City VIP Blogger Meet Minneapolis

Welcome to the Insider blog. The City VIP section will feature posts straight from the minds of Minneapolis celebrities, as well as some cool inside information from us. Also, the Insider Post area will spotlight a random member of the Minneapolis community, allowing them to share their unique perspective on the city. Read on and become an Insider.


City VIP Blog Posts
Monday September 30, 2013


Did you know it takes 130 people at any given time to run the hit musical “Wicked,” on stage now at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis?  Learn this and more fun behind-the-scenes facts from Production Stage Manager Jason Daunter, the self-described "chief cook & bottle washer, therapist, mother, artistic eye for the show," and much more to his cast and crew of the first national tour of “Wicked.” 

Daunter spoke with us as the crew feverishly loaded in the monster set from 15 trucks that arrived in Minneapolis from Boston on Sept. 13. This is one of 10 simultaneous worldwide productions of this almost 10-year-old hit musical. Watch this interview to find out who the stars are, learn a little about this production and what you can expect if you attend one of the shows over the six weeks it plays Minneapolis’ Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Insider Blog Post
Wednesday November 30, 2011

The Prince of Northeast Speaks

Insider Perspectives is a blog entry that features a citizen of the city as they shed a different light on Minneapolis. This week’s entry comes from the "Prince of Nordeast" Michael Rainville, as he shares his secrets on the best night in northeast Minneapolis.

One of the nice benefits of being a fifth generation French Canadian living in NE Minneapolis is the high level of social life that has always been part of the community. While this “joy of life” has been a staple for decades, the new influx of restaurants continues this entertainment tradition.

This weekend, I will walk to the East Hennepin area for some quality time with friends and family. Walk with me as I try to navigate this great hospitality district.

My first decision comes on the corner of 4th Street and East Hennepin…will it be Whiteys for a quick roast beef sandwich and a chat with Whitey himself? Whitey saw the potential in this 150 year old business district and bought his saloon 20 years ago, restoring an 1880’s building into a popular watering hole for the 30-something crowd.

Or, I could head across the street to the Bull Dog, ask Amy what specialty beer is featured and peruse the menu. Bull Dog is famous for its homemade hamburgers; my teenage son recommends a good old fashioned cheese burger. On the other corner of 4th and East Hennepin is Masu Sushi & Robata. Housed in a former Bank building (look for the beautiful white columns on the outside), Masu is the newest restaurant on East Hennepin. Featuring both a Sushi bar and Robata style (grilled) Japanese cuisine, I have enjoyed some great meals and stories there.

Once dinner is accomplished, it’s time for some music. On the corner of 2nd Street on East Hennepin is Ginger Hop and Honey’s. Ginger Hop is located in the old Surdyk’s liquor store (Jim had some great Halloween parties in the basement after his Dad opened the new store on University and East Hennepin) and features a unique menu of American and Asian food. As the chef says so well, “It’s where East meets NE.” Honey’s is the music venue downstairs and features some great jazz. Reminds me of some of the clubs in Chicago; it’s been a great addition to the neighborhood.

A night out in NE is not complete without a stop at Nye’s. Voted the best bar in America by Esquire magazine, the Rainvilles have been customers since Al Nye opened the doors in 1952. When Al allowed me to open a house tab, I knew I had arrived in the world! For 37 years Lou Snyder held court playing at the Piano Bar; can you image the fun times she had?  The new “Piano Man” has big shoes to fill, but he is doing great…..I suggest requesting Billy Joel’s New York State of Mind.  If you hear music wafting in from the side bar, it’s just the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Polka band…grab a partner and do a little dancing.

Life is good on the River.

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