Kim Eslinger

David Tinjum

Susan Schaefer

Julie Craven
Reporter/Local Business 

Doug Verdier

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.


In the News - News from Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods


Sinkhole near Mill Ruins Park closes stretch of West River Parkway
Engineers are checking parkway to make sure nearby area is safe.

Three major Minneapolis intersections help tell the story of how the city evolved
The intersections of Hennepin and Nicollet, Hennepin and Lyndale and Seven Corners have their own stories to tell.

Commons fundraising surpasses halfway mark
Green Minneapolis, the conservancy tasked with fundraising for The Commons park, announced Tuesday that nearly $14 million has been raised to make the high-profile green space in Downtown East a reality.

Downtown park near U.S. Bank Stadium inches closer to $22 million fundraising goal
The conservancy running the effort announced another $3 million haul this week, bringing them within $8 million of the project's finish line.

Concept in the works to reconstruct Hennepin
City planners are making the first move to reconstruct Hennepin Avenue — something that hasn’t been done in decades — with a new style of protected bike lane and fewer turn lanes.

Ryan, First Covenant Church plan mixed-use project near stadium
Ryan Cos. US Inc. and the First Covenant Church of Minneapolis are planning a $35 million workforce housing and retail project in what's now a church parking lot across from U.S. Bank Stadium.

Franklin puts a hold on 50-story tower in downtown Minneapolis
A property company that planned to build a 50-story tower right next to the Foshay Tower, which for four decades was the tallest building in Minneapolis, has put the idea on hold.

Why Downtown Minneapolis Is Becoming A Clinic Capital
In the past couple of years, several major Minnesota health care providers have opened or announced plan to open clinics in Minneapolis’s central business district. Suddenly, it seems, health care is a major industry downtown.

NE Mpls Chamber of Commerce is offering storefront improvement grants
The Northeast Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce is offering $32,500 in grants to Northeast area businesses for storefront improvements.

Kaiseki restaurant planned for old Origami space
This is a big deal. Kaiseki is an elite Japanese dining tradition, it’s a meal that evolved from Buddhist temple meals and typically consists of a procession of many small courses, each prepared with great care, and designed so that each dish flows from one to the next—creating a whole that in totality evokes the mood and spirit of a season, a time, and a place.


The Week Ahead in Mill City


Each week we provide an easy to reference list of events and activities for the week ahead in the Historic Mill District and Minneapolis Riverfront Neighborhoods.  Have an event to share?  Submit your events here...

Monday, May 2

Tuesday, May 3

Wednesday, May 4

Thursday, May 5

Friday, May 6

Saturday, May 7

Sunday, May 8 


Urban Charm Meets Historic Cozy: Happy Hour at the Stone Arch Bar

Story and photos by Julie Craven

The last train rolled out in 1971, but the old Milwaukee Road Depot, now The Depot and Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, continues to be a hub in the city, just as it has for over 100 years.

At its peak in the 1920’s as many as thirty trains crossed the Stone Arch Bridge to reach the Depot each day. The converted space has many functions today, including a gathering spot for drinks, small plates, soups, salads, sandwiches and signature dishes at The Stone Arch Bar. In true Minnesota fashion, there's walleye on the menu.

On this night, Mill City Commons hosted a monthly happy hour at the The Stone Arch Bar and about 30 of the group’s members mingled with hosts Penny Hunt and Pat Hoven. One of the great things about The Stone Arch Bar is the people watching. On any given night, it's a combination of “who’s in the house” and folks from the neighborhood. When I asked how often groups scheduled events there, the bartender replied there is a small group reservation about twice a week.

Later, Doug and I ordered the cheese plate and the Sticky Toffee Almond Cake. The cheese plate had a variety of the expected and the unexpected. Smoked bleu cheese and a chipotle-flavored cheddar, as well as yummy truffle almonds, pure honey and an assortment of fresh berries. The unexpected item was a wonderful yogurt cheese that was spreadable and well paired with crispy lavash.

A poll of the waitstaff provided a short list of food favorites: the fish tacos, available with either walleye or tuna, the charcuterie plate and the cheese plate are some of the most frequently ordered items. Shareable and familiar, with a twist.

