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Wedge June Final Lowres 2013

Wedge June Final Lowres 2013

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Wedge Newspaper for Uptown Minneapolis Neighborhood of Lowry Hill East. Non-profit paper supported by Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association and community businesses.
Wedge Newspaper for Uptown Minneapolis Neighborhood of Lowry Hill East. Non-profit paper supported by Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association and community businesses.

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Published by: Wedge Neighborhood News on May 30, 2013
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Lucky Eningor House Fire10
In celebration o their 15th an-niversary coming up in Octo-ber, Chiang Mai Tai is mak-ing some noise this summerwith their most extensive mu-sic calendar yet. Tey’re bring-ing back the popular ChiangBanger block party, and alsointroducing three Street Danc-es which will be our-houroutdoor dance parties, o vary-ing themes and genres. All o these events will take place onthe Girard walkway in ront o Chiang Mai Tai, on the eastside o Calhoun Square.
Te rst street dance took placeon May 30 as the Wedge went topress. Te second Street Dancewill take place on Tursday,
Provided by the MinneapolisPolice Department (MPD)
Tere were multiple criticalincidents in a relatively shortperiod o time in South Min-neapolis on May 10. At ap-proximately 2 pm, 5th Pre-cinct ocers responded to2743 Lyndale Avenue on acall rom a resident who saw asuspect who possibly burglar-ized the callers residence theweek beore.
Suspect Shooting
Ocers responded to thearea and located the suspect,errance Franklin, who thened rom the police in his ve-hicle, striking a marked MPDsquad car and nearly strikinganother MPD ocer on oot.Te suspect vehicle crashedand the suspect ed into aneighborhood block.
Vol. 44, No. 6 FREE June 2013
Lowry HiLL East NEigHborHood associatioN NEwspapEr
“Where every story has three sides” 
Get Glowing8
page 7See
page 11See
page 8
L’n l he bLb Un pe blk p n June 28.
Block Shakers
Pride ad Cia Baer block parties retur
By rilby Busch
On May 24, the saga o thehouse at 2320 Colax Avenuereached a dramatic conclu-sion: Minneapolis City Coun-cil voted 13-0 to uphold thedetermination o the HeritagePreservation Commission that2320, also known as the OrthHouse, is an historic resource.Gary Schi (9th Ward), chairo the Council’s Zoning andPlanning Committee, whichhad heard the owner’s appealto overturn the HPC’s ruling,said that he hoped the unani-mous vote would herald “anew era o preservation” orMinneapolis.Te Council’s ruling came atthe end o a process that hasbeen conusing to many, eventhose at City Hall. Te dramabegan in March when sta orthe City’s Community Plan-ning and Economic Devel-opment Department issueda demolition permit or the1893 house, designed and builtby master builder .P. Healy,to clear the land or MichaelLander’s proposed apartmentbuilding. Anders Christenseno the Healy Project appealedto the HPC, which at theirApril meeting voted 8-2 todeclare the house an historicresource, halting demolition.In turn, Mike Crow, owner o 2320, appealed to the Coun-cil’s Zoning & Planning (Z&P)
In Landmark Decision, City CouncilStops Demolition of 2320 Colfax
Photo by Ceridwen Christensen
KarE11 ee Lne seve neve ane chenenn n  2320 e he tue hen.
 2320 COLfAx 
page 2
Photo by Bruce Cochran
 the bke Ex nlue bMXun e  31 s. nHennen ave.
On YourMarks...
UptownCriterium isFriday, June 14
Te Nature Valley GrandPrix returns to Uptown orthe Friday evening Criteri-um. With huge crowds thathave lined the entire courseevery year, the riders areenergized which makes orgreat racing.
Te course has teams racepast Calhoun Square on a.88 Kilometer course thatcomprises six tight cor-ners and a scramble to thenish line.
With a long straightaway across the nish line intoa very short run betweenturns one and two, speedswill descend rom a brisk 35-plus mph into the low digits beore ramping upagain out o turn ve onLake Street. Strong racersand teams will stay up rontto control the tempo andavoid accidents.
Police Pursuit Ends with Two Fatalities
Photo by StuartWainstock.com
 t  eue un 2717 bn avenue un he un-ln even  M 10.
