Birchwood Cafe: Planting a seed for growth

When the Birchwood Cafe’s doors first opened eighteen years ago, owner Tracy Singleton was planning on just being open during the week for morning commuters needing a coffee and pastry and for neighborhood folks needing a quick lunch. What she didn’t expect was instant demand for a full menu and extended hours.She recalled, “We had our big grand opening on a Tuesday night. When we opened the next day people came in a bought coffee and baked goods, which is what we had, and then they were like, ‘You’re going to have more food, right?’ And we were like, ‘Yeah, of course!’ And then three o’clock shut down came, and people kept coming. They were like, ‘You don’t have your dinner menu ready? Oh, OK. Continue Reading

Minneapolis: A brand new Longfellow

Those faded Welcome to Longfellow signs that can be seen around the Greater Longfellow neighborhood will soon become a thing of the past. The Longfellow Community Council’s Advancement Committee has plans to replace the signs with the new Longfellow branding, which was unveiled at last week’s fall membership meeting.The new look is an effort to promote the neighborhood and increase its visibility in Minneapolis. Melanie Majors, LCC executive director, commented, “Our rebranding campaign is going to help LCC market Greater Longfellow to a broader audience and highlight the vibrancy and amenity rich features of this community.”Re-branding the NeighborhoodCurrently, the new logo adorns t-shirts, stickers, and tote bags, which are for sale at the LCC and will be available at neighborhood events. The next step of the rebranding phase will include new signs around the neighborhood and banners hung along East Lake Street, according to Patty Day, LCC Advancement Committee chair. She noted that if funds allow, the committee is also discussing the possibility of installing bike racks with the logo and a community mural. Continue Reading

Minneapolis: Vintage Caravan has pulled into Seward

Dawn Winter and Cara Fazio found themselves with an abundance of vintage clothing, costume jewelry, and decor. After a conversation with Dawn Lee (owner of the former Donut Co-op), the two found out she still had a lease on the building. They asked to use the space, and the Vintage Caravan Pop-Up was born.Sale dates are limited – so if you’re a vintage fan, be sure to get the goods before the caravan moves out of town. They will be selling men’s clothing from the 1930s-1970s as well as clothing from WWII, ladies clothing circa 1940-1970, kids clothes, handbags, art, hats, coats, aprons, and costume jewelry – all from an bygone era.They wanted to let readers know that “people should just come in, we have had lots of gawkers… and people putting their faces to the window, or walking by five times with their dogs… JUST COME IN! We won’t bite and we won’t force anything on you. Continue Reading

Development begins at Hi-Lake Triangle in Minneapolis

Hugging the light rail station on Lake Street is a new construction site, which will transform in the course of 11 months into the Hi-Lake Triangle. While not technically in our coverage area (it’s actually in the East Phillips neighborhood), it will be a substantial building just on the other side of the LRT line.This article is reposted from TCDP media partner My Broadsheet. Check out the links below for other recent My Broadsheet stories:Ward 12 Candidates Respond to Audience QuestionsMPR Cites Seward as Culinary DestinationThe building will be a mixed-use space with 5,300 square feet of retail space (which could either amount to two or three businesses) and 64 senior apartments. Wellington Management is overseeing the property development and has secured one retail lease, which they would not name at this time.Current construction site of the Hi-Lake Triangle project. This senior housing development will be adjacent to the LRT station, which provides access to downtown, the Mall of America, and the airport. Continue Reading

Longfellow Offices: At the heart of wellness

This past spring, the former home of the Bohlander Arts Gallery was transformed from a gallery and residence into the Longfellow Offices. Reaching out to primarily wellness businesses, the building is home to a collection of practitioners of massage therapy, acupuncture, and Rolfing.“There’s an untapped market in the neighborhood – especially for wellness practitioners – for space that’s professional and quiet,” said co-owner Karen Linner. She explained that there aren’t many options for small business owners who are ready to move out of their home offices and into a reasonably-sized space.Linner and her business partner Harvey McLain, owner of Turtle Bread, chose the building for it’s location as well as its sound structure. “These old buildings have great bones,” said Linner. “It’s great to be able to accentuate what’s best about the city.”While the space was completely redesigned with energy efficiency and sound insulation between suites, the period feel of the building remains with the dark wood trim, vintage lettering and signage, and pressed tin ceiling.This article is reposted from TCDP media partner My Broadsheet. Continue Reading

