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In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

Our weekly digest of stories about Downtown Minneapolis and the Central Riverfront neighborhoods:

WEEK OF JUNE 11, 2018


Traffic mayhem expected, Minneapolis motorists brace for nightmarish commute
Office workers, restaurant servers, business owners, and city officials, among others, are busy preparing alternate plans to avoid what are shaping up to be epic traffic jams through the summer.

First traffic snarls form on northbound I-35W in Minneapolis
A third lane was unavailable for drivers Monday. MnDOT hopes to add it Monday night.

Construction on I-35W will bring major changes to your commute downtown
Motorists will be dealing with closures for 4 months.

Downtown Minneapolis gets final closeups from 24th St. bridge
A photographers' favorite vantage point for downtown Mpls. skyline is being replaced.

I-35W construction: You'll still be able to park on Portland and Park avenues
An original plan cut the parking, but now narrower traffic lanes will keep it.


Minnesota Historical Society to offer architecture lectures, tours
The Minnesota Historical Society is teaming up with the state's architects to tell the stories of some of Minnesota's most iconic structures, including the Mill City Museum in downtown Minneapolis, Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore and the James J. Hill House in St. Paul's Summit Hill neighborhood.

Dying trees show that the greening of Nicollet Mall is not so easy
Less than a year after nearly 250 trees were planted in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, some are dead and others barely hanging on.

Mill City Running expands with athletic club for runners
Owners say Mill City Athletic Club will be a ‘home base’ for the store’s 400-person racing community.

Timeline still unknown for reopening of Loring Park post office
The Loring Station post office is still closed following a small fire earlier this spring and officials aren’t sure when it will be up and running once again.

Marigold Way brings artisan designs from India to Minneapolis
Co-owners Katrina Ulrich and Jenny Loomis recently celebrated the grand opening of Marigold Way, their boutique in Sheridan’s 13th Avenue Business District.

Now open: Hot Indian
Hot Indian owner Amol Dixit recently opened his second brick-and-mortar location, this time in the skyway of the former TCF Tower.

WEEK OF JUNE 4, 2018

Fire-damaged Loring post office in downtown Mpls. won't reopen for months, if at all
If the site reopens, it will not be for several months.

Northern Spark Festival to light up the night
Northern Spark marks the summer solstice with more than 50 artists and 27 projects spanning three zones in Minneapolis.

North Minneapolis riverfront gets $15 million for redevelopment
Funding from the bonding bill would help redevelop the little-used stretch.

United Properties will renovate Warehouse District’s Kickernick Building
United Properties began renovations this spring on the Warehouse District’s Kickernick Building, a seven-story building known for ground-floor restaurant Brothers Bar & Grill.

Windows on at least 2 dozen vehicles busted out in NE. Minneapolis
Police say they have taken reports so far of damage to 20 vehicles. No arrests have been announced.

Minneapolis Water Taxi offers river rides
You won’t find the city’s newest taxi service on an app or even on land. Try looking on the Mississippi River.

A trip to Greece through food
Gardens of Salonica has stood the test of time in the Nicollet Island-East Bank neighborhood.

50 great restaurant patios, decks and other outdoor dining spots in the Twin Cities
The outdoor dining season is finally here, so let's enjoy it. On a rooftop. On a sidewalk cafe. Even on a Ferris wheel.

WEEK OF MAY 21, 2018

Hall’s Island returns to Northeast riverfront
The island north of the Plymouth Avenue Bridge isn’t new to the Mississippi River, but it hasn’t been there for over half a century.

Sherman Associates breaks ground on Vicinity
The latest housing project to break ground in the Mill District features a mix of market-rate apartments, affordable housing and for-sale townhomes.

Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis closes for a yearlong, $10 million "face-lift"
Work began Monday on a $10 million renovation of Peavey Plaza, the sunken park next to Orchestra Hall and across the street from Brit's Pub on Nicollet Mall.

Hennepin County Government Center plaza fountain should be flowing after Memorial Day
Spring repairs cause a month's delay in filling the popular downtown Minneapolis fountain.

