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
Thursday August 01, 2013

A Walk Through History: Minneapolis Northeast Tour

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.

Insider Blog Post
Tuesday February 14, 2012

Love in Minneapolis, Lovin' Minneapolis

Romance is nothing without surprises, which would make Minneapolis the Antonio Banderas of surprise. Read on to find out how Meet Minneapolis' Emily Ogaard-Peterson found love where she never thought she would.

Love is in the air this time of year, and it is hard not to reminisce about when we first fell in love with that special someone. February is especially memorable for me because I first met my husband on the most romantic day of the year: Superbowl Sunday…Well maybe not for most people, but for two die-hard football fans like us it’s fitting. This began a whirlwind romance, with many dates in cozy little restaurants with great food and wine, walks down moonlit paths, and all of the other great things that make up the classic Minnesota fairytale.  It is only now when we look back that we realize we were not only falling for each other but also for the city we now call home.

I have to admit that even though I had lived close by in an unnamed suburb, for many years Minneapolis was a mystery to me. I rarely made the short drive into the city, and when I did it was usually because I was attending a play, sporting event or concert. So I never really knew about all the hidden treasures in this city. For our first date, my date (now husband!) took me to a cozy little restaurant in South Minneapolis called Café Maude. As we drove through the neighborhoods, I wondered where in the world he was taking me. To my surprise, we finally stopped at this small restaurant sandwiched between some houses. This was an eye-opening experience for me as it was everything I have ever yearned for in a restaurant. It was warm, inviting, cozy yet hip, and I felt special to be there. The food and drinks were outstanding at and I thought we had found a hidden treasure. Little did I know there were places like this all throughout Minneapolis! Some of our favorites include Café Maude, Café Levian, Blackbird, The North East Social (can’t wait to try the Eat Street Social!), El Meson and many more. Two years later, we caved and bought a house in the city we love. We are still constantly surprised by the unique restaurants and shops we find hidden among the houses. Not only does our love for each other grow stronger each day, but so does the love for the city where we live and get to explore! 

So this Valentine’s Day, don’t be afraid to venture to the unknown. Make reservations at a neighborhood restaurant in Minneapolis, take a stroll in a city park or find that perfect something at a little shop and who knows, you might just fall in love…. 

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