July 20, 2022

Council approves proposal at Wells Fargo site


Wells Fargo Redevelopment WayzataImage courtesy ESG | Architecture & Design

A redevelopment proposal two years in the making reached the Wayzata City Council Tuesday.

Mithun Enterprises, the owner of the site at 900 Wayzata Blvd E., sought breaking the property up into three parcels with a mixed use. The property is currently a Wells Fargo Bank location. The project is called Wayzata Gateway.

“This project is not something we have taken lightly, said Matt Mithun, Owner of Mithun Enterprises. “We had a very good tenant with Wells Fargo over the years. Now it’s time for a refresh.”

The proposal is to create a subdivision and rezone two of the parcels to support a bank and residential use. The parcel to the north would be a one-story, 5,500-square-foot bank with an entrance at its northwest corner. There would be a drive through serving the bank to its rear and 15 surface level parking spaces.

Along with a rezoning and conditional use permit request for the drive through, the bank would require a design deviation as it would not have enough window space on its east side. This is due to the bank vault being located on this side.

The parcel to the east would be a two-story, 34,944-square-foot office building. It would include 44 underground parking spaces, terraces for employees and a park. Requests for this parcel included setback variances and a conditional use permit for off-site parking.

The third parcel, located along the south and west of the property, would be a residential parcel. It would feature up to 67 rental apartment units, nine two-story townhomes with two or three bedrooms and 162 underground parking spaces on two levels. Amenities would include a swimming pool, two parking entrances and green space.

The requests for the residential parcel stirred up the most discussion among the council, particularly the request for a height variance. The maximum height allowable according to the city’s design standards is 35 feet. The variance request asks for 51-feet, 8-inches.

The primary reason for such a large leap in height is the 40-foot slope stretching north and south along this portion of the property.

“We generally don’t see anything in Wayzata that has that number,” said Valerie Quarles, Assistant Planner. “We also don’t see a building built on a 40-foot slope.”

Quarles noted the planning commission was split on the height variance. Those supportive of it found it to be an unavoidable challenge to development. Those who were concerned were simply cautious of the immense height as a whole.

“This is an incredibly unique site,” said Mayor Johanna Mouton. “This isn’t just a flat site where someone wants to maximize every inch.”

Mouton has not been in favor of height variances in the past, stating she does not vote in favor of them.

“I’m OK with this but barely,” she said. “It’s going to be tall. There are no two ways about it. It’s going to be imposing on Maggie Manor.”

Councilor Cathy Iverson had the most reservations about the overall proposal among the council members. She did not support the subdivision or the requests for the office parcel and the residential parcel. 

“I can’t go in the weeds when I can’t get behind the concept,” she said. “There’s too much going on in one space. There is nothing charming about it. It does not feel like a gateway to a lake community.”

While the rest of the council was supportive of the project, they agreed to include several conditions as well as staff guidance ahead of a future development agreement. Conditions include screening of the bank wall on the east side, possibly with architectural variety, vegetation or public art; mechanical equipment may not exceed the granted height variance; front yard spaces cannot be fenced in. They also asked that a pollinator meadow, which was included in the project’s plans by ESG Architecture and Design, remain in the plan.

The vote was 4-1 in favor and the resolution passed. Iverson was the lone vote against.

June 29, 2022

Wayzata 4th of July events, plus Excelsior Fireworks on Lake Minnetonka

Can you believe the Fourth of July celebration is here already? Whether you live in the Wayzata area or are in town to enjoy Lake Minnetonka for the weekend, there is no shortage of activities to enjoy this Fourth of July.

 

Kiddie Parade - 10 a.m.

The annual Kiddie Parade kicks off the Fourth of July at 10 a.m. The parade route will travel one square block starting on Park Street and Broadway Avenue. Kids, accompanied by an adult, will walk, bike and trike along the parade route or cool off with a popsicle and watch. The parade also features an antique fire truck from the Wayzata Fire Department.

 

Mini Olympics - 12:30 p.m.

Children 12 and under compete in the Mini Olympics at 12:30 p.m. at Wayzata Middle School. Hosted by the Wayzata Fire Department, the Mini Olympics will include contests such as races, softball throw and broadjump. 