O Railroas an Textiles5Back to basics at JJ’s?4
pe 2
June 2013June 2013
pe 3
By Bruce Cochran
A suspect entered Local Mo-tion Clothing Boutique, onMay 23 at 1:03 pm, posing as acustomer. Showing a gun, thesuspect, demanded the store’scash box, owner’s purse andcar keys, and ed. Later thatday, ngerprints were taken atthe scene and the incident iscurrently under investigationby the Minneapolis PoliceDepartment.
Committee, which heard hisappeal on May 21.At the Z&P meeting, thosesupporting and opposing thedemolition o the house pre-sented their respective cases.First to speak was John Smol-ey, a City planner who workswith the HPC. He argued thatCouncil should overturn theHPC’s determination and issuea demolition permit. Smoley said that there are “better re-maining examples o Healy’swork” and that the City con-siders historic designation orproperties based on the rarity o the works o those who de-signed them.When Smoley compared 2320Colax to a similar houseHealy built the next year onLowry Hill, 7th Ward Coun-cil member Lisa Goodmansaid, “I don’t “think it’s airto compare houses on Lowry Hill with houses in Lowry HillEast. Lowry Hill has had this very tight R1-R2B zoning sothat houses were not able to beconverted into 15-unit room-ing houses.”Next to speak or demolitionwas appellant Mike Crow.Crow said that the house hadreceived “extensive re andwater damage” rom a 1991blaze, and that most o theoriginal exterior and interiorwas gone. Crow said he hadbeen trying to sell the houseor the past ve years, but wasunsuccessul because “nobody wants a rooming house andthere’s nothing lef to restore.”
Amy Lucas o Landscape Re-search, a consultant or the de- veloper, testied that there are“many examples o this designand orm” in Minneapolis. Shelooked at criteria or designat-ing landmarks or the NationalRegister o Historic Places, andound that 2320 does not meetthese. Noting the changes tothe exterior and interior o thehouse, Lucas said that Healy would not recognize the househe built i he walked by it today.
Also speaking or demolitionwere Wedge landlord Wil-liam Rose, commercial realestate broker om Dunn, andJudy Harris, manager o RogerHandevit’s rooming houses.Harris argued that the moveto stop demolition was “notabout giving a building histor-ic designation,” but the “rstweapon in a war to stop any changes” in the way o new de- velopment.Anders Christensen o theHealy Project led the opposi-tion’s testimony with the slideshow he had presented to theHPC, arguing that 2320 repre-sents a turning point in Healy’scareer. “Te Orth House isan original design created ina time o crisis and change,”Christensen concluded. “Healy is our civic master builder.”Marlee MacLeod, who liveson the 2400 block o Colax,said that “the condition o the house is not owing to the[1991] re, but to the decisionsthe owner made aferward.”MacLeod questioned Lucas’sapplication o National Reg-ister criteria or designatinghistoric landmarks to a prop-erty that has been declared anhistoric resource, noting thatthere is an important distinc-tion between the two.Brian Finstad o the Healy Project pointed out that the sig-nicance o the Orth House toHealy’s design career was not-ed in a 1981 win Cities maga-zine article on Healy based onChristensen’s research. “It’s notlike this case came up, then westarted making a case that itwas signicant.”Minneapolis resident NicoleCurtis o the HGV show,“Rehab Addict,” addressedthe environmental impact o demolition. Curtis said that i the house were demolished,noncompostable materialslling “at least 50 thirty-yarddumpsters” would be going toa landll. Curtis added, “Whatattracted me to the 10th Wardwasn’t the 1960’s apartmentbuildings or the 2,013 ancy [new] buildings. What attract-ed me was the idea that thiswas a city based on history.Tis was a city based on pres-ervation.” As or the claim thatHealy wouldn’t recognize 2320as his own, Curtis responded,“Are you kidding me? I wouldidentiy a house I put my heartand soul in.”House mover John Jepsen add-ed that the house is structural-ly sound, “built o old growthtimber. . .perectly straight andtrue. It should be saved.”Afer the hearing was closed,Schi moved to deny theowner’s appeal. Holding up athick older containing lettersto the committee, Schi said,“I can’t remember when we’vehad such a substantial amounto eedback rom the generalpublic, overwhelming testimo-ny in support o 2320.”Te committee voted 5-0 toapprove Schi’s motion.At Friday’s ull Council meet-ing, Schi called or a changein direction in city planning,saying that not only the mostimportant architecture, butall existing Healy houses area resource that should bepreserved. “Tis is a market-building approach that rec-ognizes that the most uniquething the City has is the his-toric nature o our houses andthe age o our housing stock,”Schi said. “We need to send amessage to the next generationthat there’s nothing greenerthan an existing home.”Z&P co-chair Meg uthilladded, “We have a boatload o beautiul turn-o-the-century architecture that has beenripped down in the past 40years.” She urged the City toconsider all older homes a re-source. “I don’t care i they’redivided into our-plexes or six-plexes. . . .Save history, don’tsend it to the landll.”