I'll confess that any food spot located in a restored railroad depot automatically gets my vote. I love trains. My dad was the General Agent for the Chicago Great Western in Waterloo, Iowa and he had a passion for the railroads. That meant, in the Henderson family, rail cars were the equivalent of moving flash cards and we learned the logos for all the railroad lines about the same time we learned to count. When the family station wagon was stopped at a crossing for a train, the shouting erupted, “Rock Island, Santa Fe, Canadian Pacific!"  It was one of those times when being the oldest and loudest was an advantage when it came to being the first to identify the cars on a fast moving train!

Happy Hour specials, Monday - Friday, 3pm - 6pm

Food service from 2pm - 11pm daily

Location:  Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot, 225 South 3rd Avenue


Julie Craven can be reached at

Above, one of the many life-size statues you'll find loitering about the property. 


Job Opportunities

JOB OPPORTUNITIES: Jefe: Urban Hacienda, a new Main Street restaurant, is hiring line cooks! Full and part-time positions available. Check out the Craigslist posting for more info!

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Volunteer Opportunities

The Friends of the Mill District Foundation is seeking volunteer Yoga teachers for Saturday mornings, 9-10 a.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Classes will be held in Gold Medal Park. Friends of the Mill District works to build community by connecting, convening and supporting neighbors. Contact


American Red Cross – Multiple Positions
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FreeArts Minnesota – Multiple Positions
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MacPhail Center For Music - Multiple Positions
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Mile in My Shoes - Multiple Positions
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Mill City Museum - Greeter
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Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board – Multiple Positions
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People Serving People - Multiple Positions
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Webster Elementary - Multiple Positions
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Opening Day At The Mill City Farmers Market - May 7

Via an April 28 Press Release from the Mill City Farmers Market:

Opening Day brings new vendors, great food, and lots of family activities for Mother’s Day weekend!

The rooster is crowing. It is Opening Day for the Mill City Farmers Market on Saturday, May 7th. Shop fresh spring produce, local artisans, and celebrate Mother’s Day with fragrant bouquets and fun family activities from 8am to 1pm. Enjoy the much-awaited growing season at this downtown market located in between the Guthrie Theater and the Mill City Museum.

Join Juut Salonspa all day to plant flowers and herbs or dust off your chef hat for the free cooking class at 10:30am with Chef Jenny Breen and her daughter in the Mill City Cooks kitchen. Young market-goers can stop by the Information Booth to get a taste of seasonal vegetables from the Power of Produce kids’ sampling table. Plus, lively music from local sensation Roe Family Singersstarts at 11am, and Hennepin County Master Gardeners will be answering your spring gardening questions.

Local breakfast and lunch are served all day, so come hungry for pulled-pork hash, sweet-potato tacos, sweet and savory crepes, Nepali dumplings, and more seasonal favorites. Remember to bring your grocery list so you can relish the spring harvest with fresh asparagus, spring greens, carrots, baby beets, kale, rhubarb, pasture-raised meats and eggs, fresh artisan pastries and much, much more! Remember you can find healthy, spring recipes at the Information Booth and in the market’s recipe archives at

This season, the market welcomes the return of many wonderful vendors as well as several new: Abrothecary, owned by local butcher and Chef Andrew Ikeda, introduces a variety of frozen and ready-to-eat bone broths and soups to the market. Cosmic Wheel Creamery will be bringing aged and fresh farmstead cheeses from their small heard of Jersey cows in Clear Lake, Wisconsin. Heritage Breads, a familiar face to winter market regulars, will continue to sell hand-made artisan breads made from Sunrise Flour Mill grains. The Mill City Farmers Market will also be expanding to the other side of 2nd Street on Chicago Avenue in front of the American Academy of Neurology building for 11 weeks later this summer (Saturdays from June 25th to Labor Day Weekend). Additional new vendors joining the market in the expansion include: Food Building, Serious Jam, Sift Gluten Free Bakery, the Twisted Shrub, Bee Brews, and many more!

EBT is accepted at the Mill City Farmers Market. The information booth offers EBT tokens and matching ten dollar Market Bucks to all SNAP participants.

Founded in 2006 by acclaimed local chef Brenda Langton and the Mill City Museum, Mill City Farmers Market has earned a reputation for its promotion of healthy eating and sustainable agriculture. Located at 704 S. 2nd Street in downtown Minneapolis, the market runs every Saturday May through October from 8am to 1pm. More information can be found at


Construction of New Mississippi East Bank Trail Begins Soon

Via an April 27 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board e-newsletter:

Critical two-way, off-street trail within Above the Falls Regional Park opens this fall

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is pleased to announce construction of the new Mississippi East Bank Trail begins in early May. The .75-mile trail along the Northeast Minneapolis riverfront will open this fall.