Minneapolis wins more big-time praise as a vacation destination
A few months after a major media outlet touted Minneapolis as a must-see travel destination, a big-time online travel site is echoing that sentiment.

Does density promote affordability? Economists say yes, Minneapolis residents are skeptical
City's argument for affordability rebuffed by many homeowners.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey wants to fund $50 million in ambitious affordable housing projects
Coming less than six months into Frey's first term, the announcement marked the mayor's most detailed plan for delivering on his campaign promise on affordable housing.

U.S. Bank Stadium bird study reaches midpoint, with results due next year
Vikings and state pay $300K to study danger posed by building's glass walls.

ClusterTruck aims to deliver better food faster
The latest restaurant in Minneapolis is right at home in a parking garage.

The Hideaway burger bar opens on Main Street
Jeff Arundel is going for a hat trick on Main Street. The self-described “reluctant restaurateur” and his wife have opened a third concept along the Marcy-Holmes riverfront, this time a burger joint in the former Tuggs Tavern space between their other restaurants, Aster Café and Jefe.

WEEK OF MAY 14, 2018

The Drive: Bus-only lanes on Hennepin Avenue get 3-day trial
A three-day pilot this week will bring bus-only lanes to a portion of traffic-clogged Hennepin Avenue during rush hour to see if they might speed up one of the region's slowest corridors.

Out with the old on Minneapolis' Nicollet Avenue with apartment building boom
The 1400 block of Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis is a hodgepodge of one-story buildings from the early 1900s — home to three restaurants, a bar, a barber shop, a day care, a theater and a chiropractor’s office.

Spoon and Stable's Gavin Kaysen snags a 2018 James Beard Award
At Monday night's ceremony in Chicago, another local got the W: Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable and Wayzata's Bellecour, who's this year's Best Chef: Midwest honoree.

Minnesota chef's 'pretty amazing' birthday present: James Beard Award
The chef/owner of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis and Bellecour in Wayzata talks about being named Best Chef Midwest by the James Beard Foundation.

Gavin Kaysen named Best Chef Midwest by James Beard Foundation
Chef/owner of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour won at the "Oscars of the food world." He's the fifth Minnesota chef to win in the category.

Palmer’s Bar Changes Hands: What’s Next for the Iconic Spot?
New owner Tony Zaccardi and former owner Lisa Hammer talk about the future of a century-old iconic Minneapolis bar.

WEEK OF MAY 7, 2018

I-94 to be shut down in downtown Minneapolis for next three weekends
The Minnesota Department of Transportation will shut the freeway down in both directions between Interstates 394 and 35W  for the next three weekends to allow crews refurbish the Irene Hixon Whitney pedestrian bridge spanning I-94 and connecting the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and Loring Park.

2019 Final Four to bring $142M, 94,000 visitors to Twin Cities, analysis claims
Event at U.S. Bank Stadium in 2019 will attract 94,000 visitors — and their wallets.

3 Restaurants for Post-Farmers' Market Brunching
The sun comes out and the farmers follow. There’s nothing like a spring stroll through one of our local farmers’ markets to build a weekend appetite for a brunch breakaway.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey on Local Dining, Hot Sauce, and Minimum Wage
There may be one other person in Minnesota who eats out as much as I do, and apparently, it’s the mayor. When I first asked for an interview with new Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, I’d assumed we’d be stuck in some City Hall conference room, drinking pod coffee under fluorescent lighting. As it happens, on a recent Thursday night, I found myself kicking back with the mayor and a few Red Stripes in the far more relaxed setting of Pimento Jamaican Kitchen on Eat Street.

Bar Bets: Wine Deals at Mercy
Why has downtown Minneapolis turned into such a nothing when it comes to wine bars? It might be because we haven't been looking in the right places.

Doughnuts + frosé? Copper Hen Cakery team opening downtown coffee shop/wine bar
Chris and Danielle Bjorling, the husband-and-wife-duo behind Eat Street's Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen, are already hammering away at their restaurant's forthcoming Minnetonka sibling, The Copper Cow.

A 'late-night patisserie' from Schwan's is coming to the North Loop
It's 10 p.m. Do you know where the pies are?

