South Lyndale Liquors owner Dan Campo was running on two hours of sleep when he chatted about the liquor store’s move about  a week before the new location’s opening date. He paused the interview to profusely thank his contractors, who he said had been working for over 10 hours that day. Campo’s days are crammed with working or thinking about the expansion of the liquor store that’s been in his family for almost 50 years.

“Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but it’s going to be awesome,” Campo said.

The new store on 55th and Lyndale will open on Oct. 4 with a new Italian-style sandwich counter, deli, cheese shop and takeaway meals, as well as an event space and a huge walk-in cooler. The original location will permanently close on Sept. 30.

A sign is forthcoming on the new South Lyndale Liquors location at 55th and Lyndale. Photo by Anna Koenning

“I wanted South Lyndale to be a destination for Southwest Minneapolis residents to be able to come in and pick up a bottle of whatever from around the world and to have this travel experience on a Wednesday night…without having to leave the comfort of your living because you have to be at work on Thursday,” Campo said.

The new location for South Lyndale Liquors is a passion project for owner Dan Campo. Photo by Anna Koenning

The new building is really, really big. The expansion begins with the parking lot, which Campo is grateful for because it’s about twice the size of the lot at the 53rd and Lyndale location. When you walk through the doors, the sandwich shop and event space are on the left, along with seating for about 50. That space will also be the location for happy hours. To the right are big cases for the deli, cheese shop and takeaway meals.

South Lyndale Liquors side entrance at its new location, 5516 Lyndale Ave. S. Photo by Melody Hoffmann
South Lyndale Liquors new parking lot south of its new building at 5516 Lyndale Ave. S. Photo by Melody Hoffmann

Past the sandwich counter and cheese shop is the vast floor space that will house wine and spirits from around the world. The walls towards the back of the building are lined with a long, L-shaped beer cooler. The shop will also sell THC beverages. There are large circular art pieces hanging from the ceiling that Campo and his friend, an artist, put together with materials from Campo’s life. There are wine corks from bottles he’s shared with his wife, tin from a piece of the new building that they renovated, New York and Minnesota license plates he’s collected over the years and pieces of the box that held his father’s cassette tapes in the car on road trips as a kid.

“I’m a little sentimental,” Campo said.

Campo and his friend put together these hanging art pieces with materials from his life. Photo by Anna Koenning

Campo is moving South Lyndale Liquors because they ran out of space at the 53rd and Lyndale building.

“We just kept filling [the store] with cool products and then all of a sudden we were out of space. Move forward to a couple years ago and we’ve been like squirreling boxes away under manager desks and things, you know we don’t have any place to put stuff,” Campo said.

Since buying the business from his father in 2007, Campo renovated the 53rd and Lyndale location and expanded it from 4500 to 8000 square feet. When he moves into the new location, Campo will double the retail space.

These cases will hold the cheese, deli meats and takeaway meals at the new location. Photo by Anna Koenning

“So we were woefully out of space, my landlord swore they would never sell me the building and kept raising my rent, and at a certain point my option to be successful at business and to carry on was to look for another location,” Campo said.

The expansion is a passion project for Campo, who is from an Italian-American family from Brooklyn, New York, though he grew up in the Lynnhurst neighborhood of Southwest. He loves Italian food and the New York-style deli and sandwich shop. He wants to provide that kind of experience to Southwest Minneapolis residents.

“I bought this property at 55th and Lyndale, and for me this is really buying my freedom,” Campo said. “You know I bought the family business and financed my father’s retirement, and turned it into my store from what it was before but I always had these landlords.”

A lengthy beer cooler lines the back wall at the new South Lyndale Liquors location. Photo by Anna Koenning

Campo hired local chef Matt Bickford as the culinary director for the shop, and the sandwich menu will include hot Italian beef, mortadella and prosciutto sandwiches, to name a few. The cheese shop will have charcuterie boards with a variety of cheeses to pair with the vast selection of liquors, and Campo is starting a to-go dinner option.

“Customers will be able to come in and leave with a charcuterie board and a lasagna and a salad to-go and be able to have this experience like they’re eating in Tuscany out of their homes,” Campo said.

The expansion will also allow Campo to put on educational events for community members, like inviting winemakers and distillers to talk about their crafts. He also hopes to hold pop-up dinners with local chefs. The new location will also have what Campo calls the world’s largest retail beer cooler.

“Maybe I’m oversimplifying, but it’s going to be awesome,” Campo said.

South Lyndale Liquors will close its 53rd and Lyndale location on Sept. 30 at 8 p.m. and open the new location at 55th and Lyndale on Oct. 4. at noon with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The new location's hours will be 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Sundays.