The two-way, off-street trail will serve both pedestrians and bicyclists. It will extend north from Boom Island Park through the Scherer site, the Graco property and Sheridan Memorial Park. Its alignment curves east at the BNSF railroad tracks near 16th Avenue NE and terminates at Marshall Street NE. Bicyclists and pedestrians will share the southern half of the trail until Sheridan Memorial Park, where a separate pedestrian trail will break out and run next to the bike trail until it reaches the BNSF tracks.

The Mississippi East Bank Trail project page contains an aerial map of the trail’s alignment through Above the Falls Regional Park. This new trail is one segment in a series of Upper Riverfront trail loops envisioned in the RiverFirst initiative.

Read the full news release on our website.


Emergency Road Closure for West River Parkway

Via an April 27 Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board e-newsletter:

West River Parkway closed between Portland Ave and 4th Ave N
A sinkhole that formed next to the bicycle path adjacent to West River Parkway near Mill Ruins Park has caused the closing of West River Parkway between Portland Avenue and 4th Avenue N. Detours for the area will be posted.

The bike trail has been closed with bike traffic diverted to the nearby pedestrian path. Cyclists are asked to yield to pedestrians. West River Parkway will be closed until Minneapolis Park Board and City of Minneapolis staff can assess any potential impact to the parkway.


A-Mill Artist Lofts to Debut at 2016 Art-A-Whirl 

Sarah Stonich, NEMAA Building Coordinator, provided us with a preview of what to look for at the A-Mill Artist Lofts inaugural participation in Art-a-Whirl, May 20, 21 and 22.

In addition to a number of open studios, the main and lower floors will be filled with exhibitors. Tours of the building will be offered throughout the weekend.

The performance hall will feature a full schedule of entertainment, including comedians, musicians, spoken word and authors. Meet R. T. Rybak at his 1:00pm Pothole Confidential book signing on Saturday, May 21.

A special presentation by singer/songwriter Eme in the A-Mill alley entrance will feature Fly Away, an interactive performance celebrating the life transition of a bird leaving its (life-sized) nest.

Catch the 1950s 'Museum on Wheels' courtesy of the Minnesota Transportation Museum. Complete with featured artists ads, the vintage bus will provide free shuttles between the Grain Belt Studios trolley stops and the A-Mill.

The A-Mill Artist Lofts building is located at 315 Main Street SE.


HCMC Clinic and Pharmacy Coming to the North Loop 

Via an April 26 News Release from Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC):

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) will open a new clinic and pharmacy to serve people living and working in the North Loop area and central business district in downtown Minneapolis.

“North Loop is the fastest growing residential neighborhood in Minneapolis and the people who live there have been asking for a local clinic and pharmacy to serve their health care needs,” said Jon L. Pryor, MD, MBA, CEO. “This new clinic will do that, and serve a broader need for several sought-after specialties for people who live and work in the area.”

The new clinic and full service pharmacy will open later this year on the first floor of the Tractor Works building at 800 Washington Avenue North.

“This is an active neighborhood and this clinic will provide convenient access to primary care, chiropractic care and acupuncture services that neighborhood residents told us they want,” said Scott Wordelman, FACHE, Sr. Vice President of Ambulatory Care & Support Services. “We will also offer allergy and dermatology specialty care by board-certified physicians, as well as additional specialties, such as women’s health and sports medicine.”

The clinic will blend high tech and high touch, with top medical care and conveniences like online scheduling, personal electronic medical records and wellness, nutrition, and fitness programming for the neighborhood.

“Our mission is to improve the health and wellness of the whole community and this clinic, along with the rest of our growing clinic system, supports that mission,” said Pryor.
 HCMC recently announced the move and expansion of the Richfield Clinic, scheduled to open in a larger, more visible location in Richfield this fall. In downtown Minneapolis, HCMC operates an employer clinic and multiple primary care and specialty clinics on the main medical center campus. Construction also is underway on a new 377,000 square foot ambulatory clinic and surgery center that will open in early 2018.

“Between the new North Loop Clinic and our main campus we are able to meet every health care need of downtown residents, workers, and visitors,” said Wordelman. “People can stay in one system to get the full continuum of care, and it’s all located close to where they live or work.”