Coming soon: Hennepin Made retail space
The 1,500-square-foot space inside the company’s new building in the North Loop will offer some of the glass company’s fixtures, decorative vases, candleholders and more.

Now open: Beancounter Coffeehouse
Beancounter Coffeehouse is now open in downtown’s Soo Line Building.

WEEK OF APRIL 30, 2018

Designs for lengthy Hennepin Avenue reconstruction take shape
The $20 million reconstruction project will be underway for four years.

City reveals new details of consolidated office project
The City of Minneapolis is planning to relocate more than 1,000 employees to a new office building planned for a site kitty-corner from City Hall, and in April it revealed more detailed plans for the project.

Minneapolis hopes to grind out a new tunnel deep below downtown
State aid is being sought to augment old conduits deep below the city. The $38 million project to dig a new passage 70 to 100 feet beneath Washington Avenue would be the largest of its kind downtown since the system was built about 80 years ago.

Homeless youth get a downtown view
Heather Huseby rattles off all the ways YouthLink’s drop-in center helps 2,000 young people each year, from connecting them to schools to feeding them hot meals. But housing on site? It’s a first for the organization, as well as downtown Minneapolis.

Woman's Club of Minneapolis opening its doors at lunch and dinner
Starting in early June, the landmark Woman’s Club of Minneapolis will be opening its swank dining room to the general public, serving lunch Tuesday through Saturday, and dinner Wednesday through Saturday.

Summer of gridlock ahead for downtown drivers and I-35W rebuild
Overlapping closures along I-35W will put a miserable squeeze on metro commutes.

Amazon to hire additional 200 people for Minneapolis tech office
Fast-growing Amazon plans to hire an additional 200 engineers and other IT workers for its tech hub in the North Loop where it now employs about 150 people, Amazon confirmed to the Star Tribune.

WEEK OF 4/16/2018

Want a mummified monkey found in downtown Dayton's? No receipt needed
The remains found by a construction worker may have been animal stolen in '60s.

Minneapolis mummy monkey mystery: Solved already?
As the story was told to Murphy, his dad and a friend skipped school -- either junior high or high school -- to make their way downtown to execute their caper. Their plan went as follows: Step one, kidnap a monkey then on display as part of a Dayton's store window display by putting it in a backpack and escaping; step two, take it home.

Workers discover mummified monkey in former Minneapolis Dayton’s
A spokeswoman for the Dayton’s Project, an office, retail and restaurant complex going into the century-old building, said workers found the carcass in an air duct on the seventh floor last week.

Twin Cities Family Offers Theory On Mummified Monkey In Dayton’s
A Twin Cities family says it knows how a monkey died in the ceiling of the Dayton’s building in downtown Minneapolis back in the 1960s.

History: The washing crew
The Minneapolis Steam Laundry, shown here circa 1896, was headquartered at 109 2nd St. Look closely and you can see their hard-working employees on the sidewalk, by the wagons, in the windows and even on the fire escape!

Will it be easier to walk and bike next winter?
Snow and ice are melting away, but for many the challenges of getting around in the winter on icy sidewalks, snow-filled crossings and disappearing bike lanes remain a source of lingering concern and frustration.

Cactus haven calls Northeast home
While it likely wouldn’t survive long outside, a rare and unique assortment of cactus plants call a small shop in Northeast home.

Primp Boutique Adds Extended Sizing
Locals love Primp Boutique for their affordable and on-trend clothes, accessories, and shoes (hello, $24 palm tree espadrilles!). But in an initiative to listen more closely to shoppers and give the people what they want, shop owners Michele Henry and Wesley Uthus are making some much-appreciated changes.

Palmer's Bar, a West Bank institution, will be bought by Grumpy's NE bartender Tony Zaccardi
Zaccardi, who’s been a veteran of countless local bands over the past quarter century, might still be best known as the dreadlocked, bespectacled drink-slinger behind the bar at Grumpy’s Northeast for more years than are worth counting. But now—once all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed—you’re going to have to get used to Tony Zaccardi, the new owner of Palmer’s Bar.

These 3 Minneapolis restaurants are flying high with new chefs in the kitchen
Star chefs are putting their own stamp on Seven, Corner Table and Sanctuary.

