Stores that burned down in 2020 open new store in Mall of America

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – As the third anniversary of George Floyd’s murder approaches, a south Minneapolis clothing store destroyed during the 2020 riots has cause for celebration.

“We got there just in time to actually see it collapse and fall,” owner Daniel Johnson Jr. said of the Levels store, located at 713 East Lake Street. “It’s overwhelming for us. You know, it’s been a long journey.”

Johnson Levels opened in a new location on the Mall of America on Friday.

“We were just being rebuilt by the community and that’s what got us there,” Johnson said.

It’s not the first time they’ve been to the Mall of America. In 2021, Levels opened in Community Commons, an area shared by several local businesses. However, Levels now has its own large retail space on the second floor near LLBean.

“We went [Community Commons] only reopened on January 31 of this year and as recently as today at this 4,500-square-foot location,” Johnson said.

And it’s not their only mall.

“We also have a location at Apache Mall in Rochester, Minnesota,” Johnson explained. “We just closed this location on January 31st and will be reopening on March 30th in a new location within the same mall… We had the opportunity to move to a better part of the mall.”

Johnson was busy preparing both new stores. On Friday, he threw a grand opening party at the Mall of America with DJ Mad Mardigan of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Lynx.

“It was just a total blessing,” he said. “Yes, we’re going up.”

Before the fire, Lake Street Levels was both a clothing store and a recording studio. Now that Johnson has gotten the apparel portion of the business back up and running, he plans to open a new recording studio in the Twin Cities this fall.

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