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Experience 50th and Bryant event this week to help promote business node

When he helped start the Experience Southwest marketing campaign to promote Southwest Minneapolis businesses, Matt Perry hoped it would lead to even more hyper-local branding efforts.

This has started happening at 50th and Bryant, says Perry, who is the president of the Nicollet East Harriet Business Association (NEHBA), which is behind the Experience Southwest initiative. Besides a website that features local businesses, Experience Southwest encouraged people to shop locally during the holidays, for example.   

This Saturday, an event called “Experience 50th and Bryant,” which goes from noon to 5 p.m., will celebrate the business node's movers and shakers. Each participating business is hosting mini-events, with special discounts, prizes, face painting, and more. (For a full list of participating businesses, check out the Facebook page).

It’s “a great example of a business district branding itself under the larger umbrella of "Experience Southwest,”” which Perry hopes will happen elsewhere.

As an example of the activity at this intersection, he says, in April, the George and the Dragon Pub opened up. Patina, which had closed temporarily after a fire, has reopened.  

Nearby, a new restaurant is coming to the intersection this fall, called The Lynn on Bryant, he says.

Zinnia Folk Arts recently took over a separate space. Kasia Organic Salon and The Malt Shop helped lead the charge on the event.  

Between the old and new businesses, “There’s a nice mix of eateries and retail, which is the perfect recipe for an attractive business node,” in which people can go from one place to another, he says.  

Through the event, “This is a chance for people to say, ‘Wow, things are happening again at 50th and Bryant,’” he says. “It’s again becoming a destination spot.”

It demonstrates “how new and long established businesses, working together, can fuel renewed interest in a business node,” he says.

Source: Matt Perry, president, NEHBA Business Association
Writer: Anna Pratt

Cupcake making progress on second location on St. Paul's Grand Avenue

The Minneapolis bakery Cupcake is making progress toward a second location in St. Paul, in the former Wonderment toy store on Grand Avenue.

The locally based Shea architecture firm, which is designing the layout for a number of local restaurants that are going into rehabbed buildings, is leading the new space’s transformation, according to Shea information.

It was a struggle to get to this point, considering the parking woes that the bakery faced earlier on, but the city wound up approving a variance that enabled the business to move forward, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Cupcake’s sister bakery will be similar to its existing location, but in addition to coffee, cupcakes, and other foods, it’ll feature a wine bar, according to owner Kevin VanDeraa.

Because of the wine bar aspect of the bakery/restaurant, Cupcake had been required to have 10 parking spaces. It was only able to come up with eight, a situation the city is working with, the story explains.

To get the new space ready, it needs a top-to-bottom renovation, VanDeraa says.

For starters, the place had never been equipped as a restaurant, so it needs new plumbing. Although remodeling has begun, some things are on hold until other parts of the process have been wrapped up. At this point, “We’re not doing anything until we get a business license,” he says.  

Already, VanDeraa has invested $100,000 in the project, the MPR story states.

Recently, VanDeraa won the top prize of $50,000 in the Food Network’s TV show "Cupcake Champions,” a sum he plans to invest in the new restaurant, he told CBS. In the future, he may also expand the University Avenue location.

The win also helps build a buzz to keep people coming to the Minneapolis location, despite the  headaches that come with Central Corridor light rail construction.  

Source: Kevin VanDeraa, owner, Cupcake
Writer: Anna Pratt

Watertower Place, a multimillion redevelopment project, will cater to creative workers

An old industrial complex in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood could become a hub for creative workers under a multimillion redevelopment plan from First and First principal Peter Remes.

The 5.6-acre site near the Central Corridor light rail transit line consists of nine buildings, along with a watertower, hence the project’s name, “Watertower Place," according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Amy Sparks, executive director of the nearby Saint Anthony Park Community Council, says that although the group hasn’t officially weighed in on the project, it’s generally supportive of the plan at this early stage.

In many ways, it’s in keeping with the neighborhood group’s efforts to formalize the area’s brand as a Creative Enterprise Zone. The neighborhood has long been home to artists and other creative types.

“Some of the folks involved in the Creative Enterprise Zone heard about it and are excited about the potential,” and the same goes for the group’s land use committee, she says.

The plan includes installing working elevators, exposing boarded-up windows, and bringing light into the hallways, among other upgrades, she says. Her understanding is that Remes wants to introduce nonindustrial uses, such as a theater, into the place.