 

Flying Pancake Breakfast - 8 a.m. - noon

The Lake Minnetonka chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will host the 16th annual Flying Pancake Breakfast at the Depot. Come try to catch your breakfast as flapjacks fly at 10 a.m. Breakfast, served by Chris Cakes of Iowa, costs $9 and will follow a short flag-raising ceremony. Fill your bellies with pancakes and your minds with knowledge of American history at the Daughters of the American Revolution booth.

 

Excelsior Fireworks - 9:50 p.m.

Finish your Fourth of July celebration with a “Bang!” with the fireworks show at Excelsior Bay. Watch on from land or the lake while the dazzling display takes over the night sky at 9:50 p.m. Can’t make it to Excelsior Bay? Don’t worry. The show can be seen from several bays on Lake Minnetonka, including Wayzata Bay!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Wayzata Events
June 9, 2022

Accessory dwellings highlight city code updates

Contract for Wayzata Boulevard Corridor Study approved

Small backyard homes, basement dwellings and above-garage living units have been the hot topic of discussion during the city’s drafting of Ordinance 811 over the last year.

The ordinance, which had its first reading during Tuesday’s council meeting, makes amendments to ordinances for residential, commercial and institutional zoning districts. Eleven districts in total are affected by the changes, which are meant to bring city code into alignment with the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

“Ultimately we want our zoning code to work for us, but also be usable for developers and property owners,” said Emily Goellner, Community Development Director.

The proposed update brought about several significant changes to the code. It creates a “New Use Table” which allows staff, developers and property owners to easily see what is allowable or allowed by permit in each district. It eliminates overly specific uses which differentiated jewelry stores, locksmiths and taxidermists for example, and considers them under general retail. It reins in the language of the R-5 district, which was called “out of whack” with the comprehensive plan compared to other districts. It also addresses guidelines for Accessory Dwelling Units.

According to the proposal, ADUs must always be smaller than the main unit on the property. To have an ADU, the lot area must be 11,000-square-feet or larger in the R-3 and R-3A districts if it is detached from the primary home structure. A detached ADU is limited to two stories or 25 feet in height. The owner of the property is required to live in one of the units on site.

“The idea behind allowing them was to consider ways to increase housing diversity in our community,” said Valerie Quarles, Assistant City Planner. “We can account for more people wanting to live alone — live intergenerationally — stay living on their properties longer than their two-story home would allow them to.”

The setback requirement for accessory buildings, such as a garage calls for 5-feet in the front and rear yard. Councilwoman Cathy Iverson questioned whether that was too small for a unit which would have people living in it. After a short discussion between the council and staff, a caveat was added that a 5-foot setback is allowed for structures in existence before the date the ordinance goes into effect. It will go into effect when it is published in the Sun Sailor. After that, new ADU structures will require a 10-foot setback.

Councilman Jeff Buchanan raised concern over an increase in short-term rental units such as AirBNBs taking the “charm” away from the community. According to Goellner, there are about a dozen short-term rentals spread around town.

There was one letter from the public submitted on this item and included in the agenda packet. The author of the letter was looking into converting their basement into an ADU. They were concerned about the ADU size cap, which is set at 960-square-feet and no more than 33-percent of the residence’s living space. They felt this size cap would limit their ability to implement an ADU, even though 960-square-feet is far less than 33-percent of their existing home.

“If you have a 1,200-square-foot home and want to convert a 1,200-square-foot basement, in my opinion I don’t see how that differs from a duplex,” Quarles said. “I would be more comfortable with a variance if it were to go above that ADU cap.”

Finally, the amended zoning ordinance creates a new district, District C-3A, which encompasses the Wayzata Blvd corridor. The new district allows for a taller building height up to three stories. No properties are being rezoned at this time, but this allows developers to rezone properties to the C-3A district while a study on the corridor is still underway.

If a developer did want to construct a three-story building, they would need to rezone their property which requires council approval. 

The council unanimously approved the adoption of the resolution and first reading of the zoning ordinance amendment.