Throughout the WedgeNeighborhood!
Find maps of garage sale locations atwww.facebook.com/thewedgeneighborhoodalongHennepin/Lyndale and at garage sale sites on June 1st.
Te Wedge
is a monthly publicationo the Lowry Hill East NeighborhoodAssociation (LHENA). Distributionis ree to residents and businesses o the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood.Mailed subscriptions are $20 per year.
Te Wedge
newspaper exists to addressneighborhood events, issues, andcauses, while providing a public forumfor the community to share informationand ideas and to voice individualopinions and concerns within theLowry Hill East neighborhood.
Stories, opinions, letters, photographs,and drawings are always welcome.Emailweg612@hotmail.comorassignments or to share your ideas. Tedeadline or submitting items is the17th o the month prior to publication.Te display ad deadline is the 15th o the month prior to publication.
Bruce Cochranweg612@hotmail.com
Oce Adminisraor
Caroline Griepentrog
Adverising Represenaives
 Susan Hagler: 612.825.7780susanhagler13@gmail.com
Wedge Commiee Chair
Linda McHale: 612.823.1270denimdogs@comcast.net
Laou & Illusraion
Kelly Newcomerkelly@kellynewcomer.com
Regular Conribuors:
Vanessa Moore Ardolino, CarolineGriepentrog, Tatcher Imboden,Kathy Kullberg, Beth MarshTe contents o this publication do notnecessarily reect the views o LHENAor its board members.
Te Wedge
reserves the right to exercise discretionin publishing any material submittedand urther reserves the right to reuseany advertisement. Questions about
Te Wedge
may be directed to theeditor or to
Te Wedge
committee chair.
©2013 LHENA, all rights reserved.
1200 West 26th St.Minneapolis, MN 55405,612.377.5023
Lowr Hill Eas NeighborhoodAssociaion Board o Direcors
Will Bornstein, Pres. .....952.913.6887im Dray, V. P. .............. 612.209.6790Ryan Bender, reas. .......612.669.3042Bill Casey, Sec.................612.803.9246Susan Bode .....................612.872.4077Burt Con......................612.310.7707Bryan Friess ....................612.886.2545Daniel Haley ...................612.871.7339Kyle Kilbourn ........................................Linda McHale.................612.823.1270Shae Walker ....................612.730.7013
Neighborhood RevializaionProgram Seering Commiee
John Bode .......................612.872.4077David Greene ........................................Daniel Haley ...................612.871.7339Blake Hanson .................651.485.3635Sara Romanishan ..................................Georgia Rubenstein .......651.261.9684Paul Ryan ...............................................Adam omczik ......................................
LHENA Calendar
Jefferson Elementary Community School
School NewS 
May Calendar
4 Kindergaren Promoion Ceremon,
2:30pmJeerson Auditorium
4 8h Grade Promoion Ceremon 
, 10:45am-12noonJeerson Auditorium
By Mindy Rhiger 
Summer is a great time to ex-plore, and the Wedge has a lot tooer amilies looking to enter-tain and perhaps educate kidsduring the summer break. I’dlike to suggest keeping it sim-ple. My avorite neighborhoodexperiences haven’t been costly or involved extensive planning.It’s the little things—dancing inthe rain at the ice cream socialat Mueller Park two years agoor watching a neighborhoodkid give a piano concert in hisront yard. Tis is what I really love about the Wedge.
