Post by ● Aug 8, 2015

Central: Community Life

Tagged: Community Life, Community Profiles, Minneapolis Communities, Minneapolis Minnesota, , , ,

As the heart of the downtown area, the Central community within Minneapolis is home to a dynamic and bustling lifestyle. Residents and visitors alike are treated to the finest options available in regards to dining, shopping, entertainment, and more. While each neighborhood located within the Central community offers different amenities, they all contribute to the immersive environment that is found within the area.

The Downtown East neighborhood is one of the largest contributors to the Central community. There are many venues in which local residents can find entertainment and arts to enjoy. The U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings, is located in Downtown East. A state of the art stadium located on the former site of the Metrodome, U.S. Bank Stadium is one of the newest and most exciting stadiums in sports history. The Vikings are always a contender in their respective NFL division, and provide plenty of entertainment for the city. The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is the center for theatrical productions, musicals, and theater education in the Minneapolis area. By performing both classical literature and new work from various cultures, the Guthrie enlightens the public by connecting them to the plays of the world. Open Book is one of the neighborhoods most unique venues. A nonprofit organization whose goal is to foster a vibrant book community, while supporting the art of bookmaking and the literary arts, Open Book is a center for artistic collaboration and creation. With numerous meeting rooms and artistic spaces available for patrons to rent, Open Book provides a niche space that is unique to the Downtown East neighborhood. The Mill City Museum is another attraction in the area. Providing a historical perspective on the city of Minneapolis, the Mill City Museum educates visitors on the growth of Minneapolis, and the famous flour mills that contributed to this growth. Among other things, visitors will see flour milling machinery and get an inside look at what a working flour mill looked like before heading to an observation deck to see the nearby St. Anthony Falls.

The neighborhood of Downtown East is also the home of many notable businesses. The Old Spaghetti Factory is one of the most famous restaurants in the area. A meal at The Old Spaghetti Factory is a memorable experience. With large portions of traditional Italian delicacies served within an immersive dining area, the Old Spaghetti Factory has been a longstanding community favorite for quite some time. Visitors especially enjoy their free scoop of Spumoni ice cream with each meal and dining in the historic train car located within the restaurant. Downtown East is home to one of the leading marketing firms in the Twin Cities area. For 30 years, Periscope has served countless clients in the realms of advertising and promotions consulting. Their expertise in design is second to none, as they help other companies with their branding, marketing, and other business needs. One of the greatest aspects of the Downtown East neighborhood is its infrastructure. The light rail runs through the neighborhood past the U.S. Bank Stadium, offering residents and visitors easy, affordable, and extensive transportation around the Twin Cities metro area. The light rail connects to many of the outlying suburbs as well, giving even greater access to Minnesota’s cities.

When residents think of Downtown Minneapolis, they are thinking of the Downtown West neighborhood. Downtown West is the home of most of Minneapolis’ most impressive buildings which make up the Minneapolis skyline. As the core of downtown Minneapolis, it consists of the bulk of office building space in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Downtown West is home to many corporate headquarters and hotels and is the Central Business District of Minneapolis. Therefore, it is comprised of several Fortune 500 corporate headquarters, moderate and upscale retail shops, and landmark office building conversion hotels. All of these businesses employ thousands of people from all over the metropolitan area of the state of Minnesota. The Mississippi River also provides a main element of nature to the neighborhood as well. With around 6,000 residents, this mainly commercial location is full of activity.

The Target Center, home of the Minnesota Timberwolves, has greeted over 30 million guests and hosted almost 5,000 events since it opened in 1990. The Target Center has one of only two moveable arena floors in the country and it can be fully raised or lowered in 25 minutes; the floor raises 5 feet to maximize guest sight lines. This venue has been home to many concerts, performances, and NBA basketball games over the years.

Target Corporate Headquarters is also located in Downtown West. This dominant international company decided to name Minneapolis as the home for its HQ, as their first store was established the nearby city of Roseville, Minnesota. As a common name for many structures in Minneapolis, this corporation has a very impactful presence in the city.

The Foshay Tower is a skyscraper in the neighborhood. Designed after the Washington Monument, the tower was finished in 1929, and was the tallest building in the city at that time. It has 32 floors and extends 447 feet in the air. The building, which was included to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, is a specimen of Art Deco style of architecture.

The Orpheum Theater is one of the largest theatres around and attracts many visitors with is spacious seating for an array of classic and newer performances. The music performances, musicals, plays, and one-acts are sure to impress any visitors.

The Depot, another popular destination, is a common place to go ice skating indoors. This is the perfect place for a couple of love birds, or even a large group looking to enjoy the venues entertainment. Rentals are available for those who do not own skates.

There are numerous hotels located in the Downtown West neighborhood including hotels from Hilton, Westin, Hyatt Place, The Grand Hotel, and more. Because of the dynamic, engaging, and interactive nature of the Downtown West neighborhood, there are many tourists who come to visit throughout the year. The accessibility offered in the city makes staying at any of these hotels an easy and obvious choice.