 

Wayzata Boulevard Corridor Study

The next item on the agenda was approving a services agreement with SRF Consulting, based in Minneapolis, for the Wayzata Boulevard Corridor Study. The services agreement is not to exceed $74,984.25. The 2022 Capital Improvement Plan budgets $128,800 for the corridor study. The remaining budget will be allocated to an agreement with city architect Van Meter Williams Pollack.

The study will consider Wayzata Blvd in four sections: Highway 12 to N. Minnetonka Ave; N. Minnetonka Ave to Superior Blvd; Superior Blvd to Highway 12; S. Central Ave. from Wayzata Blvd to Highway 12.

“The reason why we broke it up is because the character of each of these segments is quite different,” Goellner said. 

A team of city staff members and the architect will meet bi-weekly throughout the study. The study will include community engagement, design strategy, a roadway safety analysis, a transportation and mobility plan, and a small area land use plan.

The design portion of the study will focus on the western portion of Wayzata Blvd, which is slated for reconstruction east of N. Central Ave in the early 2030s.

SRF Consulting was involved in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan process.

“We’re just excited to be a part of this community,” said Mike McGarvey, Project Director. “We’re just happy to continue our relationship with this city.”

While councilors Alex Plechash, Molly MacDonald and Buchanan voiced their approval of the study, Iverson was not in favor.

“The main reason is I, from a philosophical standpoint, do not agree with the redevelopment of Wayzata Blvd,” she said. “As I stand today and the feedback I get from residents, I cannot support this.”

Iverson clarified that her opposition was not directed toward the contractor, but was focused particularly on redeveloping at the corner of Wayzata Blvd and N. Central Ave.

Buchanan motioned to approve the agreement, which passed by a 3-1 vote.

May 24, 2022

Council supports Section Foreman House plans

The Wayzata City Council unanimously approved the schematic design and permit for alterations to the Section Foreman House during a regular meeting on May 17.

City staff, along with representatives from design firm Cushing Terrell, presented renderings and layouts of what is to come for the historic building. This includes the preservation and restoration of the house as a historic site, as well as alterations to make it accessible for all visitors.

The house will become a learning center for children, with activities taking place inside and outside of the structure. Programming will be held on the first floor of the house, with the basement and second floor used for storage and maintenance. There is room for about a dozen people to take part in indoor gatherings.

As for alterations, two doors will be widened and a ramp will be installed on the east side for accessibility. The north-side facade will be kept structurally as is.

To maintain the historic feel of the house, documentation was collected about its history from inception to today.

“Great advocacy efforts were made,” said Quentin Collette, director of New History, a consulting firm. “The historical significance of this building has been celebrated and recognized.”

The celebration and recognition Collette referred to included the city designating the building a heritage preservation site in 2020. Then in 2021 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The estimated cost of construction and improvements to the Section Foreman House is $1.325 million, which will be funded through private donations. This estimate includes 10 years of operation and maintenance with inflation taken into account. It does not include the installation of fire suppression equipment at an estimated $40,000 cost, which the council also opted to approve at the recommendation of staff.

BNSF Railway pledged a $25,000 grant toward the house for signage. 

“I like the simplicity of what I see,” Mayor Johanna Mouton commented. “Most importantly we are able to resurrect a piece of history where there are so few left. And put it to such amazing use and that is the education of all children from around the area.”

The address of the Section Foreman House is 738 Lake Street East, Wayzata, MN 55391

Following the approval of the schematic design and alterations of the Section Foreman House, the council also approved a zoning amendment creating a new district called “Parks and Open Spaces.” The zoning amendment passed its first reading, which will codify the zoning requirements of 11 parks and 15 open spaces in Wayzata. 

Parks planner Nick Kieser said this move will add another layer of protection to the city’s parks in the case of those properties being sold or a future council wishing to redevelop. If either scenario would happen, the property in question would need to go through a rezoning process and public hearing, allowing for public input.

“All of the development that happens within these park parcels are incorporated in the Parks and Trails Master Plan,” Kieser said. “This zoning is not changing anything proposed in the master plan. It’s just rezoning it into what the Parks and Trails Master Plan intends to achieve.”

