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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.


Bridgewater Residents Supporting Homeless Family Fundraiser

This is from an email sent to Bridgewater Lofts residents from our HOA manager.  Of course, anyone wishing to support this cause is encouraged to attend.  Sounds like fun too!


Bridgewater Neighbors,

Join us for an awesome evening of dance and entertainment while helping end homelessness in Hennepin County!

The Bridgewater community supported People Serving People - the largest, comprehensive family focused shelter in Minnesota - with our Holiday drive in December.   And now, we have another opportunity to support goals that are important to all of us:

- Families having a safe place to live
- Children that can attend school and continue their education during difficult times
- Parents that can enroll in job training courses
- Safer communities

Next week, join us for an awesome evening of dance and entertainment while supporting the goals that are important to our community!

Friday, October 15th
Featuring the music of Salsa del Soul
Salsa and Merengue dance instruction
Solera Restaurant 8-11pm
Tickets: $50
Cash Bar
100% of your ticket price goes to PSP!

The President of People Serving People, Jim Minor, will join us and discuss how we can make a greater impact.

Here's what you can do today:

- Buy Tickets online by October 10th
- Get your dancing shoes ready for the 15th!

Our goals is to raise $15,000 for the organization.  If you can't attend and would like to make a donation, please reference 'Salsa and Sparkle' in the memo line.

Link to event tickets

Please contact Carmen Brace if you have questions.  Thanks for your support!

Carmen Brace


Halloween Wig Sale at Pampered Hair Haven

Some wild hair to top off your Halloween costume.



Pampered Hair Haven is located at:

1023 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis MN 55415

Phone - 612-333-3341

Web - 


A "New" Waterfall May be Coming to the Mississippi

Everyone's invited to learn about the Minneapolis Park Board's ambitious plans to restore part of the historic waterfall on the Eastside of the river near St. Anthony Main at the:

Eastside Falls Open House

Presentations by:

  • Barr Engineering
  • Hess Roise Historic Consultants
  • Minneapolis Riverfront Corporation

7:00 to 8:30 PM

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pracna on Main - Inside Courtyard
117 Main Street SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota


Fitness Together of Minneapolis Introduces Aspire 8

When it comes to exercising, not all workouts are the same.  And that’s just the way Fitness Together of Minneapolis wants it.

The Fitness Together studio located at 1024 Washington Ave. S., part of a franchise network of one-on-one personal training, specializes in tailoring workouts for each and every client’s abilities, needs and goals.  The science of crafting the right fitness routine just got better, according to Randy Zarecki, local franchise owner.  The company recently unveiled Aspire 8, a proprietary program that will guide the studio’s personal trainers as they match each client’s aspirations to a custom fitness program designed to meet clients at their current fitness level and progressively move them forward.

“If we have 60 clients, there will be 60 tailored workouts in one-on-one sessions at our private studio with a personal trainer,” says Zarecki.  “That’s the individual attention that gets results, pushes clients to excel, and takes the routine out of a fitness routine.”

The Aspire 8 program was released nationwide to Fitness Together studios in July.  The system will help Fitness Together trainers classify each client into one of four training zones based on their current fitness level. Then, the personal trainer will work with the client individually to build a customized program designed to progressively move that client toward higher levels of fitness. The workouts will continue to evolve and adapt to the levels of improved health and fitness for each individual client ensuring that they continue to improve.

“The Aspire 8 program evolves with a Fitness Together client who is increasingly getting in better shape,” Zarecki added.  “It addresses the age-old question: How come I work out all the time but don’t lose weight?”

According to Zarecki, the results-oriented approach to exercising is one reason Fitness Together continues to excel as a growing national chain.  And Zarecki expects the Aspire 8 program to keep loyal Minneapolis customers coming back, turning many into clients for life.

“We approach health and fitness as a lifestyle, and our personal trainers and fitness studio play an incredibly important role in the lives of clients,” Zarecki added.  “We’re not a volume business that focuses on dues versus usage.  We’re about a very high level of service for people in Minneapolis who want real results that will last. We make the most of their valuable time each and every session in a way they won’t get anywhere else.  The Aspire 8 program will take that to the next level.”

For more info:

1024 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN   55415

Phone -  612-378-8898

Web -

Hours - Call for appointment


501SP1N has Officially Launched

Dawn Doll and her staff of instructors, together with 501F1T, hosted the 501SP1N Launch Party October 1.  501SP1N is an innovative indoor cycling program utilizing the Realryder® and Krankcyle®.