About Hennepin County Medical Center

Hennepin County Medical Center is a health care system that includes a nationally recognized Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive health care system includes a 484-bed acute care hospital, primary care and specialty clinics located in Minneapolis in the Whittier, East Lake St., and Elliot Park neighborhoods and in the suburban communities of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Golden Valley, Richfield, and St. Anthony Village. HCMC also offers home care and hospice services. HCMC is operated by Hennepin Healthcare System, Inc., a subsidiary corporation of Hennepin County.  More information at


Franklin Avenue Bridge Construction Update

Via an April 26 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

Closure starts 8 p.m. on Sunday, May 8

At 8 p.m. on May 8, the Franklin Avenue Bridge (County Road 5) in Minneapolis will completely close to all traffic (motor vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians). The bridge is expected to reopen Labor Day weekend. 

This closure is needed to allow for removal of the existing bridge deck and to place new deck panels. More than 360 deck panels were constructed last year and are ready for placement. These panels will be floated down the river and hoisted up to the bridge deck.

Getting around the area

Motorists will be directed to a route that uses I-94 to cross the river.

Pedestrians and bicyclists have two options: south to Lake Street/Marshall Avenue or north to Washington Avenue.

Please note, the West River Parkway detour due to the mudslide near the University of Minnesota is still in effect.

Boater and recreational users of the Mississippi River should be mindful that there will be barges and cranes in the river and a heavy amount of construction traffic in the river.

Full detour information can be found on the project website.

detour franklinMore about the project

The new bridge is being constructed using the Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) method to reduce the duration of traffic closure. As part of this, crews expect to work extended hours at times.

Prior to now, the majority of the work around the bridge has been under the deck. Crews have been repairing and restoring piers and arches, as well as relocating utilities that run under the deck. Remaining bridge restoration activities, along with final tasks and clean-up, will be performed during fall 2016 and spring 2017.

The new restored bridge features will replicate the historical design of the original 1923 bridge and will incorporate safe, modern, multimodal features such as separated on-road bike lanes, walkways, overlook nooks and architectural lighting.

There will be more about the project in future updates, as we provide details about the process to remove and replace the bridge deck.

For more information:

Project phone: 888-474-8929

See active projects on our interactive road construction map.


Late Business Leader Pat Fallon Supports Brain Injury Research at HCMC

Via an April 25 Press Release from Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC):

The late Twin Cities advertising executive Pat Fallon left a bequest supporting traumatic brain injury research at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). The Hennepin Health Foundation today announced a major gift from Pat to support the Rockswold Kaplan Chair for Traumatic Brain Injury Research at HCMC.

Fallon’s son, Duffy, was treated by HCMC in 2011 for a brain injury as a result of a hockey accident. At the time, Pat Fallon said they’d had a series of medical appointments elsewhere that brought little progress and a lot of frustration. “Our world changed once we got to HCMC’s Traumatic Brain Injury Center. Instead of telling him what he couldn’t do, the doctor said, ‘Duffy, I can help you.’’’ Today, Duffy has recovered fully and is a student at Boston College. 

Established December 2014, the research chair was endowed by philanthropists Elliot and Eloise Kaplan and neurosurgeon Dr. Gaylan Rockswold and his wife Mary to enable continuation of the world-class brain injury program at HCMC. Dr. Rockswold spent 42 years at HCMC performing surgery and clinical and basic science research, most notably to develop the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for brain injury.

Dr. Uzma Samadani, a neurosurgeon whose research on concussion is receiving international recognition, is the Rockswold Kaplan Chair for Traumatic Brain Injury Research. Dr. Samadani published research that describes a method for assessing the severity of traumatic brain injury by measuring eye movements. It was recently announced that HCMC is the site of the nation’s largest single-center prospective study on concussion and brain injury.

“Pat Fallon’s generosity enables HCMC to attract world-class physician researchers who are developing new ways to identify and treat brain injuries,” said Jon L. Pryor, HCMC CEO.  “We are grateful for his investment in hope and healing and we are pleased that HCMC can continue to lead the way.”

Over 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Among children and young adults, brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability. Nearly 100,000 brain injuries occur annually in Minnesota. Sustaining a brain injury can be a life-changing event, and many patients will need specialized therapies for months or years.

Hennepin County Medical Center is a Level I Adult and Pediatric Trauma Center and healthcare system. HCMC treats more traumatic brain injury patients than any other hospital in Minnesota. Expertise spans the entire continuum of care for adult and pediatric patients, from prevention to emergency care, neurosurgery, critical care, rehabilitation and the Traumatic Brain Injury Outpatient Program.