The proposed zoning change went through a Zoning Task Force review twice, two Parks and Trails Committee reviews, a community meeting in March and a review by the planning commission in April.

All of the property being converted to the new zoning district is city owned property. Kieser noted the intention is to include the Panoway to this zoning classification in the future.

In other business

The council unanimously approved on-sale and Sunday on-sale liquor licensing for Macanda, a new Mexican restaurant opening soon at the former Wayzata Brew Works location at 294 E. Grove Lane. 

The restaurant’s planned operating hours are 3-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. 

Aaron Switz, co-owner of Z&H Boatworks which will operate Macanda, said the restaurant will seat 80 people inside plus 17 at the bar, and another 70 to 90 people on the patio. The target opening date is June 21.

“I own a bunch of restaurants in town,” Switz said. “This one is more of a high-end Mexican food with an interior that makes people feel like they are on vacation.”

City manager Jeff Dahl said the police department completed a background check on the applicant, site and the use being requested by permit. They found no issues with approving the permit.

April 25, 2022

Council denies redevelopment of TCF property

The city council unanimously passed a resolution denying a Planned Unit Development (PUD) concept plan for 200 E. Lake Street.

The council passed the resolution following the recommendation of the planning commission. The commission cited concerns about mechanized parking, traffic, parking located under the water table, lack of public benefit and obstructing views among other issues. More than 100 pages of public comments were received and several members of the public spoke against the concept at the meeting in February. 

The concept before the council Tuesday included an underground mechanical parking system, 32 condominiums and retail space. There would also be pocket parks on the property, and 25-foot facade breaks every 150 feet.

During Tuesday’s meeting, applicant Curt Fretham, chief manager of Lakewest Development, said there were several aspects of his concept which were misrepresented to the commission. He believes the miscommunication caused the commission to recommend denial.

Among the information Fretham said was incorrect was stating the concept had 133 parking stalls. He said he is proposing 230 stalls. The commission was told the concept would remove the sidewalk on the west end of the site, which he said will be built back with a width reduction. He said the plaza would be entirely handicap accessible which he said one of the commissioners thought it would not be. Finally, he noted the traffic study he had conducted confirmed the plan meets city requirements.

“I think staff can concur all those things are true. Can you please do that?” Fretham asked.

“We are not prepared to verify those facts at this time,” responded Emily Goellner, community development director.

After a back-and-forth with Mayor Johanna Mouton on whether the council had accurate information on the concept, Fretham said he commissioned architects to come up with alternatives. Mouton asked Fretham to clarify whether he was making a proposal. She reiterated that the council would only be considering the concept reviewed by the planning commission and whether or not to adopt its resolution for denial. Fretham said he had seen applicants propose modifications to council before.

“This is more than a modification. This is a completely different design, sir,” Mouton said.

City manager Jeffrey Dahl said Fretham’s new proposal was submitted late the week prior to the meeting and was not included in the agenda packet.

Fretham agreed to continue his presentation without the new modifications.

“I hope that you can see we’ve applied these principles of being a good listener. Our request is reasonable,” he said.

Mouton asked staff if it had a response to Fretham’s statement about his concept being misrepresented to the planning commission. Planner Eric Zweber said he agreed the traffic study was reviewed and meets city standards, but he disagreed with Fretham’s other three points.

The council voted unanimously to deny the application, citing similar concerns as the planning commission.

“I am disappointed today in how this meeting started. I am disappointed in the tone that was taken,” Mouton said. “You can insult me all day long, sir. I don’t accept that for the people that provided the recommendations after many hours of deliberation and heard and read every piece of information that you provided them.”

In other business

The council moved to consider an application by Comcast for a cable franchise to operate a cable system with cable services in Wayzata. Comcast, the largest cable television operator in the country, has 110 franchises in Minnesota. 

The company is proposing a 750 MHz system, largely using fiber optic communication cable, which would provide more than 200 channels and other services delivered via cable. If the application is approved, Comcast would begin construction this summer, bringing customers live as it goes, with completion by third quarter 2023.