Tumbleweed Vintage: From mid-century modern to upcycled antiques

Tumbleweed Vintage is one of the newest additions to the growing number of resale shops along Minnehaha Avenue.It’s a collaboration between Toni Johnson and Jenny Bader, two women with a penchant for treasures from days gone by.Johnson explained, “I’ve always been an old soul, and I’ve always liked old-school stuff. Also, I’m a photographer, so I started getting into vintage cameras and then everything else just followed suit.” She’s particularly drawn to mid-century pieces, and has amassed a collection of over 300 pieces of Pyrex bakeware. She had been selling these items on eBay when Bader approached her with the idea of Tumbleweed Vintage.Bader’s first foray into retail was rather unexpected. She and her husband Shaun had owned a coffee shop in South Dakota, which she decorated in an eclectic, retro style – similar to the women’s clothing shop Anthropologie. Customers fell in love with her designs and, as Bader explained, “were trying to buy the stuff off my walls.” She added, “So I thought why not make a boutique? Continue Reading

Minneapolis: Chef Shack coming to Seward

The building that has sat looking forlorn at the end of Franklin Avenue in Seward has actually been occupied since August. The tenant? Chef Shack. Co-owners Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson have been quietly working behind the papered windows to transform the space into their newest brick and mortar venture – Chef Shack Ranch.It will be a “modern urban truck stop,” Summer told the Star Tribune. The Ranch will serve up pulled pork, brisket, beef cheeks, beef tongue, bison burger, meat loaf and other meat-centric dishes as well as their hand-cut fries and doughnuts for dessert.“We’ll do everything you think of when you think truck stop food,” Summer explained to Minneapolis/St. Continue Reading

Bethany Lutheran’s blaze of glory: Rebuilding a Minneapolis church

Faced with a dwindling congregation and no permanent pastor, Bethany Lutheran Church in Howe had to make some tough decisions: Close the church’s doors? Stay open, but only primarily to provide services for the few remaining congregants? Or, spend the endowment funds on calling a new pastor and give the church one more chance – the plan church leaders dubbed “blaze of glory.”In a nearly unanimous decision, leaders decided that if they were going to go out, they were going to do so in a blaze of glory. And with that decision they called Jo Bauman, a recent graduate of Luther Seminary and ordained her for her “first call” at Bethany.Reverend Bauman’s mission? Bring new life into the church by transforming it from it’s insular past to an open place for the community to gather. Continue Reading

Q&A with Minneapolis park board incumbent Scott Vreeland

All of the drama with our mayoral and city council races have left the candidates vying for a seat as a Park Board commissioner out of the spotlight. And while the fifth district (a portion of Howe and all of Hiawatha) is an uncontested race, the third district (part of Howe, and all of Cooper, Longfellow, and Seward) will see two names on the ballot – incumbent Scott Vreeland and newcomer Said Maye.Park Board commissioners are elected every four years and are responsible for developing park policies and enacting ordinances that affect more than 6,740 acres of land and water, including parks, beaches, lakes, pools, and rec centers.We’ve invited both Vreeland and Maye to participate in a Q&A discussing issues they see Minneapolis’ parks facing in the coming years and goals they would like to see the Board achieve. Incumbent Vreeland’s responses are below. We will publish Maye’s responses when we receive them.This article is reposted from TCDP media partner My Broadsheet. Check out the links below for other recent My Broadsheet stories:Subscriptions Open for Community Solar GardenUpdate: True ThaiScott Vreeland Q&AQuestionsWhat do you see as the top three issues that Minneapolis parks face in the coming years? Continue Reading