40 Story Condo Project on East Bank Clears Hurdle

The City of Minneapolis denied a petition for a Environmental Assessment Worksheet submitted by a group of neighbors last week, clearing the way for a hearing of the HPC. Alatus is the project developer.

Download the document...


Based on the information in the above analysis, the City of Minneapolis concludes the following:

1.  The Findings of Fact and Record of Decision document and related documentation were
prepared in compliance with the procedures of the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act and
Minnesota Rules, Parts 4410.1000 to 4410.1700.

2.  The project does not meet any of the mandatory EAW thresholds contained in Minn. Rules

3.  The project is in compliance with the City’s comprehensive plan.

4.  The project does not have the potential for significant environmental effects.

5.  The petitioners failed to meet their burden of proof that the project may have the potential
for significant environmental effects. Although there are many arguments presented, they
are largely anecdotal and unsupported by compelling evidence.

6.  The City of Minneapolis makes the finding that the petition for an EAW for the Alatus
Tower project on the property located at 200 Central Avenue Southeast and 113 2nd Street
Southeast is denied.

7.  The City of Minneapolis City Council shall adopt the proposed Findings of Fact and Record
      of Decision document. 


In the News - News from Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods


Graves plans hotel, apartments and offices near new stadium, theater
Minneapolis developer Graves Hospitality unveiled plans Friday for a mixed-use complex, including a Marriott Moxy hotel, along Washington Avenue near U.S. Bank Stadium and the Guthrie Theater, the latest project in the transformation of the east side of downtown.

Top 10 Ways To Enjoy The Outdoors In Downtown Minneapolis
Check out these suggestions for enjoying your spring and summer.

Inside glimpse at everyday urban life in Minneapolis and St. Paul
The home: Jean Coleman and her two sons rent an apartment inside the A-Mill Artist Lofts along SE. Main Street, Minneapolis.

Downtown Development Update
Kraus-Anderson breaks ground on headquarters, developers progress on hotels.

Saks Off 5th outlet store opens Thursday in City Center
The 40,000-square-foot space will be divided into 24,000 square feet on the street level and 16,000 square feet on the skyway level. That is a bit larger than the 28,000-square-foot Saks Off 5th outpost that anchors Twin Cities Premium Outlets in Eagan.

In The Loop Coffee Co. opens in the Itasca Building
Marisa Thom opened the North Loop café after several years at another coffee shop. Thom and her husband Bill travel extensively, so they’ve seen how coffee is made in Costa Rica and how they take their espresso in Spain, and Thom wants to bring these flavors to the North Loop.

RBC Plaza in downtown Minneapolis recognized as the year’s best renovated building in Midwest
The 709,690-square-foot property underwent a multi-million dollar renovation throughout 2014 and 2015 and emerged as a unified retail and office complex with vastly improved retail offerings.

Cash-stuffed envelopes on their way out at Minneapolis parking lots
A cash-based honor system at some Minneapolis parking lots is on its way out.

Minneapolis lawmakers call on Target Field to hire local workers
Ballpark’s concession manager has been busing in workers from out-of-state for home games.

Despite its size, new Vikings stadium costs less to heat, cool and light than Dome
But bird safety not addressed in an environmental update.

Last vestiges of Metrodome disappear with new highway signs for U.S. Bank Stadium
Construction on the new Vikings stadium is nearing completion, but there are still a few things left on the “to-do” list, including switching out old freeway signs that direct fans to the Metrodome.


Jeff Schad Named ElseWarehouse Building "OLD meets NEW" Instameet Photo Contest Winner

And the winner of the ElseWarehouse Building Instameet "OLD meets NEW" Photo Contest is (drum roll, please) Jeff Schad!

MNCommunity recently collaborated with Preserve Minneapolis on an Instameet at the ElseWarehouse Building in the North Loop at 730 N Washington Avenue.  Formerly known as the Scriver-Andrews Warehouse Company Building, it was constructed between 1920 and 1923 and is an example of historic preservation at work in Minneapolis.

Attendees were encouraged to enter pictures taken during the event in a photo contest. The theme was OLD meets NEW: take a photo of examples where ElseWarehouse artfully and successfully blends new building materials with the existing historic warehouse structure.