WEEK OF 4/9/2018

Come Back for Nicollet's Come Back
The Super Bowl reminded locals that Nicollet—and downtown Minneapolis—can be fun. What would it take to draw those crowds for a Saturday afternoon this spring?

In downtown Minneapolis, rapidly rising East Town still seeks a heart
In less than five years, developers have spent more than $1 billion to construct offices, apartments, condos, hotels and other commercial projects around U.S. Bank Stadium.

A Tour of a Forgotten Minneapolis Murder Scene
Walking in the footsteps of the most diabolical Minneapolis criminal you’ve never heard of.

Minneapolis ranks as third best city for start-ups
The small business services review site says Minneapolis is the third best city for start-ups and entrepreneurs behind only San Francisco and Austin, Texas.

Minneapolis planners should remember: Some people need to drive
But the city's proposed comprehensive plan prioritizes them precisely last. We need a balanced transportation system that works for all.

Minneapolis' strip-club quandary: Are restrictions too tight?
City Council members struggle to balance competing rights.

Where strip clubs are zoned in Minneapolis
Minneapolis ordinances funnel strip clubs and sex shops into specific areas downtown.

High-tech police tools added for Super Bowl remain at work in Minneapolis
With extra Super Bowl cameras continuing to watch citizens, a City Council member wants a public discussion.

Basilica Block Party Announces 2018 Lineup
As usual, the Basilica’s annual music festival has something for everyone.

Guthrie's Sea Change restaurant hires new chef, plans major menu remake
Donald Gonzalez, who previously ran the kitchen at Gray Duck in St. Paul, will start in his new role on April 10.

Former Legends Bar & Grill in Minneapolis to become barbecue restaurant
The former Legends building is getting new life, via some love from its neighbor.

WEEK OF 4/2/2018

10 projects that will change the look of the Twin Cities
Construction cranes have become as familiar a sight in the Twin Cities as snowbanks. But billions of dollars in investments — sometimes years in the making — don't always translate into eye-grabbing design.

Dayton’s Project Takes You Inside the Renovation
Today, The Dayton’s Project launched social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, and invited people to share department store memories. A few participants will be sent one of the 90 vintage paper mâché Easter eggs recently found in the building during demolition.

The Drive: 4th Street redo in downtown Minneapolis in the works
A long stretch of 4th Street in downtown Minneapolis is going to look a lot different in a couple of years as the city reconstructs one of the primary entry points into downtown.

What's the deal with this new delivery-only restaurant heading to downtown Minneapolis?
Craving food truck grub but too lazy to chase down your favorite meal-on-wheels? ClusterTruck can solve that dilemma.

New gallery opens in Northrup King Building
Founder Thomas Unise opened Revel Art Gallery on March 24 on the artist studio building’s third floor.

Battle between proposed topless bar and Christian ministry lands before Minneapolis City Council
Nightclub mogul Peter Hafiz wants to expand his strip club empire to include what he’s calling a “Topless Tap House.” First, the city of Minneapolis will have to decide if a ministry above a pizza shop qualifies as a place of worship.

Solar panels generate a buzz at Coffee Shop Northeast
Unless you’re flying through the skies of Northeast Minneapolis, you won’t see the latest addition to the Coffee Shop Northeast.

Jack Link's sends a marketing message with new office
Jack Link’s new downtown Minneapolis office is one part modern workplace and one part jerky billboard.

RBC enters lease agreement for United Properties' tower
RBC Wealth Management said Monday that it formally agreed to anchor United Properties' proposed 33-story tower at the Nicollet Hotel Block on the north end of Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

Two new towers bring apartment boom to south end of Nicollet Mall
After years of growth on Nicollet Mall's north end, developers are now planning 17- and 31-story towers in the quieter part of downtown.

13 Films to Catch at MSPIFF 2018
Now more than ever, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival’s emphasis on “international” seems powerful. In a year riddled with threats of border walls and travel bans, it feels like we need the diverse voices MSPIFF brings to the Twin Cities each April.