Andria Johnson, above, is one of the Krankcyle® instructors.  Andria met Dawn through a friend, and Dawn has been her trainer for over a year.  Andria is currently working towards becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, and credits Dawn with her healthy lifestyle.

In addition to spin classes, Dawn teaches Pilates.  She is shown above with a piece of Pilates equipment used in her class.

Andrea Austin, Certified Master Personal Trainer with 20 years of experience, is a Realryder® instructor. 

Joe Hegman is a Krankcyle® instructor and Personal Trainer.

501SP1N is located at 501 Washington Avenue South, 3rd Floor.  For more information, call 612-910-1425.


This Weekend in Mill City / October 01-03 

Heads up:  The Twin Cities Marathon and Medtronic TC 10 Mile is taking place this weekend on Sunday.  The Marathon starts at the Metrodome and the 10 Mile is going right through the Mill District on South 2nd St.  Based on last year, parking will be in short supply, and 2nd St will be shut down from early morning until early afternoon.

Events this weekend in and around the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis:

Friday, October 1

501SPIN Launch Party

Live Music at the 501 Club

The Soap Factory's Haunted Basement Open Thursday-Sunday throughout October

Star Tribune Night at the Guthrie

Yamaha Piano Sale at MacPhail Center for Music

Saturday, October 2

Minneapolis Central Library Tour

Live Music at the 501 Club

Yamaha Piano Sale at MacPhail Center for Music

The Loft presents poet Alvin Greenberg

Sunday, October 3

2010 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Yamaha Piano Sale at MacPhail Center for Music

Minneapolis Central Library Tour

Weekend Brunch


Brunch at Spoonriver

Reservations recommended

10:00am - 2:00pm

See the menu


Brunch at Spill the Wine
1101 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415

brunch buffet 10am- 2pm Sunday
$12/person (kids 3 and under eat free, 4-12 years are 1/2 price!)

includes: eggs, bacon, french toast, hash browns, fresh salad and fruit, pastries, build your own omlette bar and more...

featuring absolut bloody bar for $5.

also offering fair trade coffee and full bar.

Saturday & Sunday

501 Club Hash House Brunch


Pet Park Safety Tips - An Ongoing Series from Curtis L. Sanford, DVM

Our neighborhood is a haven for dog owners, and we thought it would be beneficial to have an ongoing series specifically for them.  This is the first installment of Pet Park Safety Tips from Curtis L. Sanford, DVM.

Dark colored, overweight, shorter muzzle and large dogs should not be taken to the dog park during the heat of the day because they can develop heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Be sure you know the signs of both. They include excessive panting, their gums getting bright red, and eventually becoming disoriented and collapsing. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, give it a cold water bath with a hose. On very hot days, even light colored dogs and small dogs should not be taken to the dog park. Most dogs prefer early morning and late evening interaction.

Dr. Sanford is a Veterinarian and Owner/Founder of Minneapolis Veterinary Hospital in the Mill District.   He can be contacted at 612-746-0300 or


The Minneapolis RiverCurrent - an Additional Source of Information

A life-long Minneapolis resident and long time City of Minneapolis employee who is passionate about our riverfront generates a weekly e-newsletter called the Minneapolis RiverCurrent.  The RiverCurrent covers a larger geographical scope than we focus on with Mill City Times.  For example, there are events and festivals along the riverfront in other parts of the city that you won’t see listed in the Events section of Mill City Times, but they’ll be included in the RiverCurrent.  At the same time, there are going to be items that both venues list – such as a show at the Guthrie.
If you would like to subscribe to the RiverCurrent, send an email to:


A Private Tour of the Soon to be Occupied Mill District City Apartments

Gina Bachmeier, Sales Manager for Mill District City Apartments, gave us an in depth tour of this beautiful 175 unit building located at 225 Portland Avenue.

Already over 35% leased, the 5-story building offers 39 floor plans and a long list of amenities.  Every unit has something special to offer.  For example, first floor apartments facing South 2nd Street and Washington Avenue have private entries. 

Above, a view of the Mill City Museum and Guthrie from the 5th floor catwalk.  (Being a klutz, I didn't actually venture out onto the catwalk - no railing yet.)

All 4th and 5th floor units are penthouses, half of which are two-story floor plans like the one pictured above.

Fireplaces are included in loft floor plans.

Above, other views from various apartments.

Village Green, the developer of Mill District City Apartments, has partnered with a growing number of companies within the Twin Cities to offer exclusive benefits and discounts to employees.  Examples are Target, Cargill and US Bank. Click here for a full list.

