The event will include music by performers to be announced in mid-October.

 

  • Holiday Bake Sale: On December 10 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. the 4th Annual Holiday Bake Sale at Union Depot, featuring the top Twin Cities bakeries, will open for a day of cookie and candy shopping.  Admission for adults 60+ and kids under 12 is free. Tickets will be available on-line and at the door. The popular Lowertown Pop preview event will return to Union Depot during the Bake Sale, to highlight some of the local makers who will participate in the full event in the spring of 2017. This is a special chance to shop 10 featured Lowertown Pop makers at the Holiday Bake Sale.

  • North Pole Express Train Rides: Back by popular demand, families will have the opportunity to ride a train with Santa, see his village and elves at work, then return to Union Depot for refreshments. Check out The Friends of the 261 website or Facebook page for times and ticketing.

 

  • Free Holiday Movie Nights: December 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m.; Union Depot will be THE place to enjoy free family-themed holiday movies. The hilarious and popular Elf will play on December 2 with the family classic Polar Express showing on December 3.

 

For more information about Union Depot holiday events, please visit www.uniondepot.org/holiday or www.facebook.com/uniondepot.

 

Getting to Union Depot

Bike:  Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus: Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations
Car Share:
Car Rental:
Zipcar
Hertz

Hertz® Signs Lease Agreement at Union Depot with Plans to Open in Time for the Holiday Season

September 13, 2016

Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority is pleased to announce that Hertz will open a new location at Union Depot. Hertz has signed a two-year lease agreement at Union Depot in Lowertown Saint Paul and is expected to open by November 1, 2016, in time to meet holiday travelers’ needs. The rental counter will be located in the Kellogg Entry, next to the Amtrak® ticketing and baggage area and will operate seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Customers will have a wide array of vehicle options to suit every need and taste, from sporty convertibles and eco-friendly, fuel-efficient models to classic sedans, SUVs and minivans for family travel.

The Hertz service will round out Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority’s multimodal vision for Union Depot as a full-service transit/transportation station and will complement its existing transit and transportation options.

“I welcome the opening of Hertz’s newest location at Union Depot in the Lowertown neighborhood of Saint Paul,” said Rafael E. Ortega, chairman, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority. “The car rental office will first and foremost serve customers traveling to the area, but its convenient location in this thriving neighborhood will benefit local residents seeking rental options for travel.”

Hertz rental cars will be easily available in the Lot B drop off area, accessible from Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway, with six stalls available and no fees for parking, allowing for convenient pick up and returns.  Rental car customers will be able to rent or drop off cars for round trip or one-way travel.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to serve Amtrak customers and the local community at Union Depot,” says Hertz General Manager Jeremie Torok. “We look forward to providing travelers with a vehicle that fits their travel plans and needs, while delivering top-notch customer service.”

Hertz will also offer vacation deals to travelers as well as 50 Amtrak Guest Rewards points per day on qualifying Hertz rentals.

For more information about Hertz, please visit www.hertz.com.

Getting to Union Depot

Bike:  Bicycle parking is located at the East Plaza/bus platform, North Plaza/4th Street, Kellogg entrances, Rail View Picnic Area and throughout the parking facilities
Bus: Daily service to bus platform on Metro Transit buses 3, 16, 21 and 54, Metro Transit buses 63, 70, 350, 351, 361 and 364 stop at the corner of Kellogg Boulevard and Broadway Street
  Weekday-only service on Metro Transit buses 94, 262, 417 | MVTA buses 480, 484, 489
Light Rail: Daily service on Metro Transit’s Green Line
Park: Union Depot parking facilities and electric vehicle charging stations
Car Share: Zipcar
Car Rental: Hertz

Union Depot Adds Two New “Choose Your Own Experience” Ideas for Travel, Recreation and Entertainment

August 31, 2016

Union Depot in downtown St. Paul began an online campaign, “Choose Your Own Experience,” in 2015 to promote a variety of experiences around the Twin Cities in which guests can participate when they visit Union Depot. Each experience includes a visit to Union Depot, whether simply to park in the venue’s parking garage while exploring amenities in the neighborhood, to partake in an event in the space, to ride the Green Line to cultural, entertainment and sports events along the route, or to catch a bus or Amtrak® train for a getaway.  A list of the seven experiences is below.  Two new experiences, the State Fair Scavenger Hunt and Red Wing R&R, have been added to the list.

