Businesses and Community Along Nicollet Open Streets Minneapolis

One thing I look forward to when going to Open Streets events is to look at local businesses and community involvement along the routes. Open Streets Minneapolis – Nicollet is amongst my favorite. On a single lane street that’s usually too dangerous for drivers to view anything other than the road, these local businesses are often overlooked. It’s encouraging to see them all on foot, especially if they have an event presence in front of their storefront.

Businesses

I’ve been to the St. Paul Selby Revival a few times but not the one in Minneapolis. It’s right on the Open Streets Nicollet route and they engaged with the community by having different bands play throughout the day. I believe that the Minneapolis Revival chicken and waffles are available everyday and not just Sunday, but maybe someone could confirm or deny in the comments. Transit is a good way to get here, too. The 11 Metro Transit bus takes you right here along with the Nicollet and Blaisdell Ave bike lanes that cover the jaunt.

Revival

Band setting up outside of Revival

Curran’s Family Restaurant has been a comfort food staple for decades and is right on the route. Like Revival, the 11 Metro Transit bus and Nicollet and Blaisdell bike lanes take you right there. There’s a parking lot as well for drivers. They have what’s known as the tastiest Monte Cristo. They could’ve displayed for free in their own parking lot, but paid for the honor to be on the street in front of their own restaurant. I’m not a fan of this charge.

However, they were selling cookies and beer on the street and were kind enough to let me take a quick photo of them. They even offered to let my phone juice up with one of their chargers, but I digress.

Currans Crew

The Curran’s crew in front of their restaurant

Nicollet Hardware on Nicollet is a welcoming community store and community presence for the Nicollet Open Streets. Also, the most Minnesotan Google review and response you may find this week.

Nicollet Hardware Google Review

A very Minnesota Nice Google Review and Response for Nicollet Hardware

Here’s a visual example of using their space as part of the Open Streets Community.

Nicollet Hardware

Nicollet Hardware using their space to engage with folks enjoying Open Streets

The patio at Pat’s Tap is welcoming for events like Open Streets, general people watching, of course their food, and the day of the event, Lagunitas specials. Like other Nicollet Ave businesses, it’s really easy to get to by transit, foot, or bike lanes.

Lagunitas At Pats Tap

Patio at Pat’s Tap with food and drink specials

Protip: For you businesses and orgs on the Open Streets University of Minnesota + Motley route, consider a Google Post to help cross-brand your business along with the event.

Awareness

I’m always interested in learning how a few things tick, especially when it comes to bringing neighborhoods together in all four seasons. The Samatar Crossing post comes to mind as I’ve now used it a few times for either walking transportation or to see a soccer match at Currie Field.

The Art in Public Places group were kind enough to show me the plan for the Green Crescent project and greenspace between Lake Street and the Midtown Greenway, just off the new-to-be Lake Street Transit Center. Just like the Samatar Crossing, they would be looking for public artists to help make it engaging through the greenspace. Open Streets is one way they’re getting the word out.

Art In Public Places

Green Crescent calling for public artists between Lake St. and the Midtown Greenway

Little did I know, most benches in the city are from US Bench. For revenue, they sell advertisements highly visible on the bench itself for transit users. I guess this isn’t new, but didn’t know that one company provided most of these. According to one esteemed councilperson, they the Clear Channel billboards of benches and can possibly be used this winter to help build awareness for the Our Streets Winter Sidewalk Maintenance study and initiative.

Benches By Usbench

Mentioned by a councilperson, these are like the Clear Channel billboards of benches

Pets

There’s always something special about taking a day to dedicate a city street to those to walk, bike, roll, stroll, eat, drink, and play. It’s all about the community, especially those with 4 legs. Often, the popular question, “can I bring my dog (or pet)” to Open Streets?”. Of course you can, they don’t worry about traffic, road diets, or infrastructure, and they’re cute, dangit.

Staring Doggies

Least Dangerous Staredown by 3 doggies on Nicollet

Doggie In Sun

Doggie chilling in the sun during Open Streets Nicollet

Music

Music bonds people together. It makes sense that multiple musicians are always lined up. Pick your genre and you’ll mostly find it right on a street corner or a makeshift stage. Hot Pink Hangover played a a few acoustical sets on the NW corner of Nicollet and 35th.

Hot Pink Hangover

Mercy, Sgt. Danny and new bassist Mou (sp?) playing at Open Streets

Sgt. Danny was cool enough to show me his cajon box drum along with his foot tambourine.

Cajon Box Drum

Sgt. Danny’s Cajon Box Drum brings out some great percussion sounds

These guys played right by the Driftwood Char Bar on the 44th block of Nicollet. They put on a great show including the accordion player/singer swinging his accordion like a flying-V guitar at times.

Band at Open Streets

Band near the Driftwood playing at Open Streets

Roadrunner Records always has some kind of outside presence. The last time I was here, they were selling vintage albums. This band outside was really catchy. I didn’t catch their name, but if you know please let us know in the comments!

Band at Roadrunner

Band outside of Roadrunner Records

Community Engagement (fun!)

Where else can you close off a main street and play life-sized Jenga on the side?

Life Sized Jenga

Just pulled off the wrong piece and the Jenga collapsed

And there’s bike polo right on Nicollet. Better than car traffic.

Bike Polo Score

Bike Polo player about to score a goal

Our friends Beth and Tim helping people out at the Streets.mn booth.

Beth And Tim Streetsmn

Beth and Tim at the Streets.mn booth

Of course, there were plenty of runners enjoying the event’s Run for Beer 5K-ish.

Run For Beer Runners

Runners enjoying Open Streets via the 5k-ish Run for Beer

If you’re interested in sponsoring, getting a spot or volunteering for the upcoming Open Streets University of Minnesota + Motley Open Streets, you certainly can. I look forward to attending the event as I’ve never been to one at this location.

More photos were originally taken for this post. If you like, there’s a shared Google Photos album for you to see as you please!

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5 Responses to Businesses and Community Along Nicollet Open Streets Minneapolis

  1. Joe September 26, 2018 at 2:51 pm #

    I assume you mean the 18 brings you right to those businesses. The 11 gets you pretty close to Revival (only a block away), but that’s only after the long layover at 46th, so not the best choice. Just get off at 42nd and 4th and walk over from there, instead, if taking the 11.

    But the 18 does indeed bring you right to it’s doorstep.

  2. Paul Jahn
    Paul Jahn September 26, 2018 at 4:00 pm #

    Good call, Joe. I did mean the 11 although got off near Revival. For whatever reason, I’m never on the 18 and didn’t even think twice about it. My bad.

  3. Nicole Salica
    Nicole Salica September 26, 2018 at 6:15 pm #

    Thank you for all these great pictures – and especially the dog spotting. Love seeing doggos everywhere during open streetses!

  4. Dave October 1, 2018 at 1:16 am #

    The band playing outside Roadrunner Records was Lutheran Heat.

    • Paul Jahn
      Paul Jahn October 2, 2018 at 11:07 pm #

      Thank you Dave!

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