Besides the usual development hurdles, the city is evaluating some of its zoning ordinances related to industry, which could have an impact on the development's direction, she says.

“The question is, do we want this to be the Creative Enterprise Zone or to be more of a traditional industrial zone? Hopefully it’ll be a melding of the two,” she says. “The two uses, art and industry, have coexisted pretty comfortably in the area for the past 30 years and we hope to see that continue.”  
Right now, the building has 60 tenants, and whether they’ll be able to stay is up in the air. “We want to make sure everything is done to keep some of the remaining tenants and to keep the building in the spirit of the Creative Enterprise Zone,” she says. “We want creative uses in the area.”

Source: Amy Sparks, executive director, Saint Anthony Park Community Council
Writer: Anna Pratt

Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies) bike-light project makes community connections visible

Close to midnight on June 9, up to 1,000 bicyclists will be outfitted with special LED lights that will create a synchronized spectacle across the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.

This experiment/public art display, which is part of the arts-geared Northern Spark Festival that will go all night in Minneapolis and St. Paul, is called, “The Kuramoto Model (1000 Fireflies).”  

The artist/techie behind it, David Rueter, an MFA candidate in art and technology studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, explains that whenever the lights blink, they broadcast a radio signal. As the lights "hear" each other, they begin to blink in synchronized patterns. By themselves, they look like regular LED cycling safety lights,  “but in groups, they exhibit an immediately noticeable and striking phenomenon,” a statement about the project reads. Reuter explains that the lights “can adjust or form a consensus” visually. “These lights are always listening.”

The project takes its name from Yoshiki Kuramoto, who pioneered research along these lines, Rueter says. He hopes that the bike ride/public art display will reveal the connections between individuals “and what amounts to a system of urban cycling, and connections that exist, whether or not they’re intentional.” He’s interested in seeing how that “transforms the way people perceive cycling,” and how it “changes the flow of cyclists.” For starters, it “alters the social rules of proximity. Different ways that people form in groups will be unveiled. It’ll change the way people approach interacting on bikes,” he says.

Well after the festival, people may continue to use them, and have chance encounters with each other.

It’s encouraging having the support of those who contributed to his $1,000 Kickstarter campaign, he says. “Everyone seems to latch onto the idea,” he adds. “Their imaginations run wild.”   

Source: David Reuter, Kuramoto Model Project
Writer: Anna Pratt

Transforming a vacant storefront along the Central Corridor

In a unique partnership with the Starling Project, the St. Anthony Park Community Council (SAPCC) is temporarily reimagining a vacant storefront space on University Avenue in St. Paul.

The Starling Project facilitates such “meanwhile uses” of empty spaces along the avenue’s portion of the Central Corridor light rail transit line, according to project materials.

Even though the bulk of the construction here has wrapped up, shoppers are still avoiding the area, according to Amy Sparks, who heads SAPCC.

To take advantage of the space, SAPCC and Starling are on the lookout for entrepreneurs, artists, and other creative types to fill the place.

Tenants will fill the 1,200-square-foot pop-up shop for anywhere from one to four weeks.

Renters should engage the public in some way, such as through a one-time event, open studio hours, or an interesting window display, according to a prepared statement about the project.

So far, the space has a few takers, including Irrigate Arts, which is leading the charge on numerous artist-led placemaking projects along the light rail line. Irrigate will have an exhibit in the space that documents these efforts.

Sky View, which is an aerial photo workshop and gallery, will also have a presence there.

Last month, an art show called Art du Nord occupied the former frame shop.  

Ultimately, the neighborhood group sees the rotating uses as a way to bring life to the avenue, according to Sparks. “We want to see University Avenue thrive and help keep businesses going.”     

It’s also a creative way to find a permanent tenant for the space.

More broadly, the project calls attention to the neighborhood’s Creative Enterprise Zone, which is an in-progress arts district-like designation. It's all about strengthening the local creative community, she explains.

Sparks hopes these types of events will “build up awareness of the area, so people start to recognize it as a creative area and want to locate here and do business here.”

As such, the group is trying “to get the right developments in,” and keep office space affordable. “It makes the Creative Enterprise Zone more real and tangible,” she says.

Source: Amy Sparks, executive director, SAPCC
Writer: Anna Pratt

Following a $6 million capital campaign, the Minnesota African American Museum opens its doors

The Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center, which has been in the works for a handful of years, had its grand opening in Minneapolis’s Stevens Square neighborhood on June 2.