At the time of our tour, the retail space on the ground floor (at the corner of Washington and Portland Avenues) had not yet been leased.  

A model apartment and sales office are scheduled to open in October.  We will post the Open House events when those dates are finalized.

Although the courtyard currently resembles a giant sand box, it will be spectacular when finished.  Visit the photo section of their web site for pictures of what the completed complex will look like - inside and out. 

As a side note, I admit we were skeptical when we heard this location was going to be apartments rather than condos.   We felt better when we viewed the Village Green web site earlier this year - it was impressive.  Now, after touring the site with Gina, we think this is a great addition to our neighborhood.



Progress on the Plank Road Project

This shot was taken Sunday, September 26:


From West River Road in the Mill District of Minneapolis.



Somewhere Over the Rainbow in the Mill District

This video and picture don't do justice to the gorgeous rainbow that appeared for a few minutes early Saturday morning (September 25).  A faint double rainbow was visible for about 30 seconds or so. 


From our balcony in the Mill District of Mineapolis.



Harry's Closes - Mill City Times Exclusive

Harry's Food & Cocktails Closes Doors.

Another scoop for Mill City Times.  I guess the reports of Harry's demise were not so exaggerated after all.  A reader tipped me to a twitter update, which linked to Harry's Facebook page (see below).  Kim and I will be stopping by tonight to see if anyone is still around to fill in the details.  We'll miss the staff and Sunday afternoon food and drink on the patio.

Screenshot from Harry's Facebook page -


Live at the 501 Club / Matt Dodge

Singing Blackbird by the Beatles, from an acoustical set last Thursday.


Baby's First Joke

Why did the tomato blush?


Wait for it...wait for it...


"He saw the salad dressing"


Taken at the Aquatennial Riverfest at Mill Ruins Park in the Mill District of Minneapolis.


This Weekend in Mill City / September 24-26

Events this weekend in and around the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis:

Friday, September 24

Guthrie Backstage Tour

The Soap Factory $99 Sale

Live Music at 501 Club

Exploring Wines from Chile and Argentina

Saturday, September 25

Live Music at 501 Club

Discover Saturday: Magical World of Theatre at the Children's Library

Guthrie Backstage Tour

How'd They Do That Workshop at the Guthrie - The Master Butchers Singing Club

Mill City Oktoberfest

Surdyk's Amateur Iron Fork Competition

Sunday, September 26

Guthrie Backstage Tour

Family Tour: Riverfront Quest

Live Music at 501 Club

Vikings and Lions at the Dome


Weekend Brunch


Brunch at Spoonriver

Reservations recommended

10:00am - 2:00pm

See the menu


Brunch at Spill the Wine
1101 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415

brunch buffet 10am- 2pm Sunday
$12/person (kids 3 and under eat free, 4-12 years are 1/2 price!)

includes: eggs, bacon, french toast, hash browns, fresh salad and fruit, pastries, build your own omlette bar and more...

featuring absolut bloody bar for $5.

also offering fair trade coffee and full bar.

Saturday & Sunday

501 Club Hash House Brunch


Spare Change / Hip-Hop at The MacPail Center for Music

Here's a video from their performance at MacPhail in mid September.  Hip-Hop at the MacPhail Center for Music, who'd have predicted that?  Kim and I attended, and were impressed - but you do lose a little in translation from live performance to video (especially recorded on a Flip HD).

Spare Change came together for a joint summer program from MacPhail and McNally Smith College of Music.  The second song on this clip is pretty catchy.



Mill District Non-Profits to Provide Educational Opportunities to Twin Cities Students

The Mill City Museum and the McKnight Foundation, two cornerstones of the Mill District on the Minneapolis Riverfront, are working together to offer free admission to the museum.  What a great opportunity to learn about the colorful history of birthplace of Minneapolis.  We take tours at MCM frequently, and think they do an outstanding job of entertaining while educating.

Details below are from the Minneapolis Public Schools Staff Hotline website:

MPS K-12 Teachers: Free admission to Mill City Museum!
Mill City Museum offers a wide range of educational opportunities for Minnesota's K-12 students. Thanks to the gracious support of The McKnight Foundation, Mill City Museum is able to offer free museum admission and partially subsidized busing for students from qualified public schools. To qualify, schools must be from the Twin Cities metro area, have at least 50 percent of their students enrolled in the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program and visit the museum in January, February or March. Registration begins October 1 for schools that did not receive a McKnight Foundation Scholarship last year. Schools that visited the museum on the scholarship last year are welcome to apply starting October 15. Space is limited. Please call 612.341.7556 or e-mail for details or to register. Book online at


Live Music Venues in our Neighborhood

When it comes to live music, there's something for everyone in our neighborhood. 