The Nicollet Mall is the shopping center for Minneapolis. A collection of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues, the mall includes everything from national franchises to hole-in-the-wall dives. For those desiring premier shopping, dining, and entertainment, the Nicollet Mall is the place to go.

There are many renowned restaurants located on or near the mall. Murray’s Steakhouse is one of Minnesota’s most famous restaurants. A premier steakhouse located in the heart of the city, Murray’s offers nationally-acclaimed steaks that have been a tried and true favorite of the city for decades. Each steak is stringently inspected and aged a minimum of 28 days prior to being served, making Murray’s steaks a true delicacy. The Oceanaire Seafood Room is another top-notch restaurant located within the neighborhood. Critically-acclaimed for its fine dining and fantastic selection of seafood, the Oceanaire Seafood Room offers visitors fresh fish flown in daily from around the world. Fogo de Chao is one of the most memorable dining experiences in the entire area. Rooted in Brazilian ranching traditions, Fogo de Chao offers visitors delectable meats prepared in a traditional Brazilian fashion. With all-you-can-eat service and premium quality, Fogo de Chao is an unforgettable dining experience. Bank restaurant is a final example of fine dining within Downtown West. Located in the what was once a bank in the heart of downtown, Bank restaurant features fine dining in a unique setting. Visitors can watch their food being made in the open kitchen while enjoying the powerful setting that the bank provides. Ideal for business meetings or group events, the Bank even features a bank vault which houses the wine cellar.

As the center of Minneapolis and the heart of the downtown area, the Downtown West neighborhood is a dynamic and upscale place to live. With so many dining, shopping, entertainment, employment, and educational opportunities available, living in Downtown West is truly a remarkable experience. While by no means a comprehensive listing of all that the neighborhood offers, this article lays the groundwork for establishing its significance to the city of Minneapolis as a whole. There are many more businesses, stores, restaurants, museums, venues, and hotels for readers to explore.

One of the largest employers and contributors to the Elliot Park neighborhood is the Hennepin County Medical Center. The Hennepin County Medical Center partners with their community and their patients to guarantee access to wonderful care for everyone. They strive to continually improve their services through teaching, patient and community education, and research. This medical center is renowned for its specialized care, as it strives to do the best quality restorative work in healing the mind, body, and soul.

Bethlehem Baptist Church is one of the biggest landmarks in the Elliot Park neighborhood. A large place of worship drawing in numerous individuals and families from around the state, Bethlehem Baptist Church is a very active member of the Elliot Park community. North Central University is another landmark. A small, Christian college located adjacent to the neighborhood’s park, North Central University offers a traditional 4-year college program in addition to graduate studies. With around 1,100 students enrolled annually, North Central University plays a major role in the local neighborhood.

Whether you are hosting a board meeting for 30 or a conference for 10,000, the Minneapolis Convention Center, located within Loring Park, is prepared with the facilities and features to guarantee any successful event.  Between the 475,000 square feet of showcasing space and the 87 meeting rooms, the building has the capacity to hold highly attended business events.

The Basilica of Saint Mary is perhaps the most recognizable landmark within the Loring Park neighborhood. Encompassing an entire city block, the basilica plays an active role in the neighborhood community. Historically, the Basilica of Saint Mary was the first basilica established in the entire United States in 1907. Since then, the basilica has seen numerous renovations and changes. An active member of the community, thousands of families attend the basilica’s services, and each year the basilica hosts a massive block party. The Basilica Block Party is an event that brings the community together for a weekend of music. Big name musicians are flown in to perform in front of live crowds, and proceeds of the event go towards the restoration of the basilica. Having started in 1995, the Basilica Block Party continues to grow each year and draws in thousands of visitors. Another recognizable landmark is the United Methodist Church located on Hennepin Avenue. Known for its architecture, this church accommodates several new visitors each year. The church also offers historical significance as the first service was held in 1875.

A recognized organization in the local neighborhood is the Woman’s Club. The Minneapolis Woman’s Club is an active group within the community that is involved with charitable works and volunteering throughout the year. Housed in a historic and scenic building since 1928, the club offers breathtaking views of the Loring Park neighborhood and Minneapolis skyline. Additionally, it is a popular wedding reception location.

The cooking methods of Salsa A La Salsa came from the central part of Mexico, and have been in the family business for generations. They use the freshest and most authentic ingredients, such as corn husks, banana leaves, hominy, cactus, papaya, and pineapple. Additionally, the restaurant utilizes seasonings such as achiote, smoked chipotle peppers, chiltepin, and epazote, all enhanced by marinating, grilling, and steaming. From meat, chicken, seafood, and vegetarian, the menu features a wide array of items that are sure to satisfy anyones tastes. Situated in the heart of Loring Park, Loring Kitchen & Bar features delicious food and an enticing bar. A neighborhood kitchen with destination appeal, LK&B features modern cuisine in a comfortable and inviting atmosphere that is a popular neighborhood hangout. La Belle Vie is one of the Twin Cities most acclaimed restaurants, earning Awards of Excellence by both Zagat and Wine Spectator Magazine. Located in Loring Park, Minneapolis, La Belle Vie provides an ambiance of sophistication and refinement from the dining room to the lounge.