Here are a ew keep-it-simplesuggestions or Wedge amiliesto try this summer.You can use the various devel-opment projects in the neigh-borhood to your advantage.I your kids have an interestin construction, an afernoonwatching the goings-on at aconstruction site would bea real treat. (Many are cur-rently active during the busi-ness week at the south end o the neighborhood along theGreenway.) I the space per-mits, you might bring a blan-ket, some construction relatedtoys, and a picture book ortwo. I recommend BuildingOur House by Jonathan Beanor Construction Crew by LynnMelzter, both o which areabout home construction.For those who have read MaudHart Lovelace’s Betsy-acy books, Mueller Park is not justa park. It’s the site o the or-mer home o the much-lovedchildren’s author. Pack a pic-nic, like Besty and acy ofendo in the books, and read inthe park or a literary afer-noon. On your way to the park,you can browse the books inthe nearby Little Free Librar-ies—or bring a ew books toshare with your neighbors. TeLittle Free Libraries at 25thStreet & Dupont Avenue and26th Street & Aldrich Avenueare always ull o interestingbooks, magazines, and more.Tey are a great opportunity todiscover new-to-you books orthe whole amily and perhapsintroduce the idea o generousgiving to young children.Te next time you take a walk with your amily, you can addan element o local history tothe outing by ollowing theWalk Down Lake Street path via the Museum in the Streets.Tis is a ascinating look at theway our neighborhood andthe surrounding area used tolook. Te plaques are ull o lo-cal trivia in both English andSpanish, and the experience just may spark an interest inlocal history in the next gen-eration. You can pick up mapsat various locations includingHuge Teater, Lund’s or visithttp://lakestreetcouncil.org/programs/museum-in-the-streets.Te Uptown area may have areputation or its nightlie—areputation that began in theearly 20th century, accordingto the Museum in the Streets—but there are plenty o oppor-tunities or amilies as well.You might also be interested inthe amily programming at theWalker Art Center (Arty Pantstwo uesdays a month, FreeFirst Saturdays, and Tursday evening amily storytimes) toinspire your little artists, kid’scheese classes at Kowalski’sMarket or your young ood-ies, and improv classes at theHuge Teater or aspiring per-ormers.Mark your calendars or OpenStreets Mpls (June 23), theLHENA Ice Cream Social,and the Wedge NeighborhoodSwap (June 8,9) as these aregreat ways to get to know otheramilies in the neighborhoodand share what we love aboutthe Wedge with our kids.
 Mindy Rhiger lives in Lowry Hill East.
Engaging with Kids
Summer activities or Wede amilies
Jeerson Elementary School
http://jeerson.mpls.k12.mn.us1200 26th Street, 612.668.2720
 2320 COLfA
rom page 1
 the wee ul lke  nule Vne n Je alnn he h  ce aln, vn  11:47m, M 3. Vn-e ll e kn  ek m  even hle he ken h meee. bh en e n e, n Vne “lkn   nun nhe une  he hleve Un  ene.
Making Art History
Sat., June 1, 9am-3pm
LhEnA Aual garae Sale
(Troughout neighborhood)
We., June 5, 7pm
LhEnA neiborood Revitalizatio Proram (nRP)Steeri Committee
Meeting held at Jeerson Com-munity School, 1200 26th Street,in the Media Center, Room 204.Te Neighborhood RevitalizationCommittee regularly meets therst Wednesday o every monthat 7 pm. Tis committee ocuseson implementing the LHENANeighborhood RevitalizationProgram Phase II Action Planand other revitalization strate-gies. Te plan is divided into sec-tions: housing; inrastructure;crime & saety; and youth, arts& commerce. Members serve ona volunteer basis and are electedto one-year terms at the annualmeeting in April.
Sat., June 8, 10am-4pm &Sun., June 9, Noon- 3m
LhEnA free Swap
Mueller Park, 25th Street andBryant/Colax Avenues
We., June 12, 6:30pm
LhEnA Zoi ad Plai(Z&P) Committee
(Location BD) Te Z&P Com-mittee regularly meets the secondWednesday o every month at6:30 pm. Tis committee reviewsany project, development, or zon-ing request in the neighborhood–a good t or anyone interested incity planning, architecture, andtransportation.
Thurs., June 13, 6:30pm
LhEnA Bradi Committee
(Location BD) Te BrandingCommittee meets the secondTursday o each month and istasked with redesigning LHENA’slogo and brand.