Coming Soon: Madre Cacti Co. in Northeast
This Friday, the Twin Cities' first cactus-only plant shop is making its debut.

Red Cow restaurateur to open Northeast event center
Luke Shimp, the founder of Red Cow and Red Rabbit, is planning to open a catering and event center on Lowry Avenue in Northeast Minneapolis.

Surly unveils new pizza restaurant on brewery's second floor, opening Friday
After Surly Brewing shuttered the Brewer’s Table – its upscale, multi-course restaurant – last spring, owner Omar Ansari and his staff set out to solve the next big task: identifying its replacement.

Surly's expanding Minnesota’s pizza horizons
Seven years ago, Surly pushed Minnesota to become a craft beer mecca. In 2018, they’re trying to do the same for pizza.

Sweet Chow brings Asian takeout to the North Loop
Three film industry veterans and a chef have come together to open Sweet Chow Takeaway, a takeout-focused Asian bar and restaurant, in the North Loop.

WEEK OF 3/26/2018

MPD must build on public safety progress in downtown Minneapolis
Violent crime numbers fell in early 2018, but summer will be the real test.

Minneapolis ranks 10th on the U.S. Hipster Index
Despite our bounty of beard farmers, dog-friendly breweries, and ironic happy hours featuring cheap canned beer, Minneapolis ranks a mere 10th on America’s list of top 10 hipster cities.

Owner gets wallet back 50 years after it was stolen at downtown Dayton's
After 50 years, theft victim delights in reclaiming photos, other treasures.

City Club Apartments breaks ground on 17-story high-rise
307-unit building will target young professionals who want amenities but don’t want to drive.

RSM development project in downtown Minnespolis
Remake of the former Barnes & Noble space on the Nicollet Mall.

Lawsuit alleges deal giving Vikings free use of the Commons park broke the law
Former Minneapolis City Council member says taxpayers will pay millions to benefit NFL.

Census: Twin Cities area adds quarter-million residents since 2010
Migration from across the U.S. has helped fuel growth.

Report calling Minneapolis third-most expensive U.S. city leaves out house prices
The Economist magazine says only New York and Los Angeles are more expensive.

Burger Friday: Channeling In-N-Out inspiration in the North Loop
“Two patties means more surface for caramelization, more of that beefy, beefy flavor,” he said. “And in my opinion, when you get those 6- and 7-ounce patties, they’re harder to eat. They’re a real commitment, managing those things. You can’t keep picking them up and putting them down, you have to go head-first into them.”

Finnegans debuts new brewery and taproom in downtown Minneapolis
The charitable brewing company finally has its own facility after 17 years in business.

Finnegans opens brewery, taproom in Elliot Park
It’s fitting that Finnegans opened the doors to its new downtown taproom and brewery on St. Patrick’s Day.

Market Bar-B-Que plans move to Northeast
Market Bar-B-Que has moved just three times in its 72-year history, but a fourth relocation is on the horizon.

MN Nice Cream just started slingin' sparkly soft serve in Northeast
"Only the Instagrammers know about us right now," Katie Romanski says, handing over our glitter-dusted, Fruity Pebble-crested cone with a conspiratorial smile.

Step inside Brother Justus, Nordeast's secret whiskey distillery
Phil Steger recalls exactly when he first had the idea to open Brother Justus Whiskey Company.

WEEK OF 3/19/2018

Downtown Minneapolis violent crime drops by a third so far in 2018
In Minneapolis, efforts paying off in fewer robberies and safer streets, police say.

City Club Apartments groundbreaking planned for March 21
A developer has demolished a 1914 addition to the Handicraft Guild Building at 10th & Marquette to make way for a residential high-rise that will preserve the original building next door.

History, revealed
Through Water Works, the Park Board will uncover ruins from the Mill District’s industrial history.

Lipstick Pig: New Northeast BBQ joint replacing Legends Bar & Grill
It's a boom time for barbecue in northeast Minneapolis.

Delivery-only restaurant coming to Minneapolis
ClusterTruck seeks local beta testers ahead of a spring launch.

Now open: Aloha Poke
Trendy fish bowl chain Aloha Poke Co. is now open in the skyway.

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