Jeff's entry was named the winner by a panel of judges representing ElseWarehouse, Preserve Minneapolis, Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and Mill City Times. Click here to see all the entries.

See more of Jeff's work on Instagram.


A Northeast Original: The Dago Sandwich at Dusty's Bar

Story and photos by Julie Craven

What is a Dago Sandwich? I had never tried this one of a kind, homemade Italian pork sausage patty burger, but when both Dave Tinjum and Michael Rainville rave about a food spot in the Northeast, it’s time to check it out. This week, it was time to check out Dusty’s Bar.

It’s the home of the Dago Sandwich - Dusty's claim to fame. So much flavor!  A homemade Italian pork sausage patty burger with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese and sweet peppers on a white bun. Now, if you want just a wee bit less of a flavor punch, there's the Half & Half burger, half Italian pork sausage and half ground beef with the same toppings, as well as a full line up of basket-ready burgers and sandwiches. The potato salad and the soups are homemade and on this Wednesday afternoon the soup options included Polish Cabbage and Roasted Tomato & Andouille.

The Dago Burger may be the star but my Tuna Melt Sandwich was perfection. I'm a little particular about some foods, specifically chocolate chip cookies and tuna salad. For cookies, it's all about the pecans and for tuna salad, it's the onions and celery and just the right amount of mayo.

Owner Pasquale “Pat” Stebe, had some time to talk with us about the 65-year old establishment named for and founded by his father.  A transplant from the Iron Range, his Slovenian dad actually first started out with a place at 29th and Nicollet. The building at the current location at 13th and Marshall Street (where they have been since 1952), is itself over 100 years old.

Amidst the beer signs and the hospitality, the conversation moved from the neighborhood, to the menu, to the Wild’s prospects in the playoffs. Stebe commented about this evolving Northeast Neighborhood - “there are a lot of joints, all different.” He gives the new additions to the Northeast food scene, places such as Anchor Fish & Chips and Draft Horse, an enthusiastic thumbs up.

So what does Pat himself order at Dusty's? The Half & Half Dago burger, the Dago Egg and Cheese and the Corned Beef Reuben are on his list of favorites.

So come for the Dago Sandwich, and if it's a Thursday through Sunday night, stay for the live music. And don't forget a side of potato salad, it's homemade.

Location:  1319 Marshall Steet NE


Julie Craven can be reached at


Reflection: A Princely Act

Story and photomontage by Susan Schaefer

Minneapolis, MN, April 22, 2016 – To create something entirely new, never seen, touched or heard before – something that resonates deeply with the beholder – is a hallmark of genius. The creator often treads precarious ground – misunderstood or unrecognized in his or her own time or homeland.

Prince Rogers Nelson (6/7/58 – 4/21/16), known inimitably as Prince, one-word name recognition rarely achieved by any creator, transcended such pitfalls.

Prince attained unprecedented adoration and reputation during an all too brief lifetime that ended suddenly and shockingly this past Thursday in his beloved, native Minneapolis. He lived and died wildly understood, highly recognized and greatly prized.

Creative genius has been scientifically linked to certain mental disorders that plague yet inspire the creator. The history of innovation is littered with the untimely demise of such great ones whose vast psychic capacities also incapacitate. Many, like Robin Williams, have taken their own lives. Though we do not yet know the cause of Prince’s untimely death, his life depicts an innovator filled with hope and promise.

His recent Twin Cities’ forays to enjoy an evening of music out at one of his favorite local nightclubs, The Dakota, or his music-shopping trip just last week to the famed record store, the Electric Fetus, belie any indication that Prince harbored depression or suicidal thoughts. Close confidants indicate quite the opposite – they speak of his newly ignited solo tour, his renewed energy, and outlook. What is known is that the pain from his hip replacement and ankle trouble hounded his characteristic physical style over the past few years.

Eccentricity and abundance, not depression or depravity, defined Prince’s life and work. Though he certainly endured his share of hardships, rejoicing emerges as the main underpinning of his creative, compositional and performance platform. Unquestionably he sparked controversy with his blended and blatant sexuality, yet his sheer originality branded him.

Outpourings from global luminaries sing his praises from Mick Jagger, “His talent was limitless,” to Oprah Winfrey, “The doves are really crying now,” to President Barack Obama, “[Prince was] one of the most gifted and prolific musicians of our time, … a virtuoso instrumentalist, a brilliant bandleader, and an electrifying performer…Today the world lost a creative icon.”