The council approved a driveway setback variance for 445 Bovey Road. City engineer Mike Kelly said the driveway crosses a large sewer main. Without allowing the setback variance, there could be an impact on the city’s ability to access the main. The variance will also save several trees on the property. Mouton was the lone vote against approval.

The council unanimously denied four applications meant to redevelop a lot at 1022 E. Wayzata Boulevard. The former gas station location land locks a small, non-conforming residential property which the applicant also purchased to redevelop. Staff recommended the applicant combine both parcels into one.

The applicant was proposing a Caribou Coffee location, which would largely cater to drive thru orders, alongside an Urban Wok. The planning commission recommended denial at its meeting in March.

Residents of the neighborhood spoke against the plan, citing noise from the drive-thru microphone, traffic and the loss of the property as a buffer.

Councilor Alex Plechash said combining the lot seems to have some adverse effects for the neighborhood. He noted the property owner has a right to try to develop the lot.

“If you’re wanting to keep it as a buffer, why don’t you buy it?” he asked. “He owns it and he has a right to propose what he wants to do. If you want that lot to remain a buffer you should buy that lot.”

March 25, 2022

Providence wins Class AA Girls Basketball Title

Lions down Fergus Falls 55-53

Providence Academy led wire to wire but survived a late threat by Fergus to win the Class AA Girls State Basketball Championship 55-53.

The Lions avenged a loss in the title game a year ago, earning the program its first state title since 2012. They entered the state tournament as the top seed in Class AA. The game was held March 19 from the University of Minnesota’s Williams Arena.

Providence led by as much as 11 points in the first half. The Owls continued to climb back and close the gap, bringing it to two points with just two minutes left in the game. This was the smallest point differential of the game since 14 minutes left in the first half.

Junior Grace Counts got the Lions out to a strong start, scoring 13 points to go into halftime up 26-22. She finished with 17 points, 6 boards and 6 assists.

Senior Maria Counts took over in the second half of the game. She dominated inside with 16 of her team-high 19 points coming after the break. Her incredible run to close the game out included scoring 10 of the Lions’ last 12 points. She also had 9 rebounds and 6 assists. 

Eighth-grader and future phenom Maddyn Greenway came up with the crucial defensive rebound as the Owls made their bid to make it a one-score game. She was fouled and sent to the line. She went one-of-two from the stripe to stretch the lead back to five points. Greenway finished with 15 points.

Brooke Hohenecker and Emma Millerbernd also contributed to the game in crucial moments.

Providence shot 40-percent from the field and 69-percent from the line. They held a 36-30 advantage on the glass and forced 12 Owls turnovers. The Lions posted a 17-10 assist to turnover ratio.

The Owls got a huge performance from senior Ellie Colbeck who scored a game-high 41 points. She played the entire 36 minutes of the game, also pitching in 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

March 24, 2022

Council workshops options for the Muni

The city council discussed different options for the Wayzata Bar and Grill, and Wine and Spirits during a workshop on Tuesday.

Aurora Yager, administrative services director, presented an analysis of the operations for the Muni’s bar as well as its liquor store component. The presentation included a breakdown of both operations’ financials year-to-year as well as a projection of what selling or leasing the space would return to the city.

According to Yager’s report, the bar and grill did more than $3.6 million in sales for an excess of 70-percent gross profit in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed things down in 2020 and 2021 but the gross profit of net sales remained at 68-percent or better.

The average benefit to the city from the bar and grill is $91,814 to the general fund and $139,730 toward capital improvements.

For wine and spirits, sales exceeded $3.4 million in 2020 and more than 28-percent gross profit of net sales. The average sales is more than $2.9 million at about 26-percent gross profit. Wine and spirits operations contribute an average of $83,956 to the general fund and $110,914 in transfers to the capital fund.

“Historically these operations have funded portions of other city staff salaries,” Yager said. “We’re hoping to determine if you feel comfortable continuing operations. Then we can talk about making the operations the best they can be. Or we can explore other options.”

The other options discussed for both sides of the Muni were leasing the space or selling the building. Yager created a five-year projection for the net cash the city would receive under each option. The option bringing the most net cash to the city is continuing operations on both fronts. The five-year total projection for the bar and grill is more than $1.5 million compared to $266,962 for leasing and $980,738 for selling. For wine and spirits, continuing operations tallies more than $1.9 million over five years.