Some of the venues are season specific, such as the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's "Music in the Parks" concert series and Mill City Museum's "Mill City Live" series.  Others may be nightly, weekly, or special events you need to watch for. 

For example, the Guthrie offers single night engagements, such as Keri Noble on September 27 and Max Weinberg on October 25.

I was surprised to learn in a recent Star Trib article that the Aster Cafe at 125 SE Main Street in St. Anthony Main now offers live music Wednesday thru Saturday.

In addition to recitals, the MacPhail Center for Music hosts special engagements such as the Spotlight Series.  This series features MacPhail faculty with special guests, providing an intimate listening experience for lovers of classical, jazz and opera. 

The 501 Club has live entertainment at least 5 nights a week. As a general rule the 501 site has links to the performers' sites, allowing you to get a feel for their music if you're not familiar with the name/band.

During the summer, wxzy at the Aloft has live music on Wednesday nights in their courtyard.

The Southern Theater occasionally features music.  A winter treat to look forward to is Alisa Weilerstein & Gabriel Kahane on February 18 & 19, 2011.  More Info.

Sometimes Grumpy's has live music - call or check online.

We strive to list as many of these shows in the Events section as possible, but inevitably we might miss a few.  If you're aware of an upcoming show that is missing from the Events section, please let us know.


New Website Launched for Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition

Ok, it's not much yet, but the design competition for the Minneapolis' upper riverfront (the area extending from the Stone Arch Bridge to Minneapolis' northern city limits, along both sides of the Mississippi River) has it's own website now.

Not much there except the key dates for the competition, a link to a project description document and a link to the RFQ.  I hope they publish the design entries and keep us up-to-date on the competition.

Pictured below is the area of focus (shaded yellow) for the competition.


Our Neighbors in the North Loop Need Help with this Special Project

We are fortunate to have so many beautiful parks just a stroll away.  But wouldn't it be nice for those of us with young children or grandchildren to have a fully equipped playground as well?   That dream is coming true where 4th Avenue North meets West River Parkway.    Earlier this month, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board released an update entitled "Preparations for construction of 4th Avenue playground underway".


The article mentions the location of this new playground as 4th Avenue North and James I. Rice Parkway (rather than West River Parkway).  I wasn't familiar with James I. Rice Parkway, but a quick Google search yielded a description on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's web site:

"Part of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, James I. Rice Parkway extends West River Parkway along the Mississippi River through downtown Minneapolis from Portland Ave. S to Plymouth Ave. N. Featuring paved walking and cycling paths, riverside hiking trails, picnic areas and beautiful scenery, the two-way parkway is as much a destination as it is a passage.

Heading north from Mill Ruins Park and the Stone Arch Bridge, James I. Rice Parkway passes under the 3rd Avenue Bridge, goes past the main Minneapolis Post Office and First Bridge Park, where it passes under the Hennepin Avenue Bridge. From there the parkway continues past the Federal Reserve Bank and under the NicolletIsland railroad bridge before intersecting with 4th Ave. N, which allows easy access the city’s Warehouse district and North Loop neighborhood. From 4thAve. the parkway winds along until reaching the Plymouth Avenue Bridge, at which point, James I. Rice Parkway reverts to West River Road.

The central riverfront parkland along James I. Rice Parkway presents a picturesque site for weddings, and offers ample recreational opportunities. Multiple tree-shaded picnic areas feature tables, grills, benches and horseshoe pits. Paved paths take park goers from the river’s edge at St. Anthony Falls, past interpretive and artistic installations and across pedestrian bridges near the sandstone culvert where Bassett’s Creek used to enter the Mississippi River. Other nearby recreation destinations include Orvin “Ole” Olson Park, Boom Island Park and Nicollet Island Park.

Opened in October, 1987, the parkway is named for James I. Rice, a longtime state legislator from northeast Minneapolis, who was an instrumental figure in funding the development of regional parks."


In addition to the donors listed in the article, there are other fund raising initiatives going on.  For example, a number of downtown restaurants are hosting fund raising dinners.  In our neighborhood, Spill the Wine is participating October 12.  For additional fund raising opportunities, visit the North Loop Neighborhood web site.


We'll be sure to take pictures and post progress updates whenever our strolls take us outside the Mill District.