The North Loop Neighborhood is and is the home of the Minnesota Twins Target Field, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Farmers Market, and the headquarters of Metro Transit. Renewed historic warehouses and construction lofts are the main residential buildings in the North Loop. Conventional townhomes and apartment buildings are also common housing options. With a population of over 4,000, this residential hub is ideal in terms of location next to the big city.

Target Field, located on the east corner of the neighborhood, with Downtown West as a backdrop, is the home of the Minnesota Twins. This MLB attraction brings national attention to this portion of Minneapolis, as the Twins are typically big time contenders in their division of baseball. This venue makes North Loop the perfect place for small or large groups to get out to the ballpark and cheer on their home team.

The North Loop neighborhood is supported by the inclusion of the Metro Transit light rail. The light rail runs near Target Field, allowing for visitors to easily get to and from a game. Connecting with the majority of the Twin Cities metro area and many of the surrounding suburbs, the light rail is an integral part of the neighborhood’s infrastructure. Cheap, efficient, and straightforward, the light rail provides transportation for all.

The Minneapolis Farmers Market is headquartered within the North Loop neighborhood. Open from May-October, the Minneapolis Farmers Market is a great place for locals to get fresh, seasonal produce directly from its source. Additionally, the market brings in many visitors as it is one of the largest in Minnesota.

One of the most popular businesses in the area is The Fish Guys. A seafood importer and supplier, the Fish Guys provide high-quality seafoods from around the world to businesses and households alike. With over 1,000 fish choices, all of which were sustainably harvested, the Fish Guys are the premier location for purchasing fresh or frozen seafood. The Smack Shack, located near the North Loop neighborhood, is one of the restaurants that partners with the Fish Guys. Having started off in a food truck, the Smack Shack has grown in popularity and today works in tandem with the 1029 Bar. Famous for their lobster rolls, the Smack Shack embraces the same sustainability practices that the Fish Guys employ.

Many buildings in the neighborhood have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of these include the historic Amos B. Coe House on Third Avenue, which is home to the Minnesota African American History Museum and Cultural Center. The neighborhood also contains Abbott Hospital, now used as apartment space, which showcases an architectural view of the progression of the medical industry. Finally the George W. and Nancy B. Van Dusen House, now used as an event space, is located in the neighborhood. The Van Dusen Mansion promotes a Richardson Romanesque style, completed with spires and turrets of French Renaissance inspiration. The building is a stone mason’s state-of-the-art work, made exclusively of hand-carved pink Sioux Quartzite. When visitors arrive through the porte cochere, they will be met with an extravagant atmosphere decorated with expensive carpentry, Persian rugs, stained glass windows and glistening chandeliers. A beautiful locale for wedding receptions or corporate events, the Van Dusen Mansion is a landmark within the neighborhood.

The Stevens Square Center for Arts is one of the most notable destinations within the neighborhood. A central location for local artists within the area, the center for arts is the host of numerous exhibitions, performances, and events all housed in an over 5,500 square foot building. Visitors can enjoy a myriad of artistic works from a collection of local artists. Additionally, the center makes an effort to support local artists by providing affordable work spaces and promoting local artwork for sale. As an independent organization, it is run by a board of directors as well as volunteers, allowing for heavy influence by the local artists.

There are several unique, ethnic restaurants located within the neighborhood. Boolaay, Akwaaba, Flavor Bee’s and Tibet Kitchen are four restaurants that all offer ethnic foods and are located within the same center. Visitors can enjoy a variety of tastes and smells from around the world. Along with unique restaurants, the neighborhood hosts many distinctive coffee shops. The Nicollet is a fancy coffee shop and cafe that is active within the community. Visitors can enjoy beer and wine, coffee roasted by the Minneapolis Roasting Company, and a variety of baked and fresh foods. What makes the Nicollet so special, however, is its atmosphere. Home to many events throughout the year including art showcases and musicians, patrons of the Nicollet enjoy the vibrant and close community found within its doors. Boiler Room Coffee is another local coffee shop. An advocate for local artists, Boiler Room Coffee’s walls are decorated by art from members of the community.

While by no means a comprehensive listing of all that the Central community has to offer, this article provides a brief introduction to some of the attractions found within the area. For more information, please feel free to look at our articles specific to each neighborhood.

If you have any questions regarding the city of Minneapolis, the Central Community, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit or call 1-800-909-1953.