We., June 19, 6:30pm
LhEnA Board o Directors
(Location BD) Te LHENABoard o Directors regularly meets the third Wednesday o ev-ery month at 6:30 pm. LHENA’smission is to represent the inter-ests and values o Lowry Hill Eastresidents, property and businessowners to the larger community and government. Te LHENABoard makes neighborhoodbuilding and land use recom-mendations to the City, main-tains nancial oversight o the or-ganization, publishes Te Wedgenewspaper, organizes neighbor-hood social events, and serves asa orum or neighborhood con-cerns. Members serve on a volun-teer basis and are elected to two-year terms at the annual meetingin April.
Armed Robbery at Local Motion
 2813 heepi Aveue
Photoby BruceCochran
w   e  d     g   e   k   i    d    s   
pe 4
June 2013June 2013
pe 5
hat is striking aboutthe gray house onDupont is that itblends into the background sowell that it is virtually missed by anyone passing. Although stuc-coed in 1943, the remnants o the aged Victorian lady – shin-gle shakes on the gable rontand sides – are clues that some-thing is dierent here. Ten younotice the many paned uppersashes o the windows. Clearly this house was not built whenmost o the others in Lowry HillEast were in the early 1900s.It was one o the rst – 1886 –to be built in the area by J.W.Shackleton, a carpenter, as arame dwelling in the popular“olk shingle style.” A homewith similar multi-pane win-dows, and more typical o theshingle style, exists at the cornero Dupont and 27th Street.Te house changed hands andoccupants, several times un-til 1899 when James WilliamBeeth, wie Martena, and theirthree young children movedhere to escape the noise, smokeand clamor o the Linden railyards, sandwiched between thepresent day Dunwoody schooland Bryn Mawr. J. WilliamBeeth was an engineer on theMinneapolis and St. Louis Rail-road, an occupation not usually seen at the northern end o Low-ry Hill East. Perhaps he wantedto be between the Linden Yardsand the tracks along 29th Streetor easier access to his job at ei-ther location.Te Beeth amily history relatesthat J. William was born in 1860in the same cabin in Florida,Missouri, that Samuel Clemens,aka Mark wain, was born. Tattiny two room cabin is now en-closed inside the Mark wainBirthplace Memorial Museum.J. William’s claim to local ameoccurred in November 1898while working as an engineeron the M&SL Railroad, knownlocally as the ootin’ Louie.Swedish born immigrant, JohnLind had just been elected therst Swedish governor o Min-nesota. o celebrate, 150 politi-cal riends (including newspa-perman Swan urnblad) met atthe Minneapolis depot to travelto New Ulm. Te weather washorrendous with a erce snow storm blowing hurricane orcewinds and piling snow severaleet deep. But the party decidedto press ahead and boarded theM&SL train to pay their respectsto the newly elected governor. J.William Beeth was the engineerin charge o the excursion.Arriving afer three hours, cel-ebrating at the Opera House,and presenting Lind with acommemorative cane, the grouphurriedly re-boarded. Upon thereturn trip, another reight trainwas stuck in the snow ahead o them at Young America, where-upon the conductor took theinitiative to lead a group o vol-unteers to dig it out. Te passen-ger train then pushed the reighttrain all the way into the depotin Minneapolis.Te Beeth Family moved to2417 Dupont shortly afer theinamous train trip and con-tinued to live in the house untilMrs. Beeth died in 1935. J. Wil-liam had died in 1930.wo more children, twin boys,were born in the house in1908. Te children now num-bered our boys and the eldestdaughter, Rhea (Ree-a). Teboys were always getting intotrouble and Rhea was oreverbailing them out. One hot sum-mer day in 1910, young Sidney,16, and two riends stole anautomobile and drove to Mon-tevideo where they drove itinto the Minnesota River. Teribune reported that the boys“were dressed as laborers mak-ing their way westward whenthey were taken into custody by rural constables....Parker andBeeth will appear in juvenilecourt, while Keniston being 12years old, will have to answer inpolice court.”More amily lore reported thatRhea had also run away on sev-eral occasions and learned to bea seamstress to urther her loveo ashion and design. In 