The museum, which is housed in the historic Coe Mansion, is about “celebrating and presenting African American history for all populations,” its website states. 

Roxanne Givens, one of the museum's founders, credits the local community for coming up with the idea. Many people "felt not having a record of the many contributions African Americans made to Minnesota history and beyond, was a major impediment to community engagement, self-esteem and achievement,” the website states.

The concept was there, and a place was needed to “fulfill our mission of a sustainable History and Cultural museum of Local, National and International importance.”

In answer to that, one day Givens and another founder, Harry Davis, wound up near the 1880s Queen Anne-style mansion by chance. It struck them both as the perfect venue for the museum they'd been talking about, according to its website.

To make it a reality, Givens spearheaded a $6 million capital campaign for building renovations. This included improvements that would accommodate exhibits in the space, while also allowing for accessibility. At the same time, the building's historic designation meant that its defining characteristics had to be left intact, the website explains.

Currently, exhibits in the space cover black baseball, the state's African-American pioneers, and African folktales.

The children’s space, which takes up an entire floor, includes an interactive learning and play space, reading lounge, library, high-tech touch-screen exhibits, and artifacts.  

Yet to come is an adjoining cultural and educational center that will have state-of-the-art technology, learning labs, a genealogy center, community gallery, oral history center and more, it states.

City Council member Robert Lilligren, who represents Ward 6, which includes the museum, says he's been supportive of the project since the get-go. Further, the Stevens Square community has "welcomed it with open arms as a cultural asset," he says. "They think it's a very positive addition to the neighborhood."

On a broader level, it enhances "a whole string of cultural assets along Third Avenue," which also includes several other museums.

Also, from a historical perspective, "The center swath of South Minneapolis was the first part of the city to integrate racially," so it's appropriate that the museum go there, he says.

Source: Minnesota African American Museum and Cultural Center; Robert Lilligren, Minneapolis City Council
Writer: Anna Pratt

Ice House Plaza hosts Northern Spark cultural activities

Ice House Plaza, which opened last month in Minneapolis, brings greenspace to a newly redeveloped commercial complex in the Whittier neighborhood.

“Busk until Dawn,” which features all kinds of acoustic music, spoken word, comedians and buskers, will take over the plaza on June 9, from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.

The event is a closing party to the six-week Artists in Storefronts Project, which put artist-created displays in vacant storefronts throughout the Whittier neighborhood, according to Joan Vorderbruggen, who lead the pilot. (See The Line story here.)

Vorderbruggen will also be giving “light saber”-lit guided walking tours of the storefronts that evening.

The event is also a part of the Northern Spark Festival, which features all kinds of overnight creative events across Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“Busk until Dawn” sponsors include the Whittier Alliance, Eat Street Social, Dunn Bros. and The Lost and Found thrift store, according to Vorderbruggen.  

A much-needed greenspace
Vorderbruggen hopes that the cultural event is the first of many in the Ice House Plaza.

Calling it “a great addition to the neighborhood,” she says that the plaza is an upgrade from the previous “tired retail space,” which had “multiple failed businesses.”

It’s ideal for concerts and picnics or just taking a lunch break, she says.

The plaza is also a benefit for the many neighborhood residents, such as her self, who live in apartments, and don’t have yards. Too often, greenspace is neglected, especially in a commercial corridor, she says.

In the plaza, there are tables and chairs, benches and other areas to congregate.  

Among its design elements are sizable stones came from the Great Metropolitan Building, which was demolished in the 1960s, according to the TC Daily Planet.

Stones are also the prominent element in a stone sculpture in the plaza titled, “White Angel,” from local artist Zoran Mojsilov, the story states.

All in all, “I think it’ll draw people out and be a place where people want to spend time,” she says, adding that it builds community and benefits local businesses.   

Source: Joan Vorderbruggen, Artists in Storefronts Project
Writer: Anna Pratt

St. Paul to get sakura cherry trees as a gift from Japan

Japanese sakura cherry blossom trees will soon be blooming in St. Paul in recognition of a longstanding relationship with the faraway country. 

St. Paul is one of 20 U.S. cities to get 20 cherry trees apiece as a gift from Japan. It marks 100 years since Japan sent 3,000 sakura trees to Washington, D.C., according to city information. The National Cherry Blossom Festival in the capital city, which happens each spring, celebrates the 1912 gift as well.

“The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries,” the festival’s website reads.   

