It would have been hard to imagine Northeast Minneapolis earning a “Best Neighborhood” award, as recently as a decade ago.
This rough-around-the-edges industrial neighborhood was mostly known for its concentration of working class bars, warehouses and Polish heritage.
Yet, Northeast has emerged as the Twin Cities’ trendiest urban neighborhood, as the national and local press salutes it for its independent spirit.
Thirteenth Avenue Northeast recently landed in the New York Times Sunday Travel section. The Times describes the avenue’s transformation from its Polish wedding hall days to an arts and entertainment “destination” point. It’s now home to an eclectic group of indie nightspots, shops and galleries. Among those earning mention: Anchor Fish & Chips, 331 Club, Peacock Lounge, Northeast Social, Roghue Buddha Gallery, Ritz Theater, Modern Café, Spinario Design and Gallery, and Shuga Records.
To quote City Pages: “Northeast is emerging as the new spot for good beer, good music, good art, and good living.”
City Pages credits Northeast for retaining its residential nature amid the urban renewal and resisting encroaching chain retailers so prevalent in the ‘burbs. The subtle warning is to embrace its indie spirit now, before the chains take over. But, considering the backbone in this neighborhood, it’s tough to imagine Northeast ever yielding to the likes of Applebees, Starbucks and Pottery Barn.
Other Northeast restaurants and retailers earning 2010 “Best Of” recognition from City Pages:
Best Restaurant For a First Date - Northeast Social, 359 13th Ave. NE
Best Greek Restaurant - Gardens of Salonica, 19 Fifth St. NE
Best Thai Restaurant - Sen Yai Sen Lek, 2422 Central Ave. NE
Best Burger – Anchor Fish & Chips, 302 13th Ave. NE
Best Gift Shop – I Like You, 501 1st Ave. NE