1915,Rhea and her rst husband,Frank Johns, were married inthe living room at 2417, a com-mon occurrence in the early 20th century. Te rooms werelavishly decorated with pink roses and erns. Over 40 guestsattended the quiet wedding.Tings must not have gone wellor the young couple, or by 1925 Rhea was divorced andmarried or a second time toAugustus Seeger, an employee o Brown and Bigelow o St. Paul.Unortunately or Rhea, Augus-tus passed away in Chicago inthe summer o 1929. She vowednever to marry again but wasofen seen in the company o Northwestern University proes-sor and well known economist,James W. Bell.Afer Augustus passed away,Rhea Seeger set her aspirationson a career in the ashion in-dustry, writing or the Chicagoribune. By the mid 1930’sshe had achieved the positionas the women’s ashion editoro that same paper. In July o 1955 she was honored by theNew York Dress Institute orher contributions and dedica-tion to the industry. She wasroutinely ying to the ashioncapitals o Paris and Milan tocapture the chic trends or herMidwestern mavens.By the 1970s Rhea Seeger hadretired and moved to the Seat-tle-Port ownsend, Washing-ton area to be closer to heryounger brother Ed, an engi-neer at Boeing Corporation.In 1985 she passed away at theage o 83. Her brother passed in1989. Subsequently their asheswere brought back to Minneso-ta by their amily and scatteredon the waves o Lake Superior.oday there is not much re-maining o the original inte-rior spaces o 2417 afer thehouse was subdivided in themid 1950s. Uniquely, however,the original building permitincludes a rare drawing o theoor plan as outlined by thebuilder detailing a roomy rstoor plan.Te gray house at 2417 Duponthas nally given up its history o the little known Beeth am-ily. Afer surviving another qui-et 30 years as rental housing, itpassed into the hands o thecurrent owners, who love thehouse and have returned it to asingle amily once again.
Kathy Kullberg lives in Lowry Hill East.
  
I your walls could talk . . .
2417 Dupont Avenue
By Kathy Kullberg, Lowry Hill East Historian
Built: 1886 by J.W. ShackletonCurrent Owners: Warren Colison and Carl Grifn
Te streets o Minneapolis will be active thissummer as the city plays host to not one or two,but our Open Streets events starting in June.During an Open Streets event, a signicantlength o a busy street is closed to automobiletrac or our to six hours to allow amiliesand neighbors to walk, bike, skate, have unand shop in a sae, car-ree environment.Open Streets events are designed to help pro-mote environmentally riendly transporta-tion choices, such as walking, bicycling andmass transit. Tey were also created to pro-mote good public health by encouraging ac-tive, healthy liestyles.Te our Open Streets events this year are onSouth Lyndale Avenue (June 23), Central Av-enue (July 28), Minnehaha Avenue (August11) and North Lowry Avenue as part o Har- vest Fest (September 21). In addition to clos-ing the streets to automobile trac, the day-long events will highlight healthy living andtness activities through a series o displaysand activities.Te rst Open Streets Minneapolis eventwas held on Lyndale Avenue South in 2011and drew more than 5,000 participants. Lastyear’s events were held on South Lyndale andon North Lowry Avenue and drew 10,000 and4,000 attendees, respectively.“Open Streets Minneapolis has grown roman experiment to an institutionalized, city-wide movement,” said Colin Harris o theMinneapolis Bicycle Coalition, which orga-nized the original event and is overseeing thisyear’s our events.Open Streets Minneapolis is an initiative o the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition, and orthe rst time, this year’s our events are co-sponsored by the City. Te events have anumber o nancial sponsors, including theCenter or Prevention at Blue Cross and BlueShield o Minnesota, as part o Blue Cross’long-term commitment to tackling the ourleading causes o heart disease and cancer,and the Partnership or a Healthier America’sPlay Streets initiative.For more inormation on this year’s events, visit the Open Streets website at www.open-streetsmpls.com. o learn more about bicy-cling in Minneapolis, visit the City’s bicyclingwebsite atwww.minneapolismn.gov/bicycles.
