BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — As the third anniversary of George Floyd's murder approaches, a south Minneapolis clothing store destroyed during the 2020 unrest has reason to celebrate.
"We arrived right in time to actually see it crumble and fall," owner Daniel Johnson Jr. said of the store, Levels, which was located at 713 East Lake Street. "It's mind blowing for us. You know, it's been a long journey."
Friday, Johnson opened Levels at a new location in Mall of America.
"We've just been built back up by the community and this is where it has led us," Johnson said.
It's not their first time at Mall of America. In 2021, Levels opened within Community Commons, an area several local businesses share. Now though, Levels has its own large retail space on the second floor near L.L.Bean.
"We left [Community Commons] just January 31 of this year and just reopened today in this 4,500 square-foot location," Johnson said.
And it's not their only mall.
"We also have a location at the Apache Mall in Rochester, Minnesota," Johnson explained. "We just closed that location as well, January 31, and we will be reopening in a new location inside of the same mall on March 30… We had an opportunity to move into a better part of the mall."
Johnson has been busy preparing both new stores. At the Mall of America location Friday, he hosted a grand opening party with DJ Mad Mardigan of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx.
"It's just been a total blessing," he said. "Yeah, we're leveling up."
Before it burned, the Lake Street Levels was both a clothing store and a recording studio. Now that Johnson has gotten the clothing part of the business back up and running, he says he plans to open a new recording studio in the Twin Cities this fall.
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