“We still have our existing debt that we will be paying off,” Yager said. “Selling the entire property would get us an influx of cash but we are still paying off our bond payments.”

The city has owned or been involved in the operations of the Muni in some way since it was founded in 1947. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Wayzata staple.

“I’d be interested in exploring another model and see an example of a contract Minneapolis has put together for something like (the Muni),” said Mayor Johanna Mouton. “This is an institution in town. I think it warrants really doing a risk/benefit analysis.”

“If it comes back and we take a look at a Minneapolis contract and all of the sudden we eliminate costs A, B, C, D — we step back and all of the sudden we’re making as much if not more money, that’s going to be a tough choice frankly,” Mouton continued.

The council was largely in agreement on continuing operations and finding ways to improve operations while still being involved with the Muni. Council member Jeff Buchanan was not present for the workshop.

Councilor Cathy Iverson said she would need more information to consider before she would entertain other options.

“I’d like to see some of the marketing activities that are planned and get my head better around that,” she said. “What are other liquor stores doing to entice people? I ask because honestly I don’t know what your strategy is. Including that in the packet would be very helpful.”

Council member Alex Plechash agreed with staying on the current path because the current model continues to work well for the city.

“There is a cultural aspect to this too,” he said. “This is Wayzata. This is our little place. You can’t discount that either.”

Council directed staff to continue operations of Wayzata Wine and Spirits and return with more data points on the bar and grill. The council will then discuss options for improving operations moving forward.

 

‘Open Street’ event discussed

In other business, the council weighed in on an idea to close Lake Street to Minnetonka from vehicle traffic from Friday afternoon to Monday morning. This would be done to open the Panoway district up for walking space and bicycle traffic.

City planner Nick Keiser said the city could bring in some amenities to the area during the street closure.

“We really want to focus on a more local, pedestrian, community deal to do activities down there,” he said.

The estimated cost of closing the street, providing traffic control and signage is about $2,000 per weekend. The idea comes from the Panoway District Committee. The committee would like to test the concept later this spring or in the early summer. It would also like to do a second event later in the year.

“I like the concept. I’m not opposed to it,” Plechash said. “If I had concerns it would be the obvious ones like traffic and the loss of parking. We have issues with parking as it is.”

Keiser acknowledged the concern over traffic, particularly as it relates to COV Wayzata’s ability to continue deliveries while the street is closed. COV is located at 700 East Lake Street on the corner where the proposed road closure would begin from the west.

The council members in attendance and Mayor Mouton voiced support for the idea. This item would return to council if it moves forward as council approval is required to close a city street.

March 24, 2022

Wayzata Boys Basketball Overpowers Moorhead in AAAA State Quarterfinals

Trojans 71, Moorhead 28 as Wayzata advances in opening round of AAAA State Championship Tournament

Defending State Class AAAA Champion Wayzata won a lopsided contest against the Moorhead Spuds in the opening round of the MSHSL State Basketball Championship Tournment on Tuesday, March 22nd.

Myles Barnette went 6 of 6 on field goal attempts and 1 of 2 from the line to score 13 points in the contest. Spencer Hall shot 4 of 6 from the floor and 1 of 3 from behind the arc on his way to 11 points. 

The Trojans will take on Cretin-Derham Hall and senior guard Tre Holloman Thursday, March 24th at 8pm at Williams Arena. The Raiders were able to Holloman had six rebounds and nine dimes in the Raiders 52-51 win over Number 2 seed Owatonnna.

March 24, 2022

Time blocking your day

Endurance Athlete & Trainer Jon Howard shares life tips from his podcast, Relentless Courage

Jon Howard
Special Contributor

When I got sober in 2013 it was to make choices that align better with my growth as a person, and to have a purpose in life. The world was moving fast and I wasn’t escaping it anymore by abusing alcohol.
I created five core programs to help myself adjust to life without alcohol. These programs are:

  • Vision
  • Block/Rhythm
  • Action
  • Nourish
  • Energize

My intent in sharing this info is to help others who want to change their lives the way I have.
I have extensive experience as a trainer to athletes at every level, as well as extremely successful business owners and executives. Said another way my clients have experienced the highest levels of professional success.
Through our working together with my clients and friends, I discovered that these programs resonated in their lives as well.