Bill Pesek, who is a landscape architect for St. Paul, says that the number ‘20’ is significant in Japan as a coming-of-age reference. As such, it’ll play a symbolic role in the June 9 ceremony that the city is planning to celebrate the gift.

That day, volunteers will help plant the trees in Como Regional Park. The planting of the 20th tree will be ceremonious, he explains.

In the park, the cherry trees will have a prominent place near the lily pond.  

Usually cherry trees don’t appear in Japanese gardens because they’re only in bloom for a short period, he says. “Sakura refers to this blossoming period,” he adds. However, in this case it makes sense to plant in that spot because of the Japanese gardens already in place nearby. Going forward, the city is also hoping to create a “blossoming corridor,” where the cherry trees will be highlighted, he says.

St. Paul, which is one of two Minnesota cities that were chosen for the gift--Winona is the other--has long had a sister-city cultural exchange with Nagasaki, Japan, he says.

In fact, in 1955, St. Paul was the first U.S. city to join the Sister Cities International program. “There’s a rich history of sharing,” and of “people-to-people relationships,” through its longstanding ties to Japan, he says.  

At the dedication event, representatives of Japan and local politicians who were instrumental in setting up the St. Paul-Nagasaki relationship will give speeches in English and Japanese. Traditional Japanese music and dance are also part of the celebration.  

“We hope this is one of many years that we’ll continue to celebrate this event of the sakura festival,” Pesek says.

Source: Bill Pesek, St. Paul
Writer: Anna Pratt

Caribe restaurant trying to raise $50,000 through Kickstarter to reopen in Northeast Minneapolis

If all goes as planned, the bygone Caribe Caribbean Bistro could come back in a new form in Northeast Minneapolis.

The former St. Paul restaurant closed last year during Central Corridor Light Rail Transit construction.

Co-owner Heidi Panelli and her husband, Tony, want to reopen the restaurant in the former Amici Bistro space.

To do so, the couple is trying to raise $50,000 in donations through Kickstarter. Their web-based campaign, which started May 14, goes through June 13.  

Funds will go to “the bare bones of getting the place turned into a big art project,” including signage, décor, furniture, equipment, and promotional materials, explains Panelli.

She’s encouraged by the fact that Kickstarter has helped get a couple of other local eateries up and running.

The new space will allow for a bigger kitchen, which means the restaurant will be able to expand its menu, she explains.  

Like the old place, the restaurant would sport bright colors. Panelli plans to paint a mural on one wall that will picture the sun over water, with mirror pieces creating a reflective effect. Another mural would include the names of backers who contribute $100 or more, she says.

The couple has been getting ideas from thrift-store finds. They want the restaurant to resemble an island food stand, but without being too gimmicky, she says.  

She hopes it becomes a “destination location nestled in a neighborhood.” This particular neighborhood alcove “fits our vision perfectly,” she says.  

The couple will be on hand at the June 2 Johnstock annual festival on Johnson St. to share their plans with the public and to give out food samples. They’ll also be showing up on June 7 at the Chowgirls Parlor as a part of the Northrup King building's "first Thursdays" open- studio event.  

Source: Heidi Panelli, Caribe
Writer: Anna Pratt

Old Minneapolis crowdsources tales of the city

One day on a whim a couple of years ago, Jesse Jamison, who’d reluctantly joined Facebook, decided to start a group page that’s dedicated to Old Minneapolis.

Jamison, a history buff, saw it as a fun outlet “for me to go back in time in the city I love,” he says.  

At the time, he had no idea the page would take off the way it has, with thousands of “likes,” especially since he didn’t advertise it anywhere.

Right away people started sharing all kinds of anecdotes and details about the city’s past. “I don’t even know how it happened, but very quickly there were thousands of people there, and everyone was contributing great stuff,” says Jamison. “The photos are great but the stories people tell are priceless.”

Jamison, whose family is from the North Side, remembers his father's colorful tales of the city, going as far back as the 1930s.

He also has stories of his own. At the age of 13, he and a friend took a bus to downtown Minneapolis, not realizing it would end up there, he says. 

Afterward, they returned to downtown on the weekends. They liked to walk around “looking at everything,” he says, adding, “The city was so alive and exciting. I never wanted to leave.”  

Years later he got a downtown apartment, which he describes as a “cockroach-filled dump right behind the Basilica. It was horrible but it was downtown and I loved it.”

