A new era for Dogtown, as store changes hands

Back in the days when corner grocery stores abounded, Beltrami Neighborhood residents had many choices, including Delmonico’s, Maple Leaf, Spano’s, Rusciano’s, and Schullo’s.Through the years, most of the small stores disappeared. Last month one of the oldest family-owned groceries, Delmonico’s Italian Foods, 1112 Summer St. NE, changed hands, when co-owners and cousins Terry Delmonico and Bob Delmonico decided to sell the store and let Terry retire.Founded in 1919 by Vincenzo and Anna Delmonico, the store was well-known for its homemade Italian sausage, fried peppers, calzones, and pizzelles. Even though the store is not closing, some residents nonetheless say they see it as the end of an era, in a beloved Northeast neighborhood once known as Little Italy.Maple Hill historyEarly Maple Hill residents included many Italian immigrants who settled there in the 1920s and 1930s. Later renamed the Beltrami Neighborhood after Italian explorer Giacomo Constantino Beltrami, its borders are Broadway to the north, Central Avenue to the west, Spring Street to the south and Johnson Street to the east.The Maple Hill name came from an 1857 private cemetery owned by the Dudley P. Chase Grand Army of the Republic Post. Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | You really don’t want to meet the Dicks at Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America

I’m not one to cry. Truth is, I rarely cry, but during a visit to Dick’s Resort in the Mall of America I was literally reduced to tears! The bartender was abusive, abrasive, and mean as HELL. I wasn’t sure why he was in a bad mood, but later found out that it is their “niche” to be mean as spitfire. Were they really trained to treat people like this, to the point of harassment? Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | The Big E sizes up MN GOP candidates

The Big E, confessing to Minnesita Progressive Project (MPP) readers and contributers, recently wrote that his heart no longer pines to hose down right wing sparkle ponies like Michele Bachmann or even review books by the likes of a Keith Ellison.  The Big E (known to his Minneapolis neighbors as Eric Pusey), is the founding scold of the MPP lefty sentry post and appears on the current edition of Democratic Visions as he retires from political blogging. After a moment of posing as a weary blogosphere elder  (as if blogging was old enough to earn elders), the smart, liberal confederate, prompted by an actual DFL elder,  Tim O’Brien, shines with bemused and bewildered takes on the current state of the Minnesota Republican Party and its clownish, hopeful State and Congressional candidates.   Mr. Pusey, who has splashed gleefully in the rushing stream of blogs, Tweets, Facebook twerking and probably Skype, does quite well in the “legacy” medium of television where I operate.  Fox Nine News knew that and for a while put him on from time-to-time.  But the Fox 9 News producers didn’t have the cojones to make him a regular pundit.   Too bad.  Mr. Pusey has good chemistry. This ten-minute Eric and Tim segment is yours to consider.  Its “tagged” (the TV producer’s sense of the word) with an homage to the late, great, populist troubadour Pete Seeger and Twin Cities activism thanks to the air guitar wonders -The Junk Yard Democrats, a peoples’ anthem, and creative editing.  Enjoy!  Enjoy!  Democratic Visions February Segments Ex-blogger Eric Pusey and Tim O’Brien on senate and gubernatorial hopefuls.Jon Spayde as a clinically depressed motivational speaker with advice for Republican hopefuls.I report on the DFL 48 Precinct Caucuses and present an award winning short film making change. Democratic Visions is handcrafted by Eden Prairie, Edina and Minnetonka volunteer Democrats at the Bloomington Community Access Television studio by arrangement with the Southwest Suburban Cable Commission. Democratic Visions Cable ScheduleMinneapolis – MTN Channel 16 – Sundays at 8:30 p.m.; Mondays 3:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. Hopkins, Minnetonka, Edina, Richfield and Eden Prairie – Comcast Channel 15 – Sundays at 9 p.m., Mondays at 10:00 p.m. and Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. Bloomington – BCAT Cable Channel 16 – Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. & 10:00 p.m.; Fridays at 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays at 7:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m. The entire Feburary program and 183 archived Dem Vis segments can be seen on the Democratic Visions Channel on YouTube. Democratic Visions has become the  liveliest political issues show in Minnesota.   I know.  I produce the darned thing.   Continue Reading

COMMUNITY VOICES | Sharing a meal: Great turnout for Eastside Meals on Wheels’ Mission Nutrition Dining Edition

Eastside Meals on Wheels’ first restaurant night fundraiser, Mission Nutrition Dining Edition, had a wonderful turnout! Local restaurants Anchor Fish & Chips, The Bulldog N.E., Emily’s Lebanese Deli, Hazel’s Northeast, Moose on Monroe, Kramarczuk’s, and Red Stag Supperclub all donated a portion of the proceeds made on Thursday, September 19th to ensure that homebound folks in the area continue to receive warm nutritious meals.Preliminary calculations estimate that the total intake of the event at over $2,444. “Since it was percentage based, we really had no idea what to expect,” said Executive Director of Eastside Meals on Wheels Eileen Hafften. “It was a bit nerve wracking! But we couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s turned out.” The nonprofit, which serves Northeast and Southeast Minneapolis and St. Continue Reading

NEIGHBORHOOD NOTES | In Northeast Minneapolis, it’s full steam ahead as Engine 261 comes back to life on May 10

Celebrate the return of steam to the Northeast Minneapolis railroad yards at 5 p.m. May 10 with the restoration of a 1944 Milwaukee Railroad steam locomotive.The public is invited to view the exteriors of the newly rebuilt Milwaukee Road engine No. 261 and restored passenger cars that will leave the following day on an excursion to Duluth and the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. (The excursion has been sold out.)About 1,000 volunteers contributing 30,000 hours and $1 million helped restore the train since it pulled its last excursion in the fall of 2008. Virtually every part of the engine has been rebuilt or inspected.“Instead of a bottle of champagne, we will christen the engine with a bottle of water from Minnehaha Falls—a 100-year Milwaukee Road tradition,” said Steve Sandberg, chief operating officer of the Friends of the 261.The locomotive has also been upgraded with controls to allow this steam engine to also drive attached Amtrak diesel engines and a radio to communicate with the BNSF and Amtrak.The celebration will be at the train shed at 401 Harrison Street N.E. in Minneapolis. To get there turn north from East Hennepin on Harrison or north from Central on Spring Street Northeast and right on Harrison. Continue Reading

Delmonico’s Italian Foods: Family-owned since 1929, they won’t let you forget to buy the best

In 1929, two brothers from Italy saw an opportunity to bring the food of the old country to Italian Americans living in the Beltrami neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis, a Little Italy on the frozen tundra. While the neighborhood has changed a bit, Delmonico’s Italian Foods hasn’t. It’s not new and shiny. It hasn’t been remodeled. It’s a place out of time, and three-plus generations of customers keep coming to buy Italian and to socialize.Walk in and it’s chaos, in a good way. Continue Reading