It turns out we can all benefit by being intentional about where we spend our time and energy.
As an example, the fall after writing my programs, I finished my first Superior 100 Mile Footrace in 37:30:34. It was great to accomplish this goal using my program.

How to block your time

We are all busy and have to prioritize our time, but it can be challenging to know how to say yes and no to the appropriate things.

I utilize blocks as boxes of time on my calendar. Sleep is a big block. Work can be a block by itself and/or it can consist of its own blocks and these mechanics can be applied that way.

I’ve chosen three phases to block my calendar according to my priorities, and encourage you to do the same.

Recognize

The first phase is to recognize what our 6-8 blocks currently are. This information is used to build transitions as we navigate through.

Prioritize

In the second phase, we create a list of our priorities in order, which become our prioritized blocks.

Organize

The third phase is to organize our blocks. The final stage of this Block portion is to LIVE IT! Live for some time according to your prioritized blocks.

Next time we’ll discuss how to have rhythm in your time blocking and how to move between different priorities utilizing reflection.

Interested in learning more? Visit jonhoward.co or tune into the Relentless Courage podcast available on Facebook and iTunes.

March 17, 2022

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Wayzata at McCormick’s Pub & Restaurant!

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!

By Alison Spencer
Special Contributor

That is to say, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Already well into the month of March, and with this Irish holiday fast approaching, many might be wondering where or how to best celebrate. It is, after all, one of the season’s more social festivities.

You need look no further than McCormick’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, located in the heart of downtown Wayzata. First opened in 2011, by Tim McCormick and his business partner Michael Simpson, the concept for the restaurant was inspired by Tim’s Irish ties. First and foremost, Ireland was his grandparents’ home, establishing an ancestral connection that embedded all things Irish deep into his roots.


Kierean Folliard, Tim McCormick, and Noel Sweeney. Submitted photo.

Tim then spent time in Boston, a city world-famous for its Irish influence. These experiences, along with his personal visits to the country, propelled him toward restaurant ownership, toward building a menu and creating an ambiance that harkens back to the village pubs that many, including himself, frequent while visiting the country.

A Guinness sign hangs prominently in the bar area, evidence of the seriousness with which the establishment takes not only its beer selection but the manner in which it is served. The best method for pouring a Guinness is hotly debated, with Tim taking the classic approach. In his mind, there should always be overflow, as it’s a sure indication that the guest is receiving a proper twenty ounces.

Along with this quintessential Irish beverage, McCormick’s boasts a wide variety of more obscure beers, along with Irish Whiskey. The goal? To provide locals and visitors with a taste of Ireland, be it a more common or lesser-known flavor!

Even the restaurant’s 2015 expansion embodied all things Ireland. While the bar always reflected the traditional pub scene, the additional dining space, designed by the late Jim Dayton, was modeled after the Kildare Street Club. Now a museum, it was once one of Dublin’s most famous social clubs. In the 1800s, Kildare’s card rooms, billiard tables, and overall décor oozed absolute elegance.

Everything from McCormick’s artwork to the chandeliers and even the paint color was chosen to reflect this high society gathering place. And this new space, combined with the existing, quickly established McCormick’s as the perfect mix of two of Ireland’s social worlds: the pub and the club.

With a love of Ireland at its core, it makes perfect sense to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day at McCormick’s. On the day of, that is to say Thursday, March 17, the restaurant will have live music, Irish dancers, and even bagpipes. Whether you pull up a stool at the bar or make a reservation for dinner, plan to sip some Guinness and try the traditional corned beef and cabbage dish on offer.

For those waiting until the weekend to observe the holiday, rest assured that McCormick’s has you covered as well.  On Saturday, March 19, they’re hosting a tent party. Along with the standard food and beverages available, patrons can enjoy live music by Johnny James and the Hall of Flames. It promises to be a lively evening.