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A Walk Through History: Minneapolis Northeast Tour

Thursday August 01, 2013


East Hennepin.

The Northeast Neighborhood.

“Nordeast,” as the locals call it.

Regardless of what you call it, what you need to know is simply this: it’s Minneapolis’ first neighborhood.

The history that radiates from this area is palpable. Everywhere you go, each building you see, there’s a story behind it. These stories are stooped in rich tradition with tales of how Minneapolis grew to the city it is today.

The coolest part about this neighborhood? There’s a walking tour dedicated to giving you the complete behind-the-scenes tour of this historic locale. The tour highlights 18 different places in Nordeast, all important to the vitality and growth of Minneapolis. You can find out more about the walking tour here, but we’re going to give you a sneak peek of four of the places you’ll see when you take this highly-recommended tour.

1) Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

Our Lady of Lourdes Church is the oldest continuously-used house of worship in Minneapolis. The original structure was built in 1857 when the east side of the Mississippi was still the village of St. Anthony Falls. At that time, it held nearly 500 people – which was 1/10th of St. Anthony’s population. The church still holds mass to this day.

2) Nye’s Polonaise Room

Home to the “World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band,” Nye’s is a throwback to the Eastern European culture that was prevalent in Nordeast at the time of its founding. Al Nye bought the establishment in 1940, and by 1964 his success at running the bar enabled him to buy the building next door for a dining room addition, called the “Polonaise Room.” You’re guaranteed to have a crazy night when you step through the doors of Nye’s.

3) Kramarczuk’s Sausage

In the late 1940’s, Wasyl Kramarczuk and his wife Anna emigrated from their homeland of Ukraine to the United States. In 1954, after years of hard work, they founded Kramarczuk’s. Still family owned and operated to this day (like many of the Nordeast businesses), Kramarczuk’s has grown to become the official sausage provider of the Minnesota Twins, and just recently won a James Beard American Classic award.

4) Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop

In business since 1934, and run by four generations of the Surdyk family, this single store has become the largest provider of wine in the entire Midwest. The store started up at the end of Prohibition, with the original owner, Joseph Surdyk, selling groceries and liquor would bolster the family’s income. So, $200 of borrowed money, a liquor license and 79 years later, Surdyk’s has become a cornerstone of Nordeast.

If you're ready to experience the full tour yourself, reserve a tour here.

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