Prince rewrote life’s rules rather than be constrained by them. He broke free of the bonds of socio-economics, race and gender, as well as those of the tightly controlled entertainment world. His lyrics, compositions, and instrumentality defied genre; his groundbreaking, risk-taking break with the recording industry’s star making prison unshackled him to not only explore new musical worlds but to plant his gender-blended glyph in the stratosphere.

I had no idea of Prince’s global recognition until 1994, when on a solo trip to Hungary, I ventured out late one night in gloomy, rainy Budapest to one of their famed underground all-night clubs to hear Ando Drum, a Gypsy Hungarian band perform a double bill with Anita Livs, a Sámi folk music band from Sweden.

There, wildly dancing with enthusiastic international strangers Prince-style into the wee hours, I met a tall, lanky Dutchman who essentially freaked out when he discovered I was from “Princeville,” meaning Minneapolis. My ‘fame’ quickly spread throughout the club; by sheer virtue of being from Prince’s hometown, I had won celebrity status.

It wasn’t long thereafter, unbidden, the Dutchman paid a surprise transcontinental call to my then-Lake Minnetonka home on a pilgrimage to Paisley Park, where he was welcomed, toured the compound, and returned the Netherlands a changed man. Such was the power of the Purple Reign.

Literary genius, author Virginia Woolf, wrote, “The beauty of the world …has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder.” Prince provided the joy; his death the anguish. Alongside Prince-proud Minnesotans, fans worldwide now share a heart torn asunder.

Susan Schaefer can be reached at


MPRB Announces New Parking Station Installations

Via an April 22 e-newsletter from Minneapolis Park and Rec Board:

New Parking Stations Installed

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is replacing outdated parking pay stations across the park system with new, digital pay stations. The new pay stations will allow patrons to use coins or credit cards to pay for parking. Replacement of the pay stations began in late March and will be completed by May 13. 

New digital pay stations will be available at:

Pay Lots:
• Minnehaha Regional Park (seven lots)
• Lake Nokomis
• Lake Harriet
• Lake Calhoun
• Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden
• Boom Island
• Nicollet Island

Additionally, the pay-by-phone feature has been added to existing on-street meters at:
• Historic Main Street
• West River Road (at Guthrie Theatre)
• East River Parkway (south of the hospital, eastbound towards 94 – and – north of the hospital, on the hill between Washington and Arlington), and at Minnehaha Park on-street, north of the dog park and south of 54th Street.


Major Impacts to Traffic This Weekend (April 22-24)

Thanks to this update from MNDot, we decided to stay in the neighborhood this weekend.  :)

For more info visit:


Boom Island Brewing Announces Upcoming Release of Newest Beer - Triple Brett

Boom Island Brewing Company is pleased and excited to announce the upcoming release of its newest beer and latest in the Spontaneous Series, Triple Brett.

As its name implies, Triple Brett is a beer which has been fermented simultaneously with three different strains of Brettanomyces yeast. The strains were carefully selected, focusing primarily on their aromatic properties. After primary fermentation, Triple Brett was aged for 10 weeks in French oak red wine barrels. As an American Wild Ale, Triple Brett is 7.2% ABV and displays a deep mahogany-to-chestnut color, but the true magic lies in the brett-drived aromatics which lean toward fruitiness (pear, pineapple, powdered sour candy) and floral notes. The mouthfeel is full of complex and fruity maltiness despite the beer's bone-dry finish.

Brettanomyces is considered a wild yeast strain and historically has been an unwelcome visitor in wineries and breweries alike. However, certain Belgian styles have embraced the complexity brettanomyces can add. "This [the process of creating Triple Brett] is taking elements that exist in certain Belgian techniques and traditions, and forging a completely new direction" says head brewer and owner Kevin Welch. "This beer will change over time; Brett will continue to mature in its flavor contribution for very long periods of time."

The official release for Triple Brett will fittingly take place during Minnesota Beer Week on Friday, May 13 at 6pm at the Boom Island Brewing taproom. Triple Brett is a perfect addition to Minnesota Beer Week as it is a prime example of some of the best craft and speciality beer that is made right here in Minnesota. As with all Boom Island Brewing beers, Triple Brett stays true to the brewery's Born in Belgium, Crafted in Minneapolis slogan. Louisiana Purchase will be on-site providing food during the release and live music (TBA) will take place at 7pm for the occasion. Bottles of the Triple Brett will be available for purchase at the taproom during the release.