These new online experiences include:

State Fair Scavenger Hunt:  A trip to Union Depot makes getting to the Minnesota State Fair a stress-free experience by offering covered parking to keep cars cool and bus and Green Line transportation to the fairgrounds.  This year’s fairgoers can take the State Fair Scavenger Hunt Quiz, posted on the Experiences page, then take it to The Java Express when returning to Union Depot to receive a free set of earbuds and purchase a handcrafted beverage to enjoy while taking the self-guided Union Depot walking tour with the new earbuds.

Red Wing R&R:  Visitors to Union Depot can take a day trip to Red Wing with a morning departure on the eastbound Amtrak® Empire Builder headed to Chicago, then return later that evening on the westbound train destined for the Pacific Northwest.  The 54-minute trip transports travelers from Union Depot to the town National Geographic Traveler ranked as the 23rd most historic place to visit of 109 global destinations.

Other experiences available are:

  • Twin Cities Music Tour
  • Afternoon Bike Adventure
  • Duluth Weekend Getaway
  • Date Night in St. Paul
  • Chill Out in Chi-Town

State Fair Giveaway

Union Depot is giving away 25,000 Union Depot Conductor Hats every day at the Minnesota State Fair. The hats are free and available at the fair at the myTalk107.1 and KS95 booths every day while supplies last. A social media campaign is also underway, inviting participants to snap a photo wearing the Union Depot Conductor Hat and post it on Instagram with the hashtag #UDExperience for a chance to win prizes (monthly prizes are being awarded through July 2017). The hats will also be available throughout the year at Union Depot’s signature events, while supplies last.

For more information and to view the “Choose Your Own Experience” page, please visit https://www.uniondepot.org/visit/choose-your-own-experience/.

Kaskaid Hospitality, Creator of CRAVE restaurants, to Open Union Bar & Grill at Union Depot

August 16, 2016

Kaskaid Hospitality, owner and operator of  CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar and other popular restaurants, as well as a full-service catering company, ultra lounge, and event center, has agreed to open a full-service restaurant at Union Depot in the Head House space formerly occupied by Christos.  The restaurant will be the second location for the popular Union Bar & Grill concept and will provide full lunch and dinner service, as well as grab-and-go offerings. Breakfast service may be added in the future, as well as outdoor seating on the east end of the North Plaza during warm weather months. The restaurant is expected to open in the first quarter of 2017.

The company’s Crave Catering division will be the exclusive catering provider to Union Depot by providing catering services for events hosted at Union Depot. The catering breakfast, lunch, and dinner options will include box lunches, buffet and plated meals for events at the venue. Crave has been a preferred vendor at Union Depot since 2013. Their repertoire at the station has included weddings, galas and dinners. Kaskaid Hospitality’s Crave Catering will help expand the corporate and non-profit event business, as well as weddings. The historic and majestic Union Depot provides the perfect backdrop to Crave’s gift for leading the local market with creative, high-quality food and exceptional catered events.

Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, which owns Union Depot, began seeking proposals for the restaurant space in spring 2016.  The proposals were reviewed based on criteria of experience, personnel qualifications, business plan, marketing plan, and cost. “Kaskaid Hospitality will bring a vibrant energy to Union Depot,” said Rafael E. Ortega, chair, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority. “We are excited that the restaurant menu and catering operation are being designed to meet the unique needs of Union Depot patrons, many of whom are travelers, but also include Lowertown residents, event attendees and visitors to the station.”

Kaskaid Hospitality signed a five-year agreement with a five-year renewal option.  Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority will handle renovation of the space, and Kaskaid Hospitality will assist with the design and specifications of the new restaurant.

“We are thrilled to have CRAVE Catering selected as the exclusive caterer at Union Depot.  In addition to taking over the catering operations, we’ll be opening a second location of our successful Union Bar & Grill.  We feel this concept with its diversified and casual menu is the perfect fit for Union Depot,” said Kam Talebi, co-owner of Kaskaid Hospitality. “We’re incredibly honored to be involved in the next chapter of this exciting, beautiful, and historical property.”  In addition to the CRAVE American Kitchen & Sushi Bar locations in the Twin Cities and other markets, Kaskaid Hospitality, owned by brothers Kam and Keyvan Talebi, operates other restaurants and lounges including, UNION Rooftop Restaurant, Union Bar & Grill, BLVD Kitchen & Bar, Burger Burger, Avenida Cocina & Bar, and REV Ultra Lounge.  The company also operates Muse Event Center in downtown Minneapolis. For more information about Kaskaid Hospitality and the new restaurant, please visit www.kaskaidhospitality.com.

