Updated: 03/09/2016 4:04 PM | Print Story |  Email

Good Company: W.A. Frost

W.A. Frost sits on the corner of Western and Selby, but long before there was a restaurant there was a pharmacy. It was owned by W.A. Frost, a man who came from New York and made Saint Paul his home. He was also one of the creators of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy.

In the 1880’s the neighborhood was thriving. Beautiful buildings were going up all over the area.  The Cathedral of Saint Paul was started in 1905. After World War II, many companies closed. Fast forward to the 1970’s and John Rupp, a local developer, saw potential in the Dacotah Building.  

John Rupp and his business partner decided to open a corner bar in the building. Despite the neighborhood’s vacant buildings and crime, people started coming to the bar. It was a hit. Eventually, they added on. A kitchen was built and food was introduced. Within ten years, John has transformed the entire building. There were offices in the top floors and the restaurant and bar took over the rest.

W.A. Frost has character. John says the goal was to always keep the atmosphere warm and inviting, while highlighting it’s incredible architectural intrigue.  Today, it still has a comfortable, old school vibe. The tall ceilings, windows and exposed brick make it unique and popular. Several wood burning fireplaces can be found around the restaurant. The patio is also a hit. It’s constantly being called one of the best in in the cites for its vibe and uniqueness in the heart of the Selby neighborhood.

Since the restaurant/bar opened 40 years ago, W.A. Frost has had several milestones. Some five hundred plus weddings, more than one thousand proposals and some two hundred thousand guests each year visit.

Emily takes us around this Good Company to show us the uniqueness behind the building and story.

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