Besides reminiscences, the Old Minneapolis group has also been valuable for crowdsourcing historical information. Whenever there’s a question about the date of a photo or the address of a shuttered business, the page’s supporters “get together like a pack of history detectives, and in most cases, solve the mystery,” he says. “I’ve learned so much more about this great city from the contributors of this page.”

On the page, he tries to keep a mix of locations and time periods so that nobody gets bored, he says.  

Going forward, Jamison hopes that the page keeps growing and reaching more people, including “the older, nostalgic ones, and the younger ones who are just discovering Minneapolis' history,” he says.  

Source: Jesse Jamison, Old Minneapolis
Writer: Anna Pratt

Burch restaurant to pay homage to former neighborhood fixture

Two years after its closure, the old Burch Pharmacy space in Minneapolis’s Lowry Hill neighborhood will be resurrected in the form of a steakhouse called Burch.

The pharmacy occupied the three-story building for 80 years before closing in 2010, according to a Star Tribune story.

Leading the charge is well-known local restaurateur and James Beard Award winner Isaac Becker along with his wife, Nancy St. Pierre, and their business partner, Ryan Burnet, according to the Star Tribune.  

Burch will take up most of the building’s ground level; it’ll have a 100-seat dining room and bar along with an open kitchen, according to the story.

A separate neighborhood-style café area with a 50-seat bar and dining room is planned for the basement.

Also as a part of its redevelopment, office and retail space will fill other parts of the building, according to Maureen Sheehan, who serves as the vice president of the Lowry Hill Neighborhood Association board.  

Some building features, such as exposed brick walls and tiles, will be left intact, according to the Southwest Journal.
Sheehan says that the neighborhood is excited for the project, especially since it'll be a sensitive rehabilitation “to respect the structure that’s already there.”

Plus, the Burch Pharmacy was “such a cool institution in the city,” with great sentimental value. “To have it back in play is fantastic.”  

On a broader level, “We’re looking for that piece of Hennepin to be alive again,” she says.

The restaurant could open in late 2012 or early 2013.

Further, the Isaac Becker restaurants (112 Eatery, Bar La Grassa) have a good reputation. “We’re excited about the quality of the restaurant going in,” Sheehan says. “It will be a great addition to the neighborhood.”

Source: Maureen Sheehan, LHNA
Writer: Anna Pratt

Northeast Ride to show another side of the city

The first-ever Northeast Ride, which is coming up on June 2, is a chance to see Northeast Minneapolis up close and personal, on bikes.

It'll show off everything from the area's bustling arts district to its up-and-coming beer breweries.

The family-friendly event is geared for cyclists of all ages and experience levels, according to information from the Northeast Community Development Corporation (CDC), which set it up.

The bike ride’s co-presenters include Bicycle Theory, MPLS Bike Love, and Altered Esthetics, along with a number of community sponsors.

Jamie Schumacher, who leads the Northeast CDC, says via email that the nearly 12-mile bike ride came about as a creative way to highlight the Northeast area.  “You always see a neighborhood differently on a bike, and we'll be touring throughout all of awesome Northeast,” she says. "We hope people take away from it a good introduction to Northeast, and a fun and creative experience."   

The ride also takes advantage of new bike trails and bikeways, according to Northeast CDC materials.

Participants will travel the route in small groups, starting out at the Northeast Minneapolis Armory, and exploring each of the neighborhood parks. Related activities will be happening at the parks along the way, including a post-ride expo, according to Northeast CDC information.  

Throughout nine stops, cyclists will get a taste of old and new developments in Northeast. They’ll visit such neighborhood landmarks as the historic Casket Arts building, the longstanding Grain Belt Brewery, and the brand-new Indeed Brewing.

Neighborhoods such as Logan Park and local businesses such as Community Bees on Bikes, which delivers honey via bike, are among other highlights of the ride.

The ride will wrap up with a party at Altered Esthetics, which will have bike-themed art on view.

Source: Jamie Schumacher, executive director, Northeast CDC
Writer: Anna Pratt

Treecovery effort to help North Minneapolis

This month, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation is working to raise funds to plant 400 trees throughout four neighborhoods of North Minneapolis, trees that were lost when a tornado hit last year.

The tornado took out a huge portion of urban forest when it “tore across several miles of Minneapolis, tearing roofs off homes, tumbling cars down the streets, and ripping 40-foot trees from the earth like weeds from a flowerbed,” foundation materials read.