Concrete as Landscape
Open Streets comes back 4 times
Photoby BruceCochran
a kee eme he eene  v eele.
fer achieving successat its two existing loca-tions, J.J.’s Coee andWine Bistro opened a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it caé/bistroin Uptown about a year ago,on the corner o Knox Avenueand Lake Street, kitty-cornerrom Lake Calhoun. Te res-taurants’ website boasts that it’slocal and amily-owned, with a“European concept,” a “Man-hatten vibe,” and “a touch o Midwestern style.” Tis websitedescription was inviting, and Iwas looking orward to an in-teresting experience.Te atmosphere is calming,with lots o sleek, comortabletables-or-two, and a coupleo plush booths. Sof musicplays, and the huge windowslet in plenty o light and allow apartial view o Lake Calhoun’senvirons. Te tiny porch/patioholds a ew tables, which hintsat an intimate, choice spot orsipping wine or coee.My companions and I visitedon a weekend or lunch andound the restaurant oddly empty. We perused the menuand agreed that the descrip-tions o available panini, piz-zas, and sandwiches soundedhealthul and delicious. Weordered a selection rom eachcategory, as well as a bowl o soup, which arrived promptly.Te presentation was attrac-tive, but as we started eating,our disappointment began.Te Greek Flatbread Pizza wassparsely topped, with a coupleo sliced Greek olives, min-iscule eta cheese crumblesover bland house-made to-mato sauce, all hidden under amound o resh spinach leavesand nestled on a thin, soggy crust, which the menu had in-correctly described as “crispy.Te Minot sandwich consistedo two slices o dried-out wheatbread, avorless lunchmeat-type turkey, cheddar cheese,iceberg lettuce and resh mush-rooms, with two green pepperstrips and a handul o greasy kettle chips on the side. Weordered one o the two soupschoices o the day, a cream-based, mashed potato-like-consistency, overly salty messwith spinach and gorgonzolacheese. When the soup wasserved barely luke-warm, weasked that it be replaced witha heated version. Te secondbowl was equally cold and un-appetizing.
Te only bright spot was thelightly crisp Spinach BaconPanini, that had a nicely a- vored pepper Jack cheese,spinach, and chopped arti-choke lling with a generousamount o thickly-sliced ba-con. All sandwiches are servedwith the customer’s choice o spinach salad or kettle chips.J.J.’s also oers a number o breakast sandwiches.
In addition to the very medio-cre ood, an indierent server,who seemed to be busy withsuch chores as changing lightbulbs, waited on us. Despitethe act that we were the only lunchtime patrons (only oneperson entered and ordered
su  he d h  hl nh.
 J.J.’s Cofee and Wine Bistro
Come for theAtmosphere and Drinks
By Beth Marsh, Wedge Restaurant Reviewer 
coee-to-go during our stay),she gave the appearance thatwe were intruding, and sheresolutely placed our bill on thetable beore we were done eat-ing, without asking whether wewanted anything else.J.J.’s has built a ne reputa-tion or its hand-crafed co-ee drinks. Te choices changerequently, and the custom-created beans are roasted lo-cally. Te extensive wine list,includes both domestic andinternational brands. Wineights are available in three3-oz. servings, with eitherwhite or red wine or $14. Youcan also customize your ighto three by-the-glass selectionsor $3 more. Because pairingso traditional wine, nontradi-tional wine, and beer appearunder each item on the dinnermenu, even someone who hasminimal knowledge o wineand beer can choose just theright pairing.I suggest that the olks at J.J.’sCoee and Wine Bistro Up-town location consider eitherconcentrating exclusively onwine, beer, and coee, withperhaps a ew choice pastry/dessert items and appetizers,or do a major ramp-up to im-prove both the ood and theservice. As it is now, J.J.’s is thekind o place where twosomesor singles can enjoy either thepatio or the indoor seating witha beverage o choice, whetherthey are there or a date or achat, or simply to use the reewi-. J.J.’s should continue todo what they do best; that is,provide a low-key and relaxedatmosphere or the enjoymento wine, beer and coee drinks.
Using a scale o 1-5, 5 beingthe highest, I rate J.J.’s Co-ee and Wine Bistro’s Uptownlocation as ollows: Food = 1,Beverages = 5, Service = 2, At-mosphere = 5.
Beth Marsh is a longtime resi-dent and an o South Minne-apolis. During o-hours romher prooreading and copy-ed-iting day job or an advertising agency, she enjoys movies and creative writing, and she is inthe process o illustrating her children’s book.
J.J.’s Cofee anWine Bistro
1806 Lake Street jjscofeecompany.com612.522.8000
Monay – Thursay:
Friay – Saturay:
: $4-$5.25
: $3-$10.25
: $4.50-$10.75
Wines by the glass
: $7-$15
Free on Knox Avenue.
Bealertto thecurrent constructiononLakeStreet.

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