The recent opening of The Java Express, operated by Crystal Scott, at Union Depot has provided visitors with a daily coffee, baked goods and sandwich option. The Java Express will move to the northwest corner of the Head House later in the fall after improvements are completed and will continue providing a coffee shop experience for visitors to Union Depot.

Union Depot Seeking Evergreen Tree for “Hub for the Holidays” Festivities

August 2, 2016

Union Depot is seeking a beautiful evergreen tree, about 80 feet tall, to serve as the glittering center of its “Hub for the Holidays” festivities this winter in Lowertown. The magnificent evergreen fitting this description will become the featured holiday tree for the Union Depot Holiday Tree Lighting celebration on Friday, December 2, 2016.

The Union Depot Holiday Tree will stand tall on the North Plaza, adjacent to the Green Line light rail station on 4th Street, to welcome visitors to the venue’s grand front entrance. Twinkling brightly with more than 15,000 energy-efficient LED lights, the tree will brighten the winter nights through January 1, 2017.

For trees to be considered, they must have overgrown their location or otherwise need to be removed, but still in good condition. Only trees within Ramsey County will be considered. Individuals interested in donating a tree for this celebration should email their address and a photo of the tree to info@uniondepot.org or call 651-202-2700. The owner of the chosen tree will be eligible to have the tree removed and the stump ground down at no charge, and may also be eligible for a tax deduction. The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 30.

The Union Depot Holiday Tree will be chosen by November 1 and will be cut, transported and installed on Union Depot’s North Plaza by November 25.

The Annual Holiday Tree Lighting celebration will be held on Friday, December 2 at 6:30 p.m. and will include special live holiday entertainment, fireworks, and the first free Union Depot Holiday Movie Night to kick-off the “Hub for the Holidays” season of festivities. The Union Depot Holiday Tree will be on display from December 2, 2016 to January 1, 2017. Visit the calendar at uniondepot.org for more information on upcoming events.

Online Video and Audio Tours Introduce Historic Union Depot

July 12, 2016

Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority has introduced online video and audio tours that visitors can use to become familiar with Union Depot, a nationally recognized, award-winning multimodal transportation hub in downtown St. Paul. As part of the celebration of the landmark station’s 90th anniversary, the recently released the tour campaign, titled “See. Do. Learn. Go.,” highlights Union Depot’s numerous amenities to help guests plan their visit.

The three-minute long video tour gives viewers a quick look at Union Depot’s historical highlights as well as what’s happening today related to transportation and event. The audio tour lasts 18 minutes and takes guests through five different areas of the station with five segments, beginning near the front door.  The audio tour can be played on a mobile phone or other wi-fi enabled device (wi-fi is free at Union Depot).  “We created these tours to highlight Union Depot’s many unique features, and to inspire people to visit for a private or public tour or to partake in the numerous events offered throughout the year,” said Rafael E. Ortega, chairman, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority. “Visitors can also come here to enjoy the experience of a regional trip by train or bus to Red Wing or a bus ride to Duluth, or a longer journey by train to Chicago and other destinations. Whether by train, bus, or light rail, there’s an enriching travel option for everyone.”

Travelers arriving from other destinations will find the video and audio tours wonderful introductions to the station as they wait for luggage and families to greet them. Visitors to Union Depot will find that the video tour provides a visual feel for Union Depot prior to arrival for travel, an event or just to hang out. Once at the station, the audio tour can be stopped and started at any time so visitors can explore the public art, special exhibits in the Head House, the historic stair area and the outdoor spaces. Booking a private tour or attending a public tour is yet another way to more deeply connect with the history, cultural significance and bright future of Union Depot. Union Depot is also a community gathering place where visitors can stop at The Java Express and grab a drink and a snack before playing a friendly game of Ping-Pong or exploring the Lowertown neighborhood. Public events including arts and cultural festivals, transportation-themed activities and holiday celebrations are offered throughout the year. Weekly events include Games Galore and yoga. The beautiful and unique event spaces are also highlighted in the video. The rooms, with historic naming tied to service men and women who served the country and Red Caps from the Rondo neighborhood who served the station, are available for large or small celebrations and meetings.

To learn more about the video and audio tours, please visit https://www.uniondepot.org/videotour/ or https://www.uniondepot.org/walkingtour/.  Stay up-to-date with Union Depot happenings by becoming a Facebook friend at https://www.facebook.com/uniondepot, and following the venue on Twitter at https://twitter.com/uniondepot. Visitors to Union Depot are encouraged to add photos of their visit to Instagram at #DiscoverUnionDepot and #UD90.  For more information, visit www.uniondepot.org.