Mary deLaittre, who leads the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, explains that the urban forest is important for many reasons. “Not only is it beautiful, but it does things like lower blood pressure, clean the air and water, provide shade in the summer,” she says, adding, “It’s critical that we replace the urban forest as quickly as possible so we can get these wonderful workhorses back to doing their job.”  

Most of the trees the foundation funds will probably go into the city’s Jordan neighborhood, she says.

The foundation’s effort is part of the larger “Northside Treecovery Program,” which the city’s park and recreation board is spearheading along with several other partners.

The park system also has a forestry department that pays attention to the urban forest on an ongoing basis, she explains.

So far, the foundation has raised money to plant 100 trees. Each one costs $120. “We’d like to raise money for the others between now and the one-year anniversary of the tornado near the end of May,” she says.  

The effort coincides with the state’s Arbor Month activities, as well, according to foundation information.

All in all, “We’re really looking at this program as creating the next generation of urban forest, deLaittre says.

Source: Mary deLaittre, Minneapolis Parks Foundation executive director
Writer: Anna Pratt

Lake Street utility boxes to be turned into works of art

The Lake Street Council hopes to spruce up Minneapolis's Lake Street by turning its utility boxes into objets d'art.

ZoeAna Martinez, who is the council’s outreach and services manager, explains that the project will help deter graffiti while also making “ugly boxes look better," as she puts it, adding, “We want to help our street look better."

The initiative is similar to ones in the Kingfield and Corcoran neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods used different methods to cover up the utility boxes; one way was to paint right on the surface of the structures. The boxes can also be covered with colorful shrink-wrap that has designs on it, Martinez explains.

To set the project in motion on Lake Street, Martinez is reaching out to local businesses. “We’re just trying to get feedback from businesses,” she says, adding that the council is hoping that the stakeholders will pitch in by sponsoring local boxes. 

The more utility boxes it can cover up, the better, she says, adding that sponsorship means a price break for the council as well.

Right now, the project's budget is still being determined. It’ll be based on how many boxes the council decides to do. “We’re still at the beginning of the process,” she says.  

The council is also working with the city on a project that’s titled Minneapolis Art Wrap, whose purpose is to make the process smoother for others who want to decorate their local utility boxes.

“In the last two years, the City of Minneapolis has seen increased interest by community groups in wrapping City-owned utility boxes with artistic designs,” council materials state.

Soon the city will be sending out a request for proposals to artists to design 12 pre-approved wrap covers to go on utility boxes all over the city.

It'll help streamline the city process, in that applicants won’t have to go through the art-related city committee to get designs approved. They can simply choose from one of the pre-approved designs, she says. “It makes it easier for groups to get city-owned utility boxes wrapped."   

Although the details are still up in the air at this point, the council hopes to complete it this year, Martinez says.

Source: ZoeAna Martinez, outreach and services manager, Lake Street Council
Writer: Anna Pratt

Dangerous Man brewing company finds a home in Northeast Minneapolis

Soon, the Dangerous Man Brewing Company will be a destination brewery and tap house in Northeast Minneapolis.

It recently found a home in a warehouse-style brick building that dates back to 1927, according to owner Rob Miller. “We love the area,” he says. “This was the dream, to be in this neighborhood.”

Dangerous Man will fill the ground floor of the two-story building that Spinario Design and Gallery previously used for storage purposes.  

Right now, the place is an empty shell, which has its advantages. “It’s nice to start fresh and clean,” Miller says, adding, “We can build it the way we want it.”

Wide ceilings, open spaces, and big columns characterize the space. Inside, the mechanical and electrical systems will be updated, while plumbing needs to be installed as well.

Basement floors will be reinforced to withstand the load and the walls will get a fresh coat of paint.

The idea is to make it a comfortable hangout, with a fireplace, farm-style tables, couches and chairs, a pool table and darts, TV, and more, he says.

The brewery will have a custom-built bar that features the work of a local artist, while the concrete floor will be polished, with the brewery's logo stained into it.

Further, the brewing tanks and other equipment will be visible from the bar. “We want to make it feel like the building was meant to house a brewery,” he says.

He says the business won’t compete with others in the area. “I hope it brings more traffic to them and is a unique meeting place.”

Dangerous Man will probably be ready to open its doors in October.

All in all, “It’s an exciting time for the beer movement in Minneapolis and Northeast,” he says.

Source: Rob Miller, owner, Dangerous Man Brewing Co.
Writer: Anna Pratt
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