Great Lakes Brewing Company Gives Back

Craft beer culture often has a focus on community issues and giving back beyond the beer. That charitable bent isn’t limited to the immediate community, though. As breweries grow and reach further across the country, that impact is felt beyond municipality borders. Great Lakes Brewing Company, established in 1988 in Cleveland, OH, is a clear example of that philanthropy with their 2015 Green Tour.Ranked as the 23rd largest craft brewery in the country, Great Lakes adheres to a “triple bottom line philosophy,” described by the brewery’s Marissa DeSantis as “our company’s commitment to environmental, social, and financial responsibility.” As their beer reaches markets far outside Cleveland, they’re taking that eco-awareness to other markets, including Minneapolis on April 25. In partnership with Friends of the Mississippi River, volunteers will help clean up the riverbank from 9:30am-12pm, followed by an after party at Sea Salt Eatery. “This cleanup is an Earth Day tradition in the Minneapolis River Gorge,” explains Field Sales Representative Adam Essman, who will lead festivities. Continue Reading

Seward Coop names new manager for ‘Friendship’ store

In the United States over the last four decades, more and more people in general and people of color in particular have gradually become familiar with the benefits of healthy eating and health food coops. Simultaneously during that time period, according to the USDA, Minnesota has developed into the second-largest food coop state in the nation.Seward Coop founded their first store in 1972 on Franklin Avenue in South Minneapolis. In their long history, much like many of the Minnesota food coops, very few people of color, including African Americans, have worked in their stores as managers. Currently, after over 40-plus years, Seward Coop has hired Raynardo Williams, a 35-year-old African American born and raised in St. Paul, to manage their second location, which is under construction on 38th Street across from Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis.The MSR spoke with Williams (RW) about his vision for the new location and his execution plans for that diverse area. Continue Reading

African Paradise Restaurant Opens in South Minneapolis

All week long, tantalizing aromas have been wafting from the doors of African Paradise Restaurant as they’ve rehearsed for their grand opening, Friday, March 20. The freshly painted walls and ceiling finished from earthy ocher pigments and ample seating split between the sunny front window and the shadowy, more intimate back section provided a choice for dine-in customers.I had the luxury of a sneak-peek sampling from their Mediterranean platter. A large rectangular dish arrived at my table filled with grilled beef and chicken cubes seasoned mildly. Mixed in with the meats were bell peppers and onions. Complementing the meat dish, a vegetarian entrée appeared with spiced peppers and black beans. Continue Reading

African Paradise Restaurant Opens in South Minneapolis

All week long, tantalizing aromas have been wafting from the doors of African Paradise Restaurant as they’ve rehearsed for their grand opening, Friday, March 20. The freshly painted walls and ceiling finished from earthy ocher pigments and ample seating split between the sunny front window and the shadowy, more intimate back section provided a choice for dine-in customers.I had the luxury of a sneak-peek sampling from their Mediterranean platter. A large rectangular dish arrived at my table filled with grilled beef and chicken cubes seasoned mildly. Mixed in with the meats were bell peppers and onions. Complementing the meat dish, a vegetarian entrée appeared with spiced peppers and black beans. Continue Reading

Union Organizers Call McDonald’s Wage Raise “Publicity Stunt” – April 15 Strike Still Looms

 Organizers of a fast-food worker strike scheduled for later this month say the strike threat prompted McDonald’s to announce it is giving workers a pay raise. However, the strike is still on because the raise is not enough and most McDonald’s employees won’t get it.McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook announced on Wednesday that the company would be paying workers at least $1 more than the local minimum wage starting in July. McDonald’s will also let workers who have been with the company for more than a year earn up to five days of paid time off each year. However, that only applies to corporate owned stores. There are three corporate owned stores in the Twin Cities area — two of them in Minneapolis — with the rest owned by franchisees. Continue Reading

Revival: the chicken has landed

 The long-awaited Revival restaurant opened last week in the former Corner Table space at 4257 Nicollet Ave. Revival is the brainchild of chef Thomas Boemer and owner Nick Rancone of Corner Table, which has relocated to more stylish quarters three blocks south at 4537 Nicollet. The pre-opening buzz usually referred to Revival as a fried chicken restaurant, and fried chicken is the featured attraction, but Revival is really much more than that. It’s an homage to Boemer’s Southern roots, reflected in dishes that range from crispy pigs ear salad with watercress, endive and honey carrot dressing ($8 )and shake and bake pork chops with butterbeans, greens and sorghum ($18) to johnnycakes with ham, cheddar, cowpeas and poached egg ($7), and low country chicken, clam and sausage bog ($16). Except for Dixie’s on Grand in St. Paul, and a few rib joints or fried chicken and fried fish takeouts with limited menus, Southern cuisine has long been under-represented on the local restaurant scene, so Revival is a very welcome addition. I had a sneak preview of the fried chicken last fall, when Corner Table served it at the Nicollet Ave. Open Streets fest, and it still ranks with the best fried chicken I have ever tasted. Continue Reading

Hops for Hunger

“We want to get into different types of fundraisers, not just pancake feeds and spaghetti dinners,” says Dave Rudolph, manager at the Southern Anoka County Assistance Food Shelf (SACA). With craft beer popular, what beer way than a local festival?On Sat. March 28, SACA will host Hops for Hunger III, a beer tasting event with live music, catering, and a charitable bent. Sixteen Minnesota breweries will be pouring samples to guests, including Dangerous Man, HammerHeart, and Fair State.It’s not just a chance for beer drinkers to sample some goods, though, the $35 tickets raise important funds and awareness for the hunger problems facing the local community. Hops for Hunger II raised $12,500 last year, and festivals 1 and 2 combined have bought about 175,000 pounds of food for the local food shelf.“We’re seeing a lot more people coming to the food shelf even though the economy is getting better,” Rudolph says. Continue Reading