I know this will blow out the format of the space, but I wanted to be sure these images from Thursday's fire in Minneapolis didn't scroll off our front page. And you can find Brandt Williams' story on the fire here.
Nobody died in the blaze, but there was a noticeable sense of loss among people I followed on Twitter today. Some restaurants and shops occupy a larger space in our hearts than I had imagined. Of course, I live in Woodbury. It's hard to imagine anyone weeping for the loss of an Applebee's or Chili's.
I wasn't familiar with any of the businesses lost...but can imagine a similar loss here in the W 7th Area...such a loss is devastating to both the entrepreneur/owners but to the neighborhood.
It's interesting - we've been talking about this in our newsroom. I think the fact that you have two locally-owned, independent restaurants where the owners come out and mingle with the guests is a big part of this. Customers feel ownership of these places. It's like - if we support them, they'll make it!
Same with Patina and Shoppe Local. All the artists with their things in Shoppe Local have them there on consignment, I believe. So you feel their loss.
I suppose it's similar to when a small town loses their family restaurant, and we cover those fires. It's just unexpected in the big, bad city.
I think the stores represent a lot of what many of us wish all of Minneapolis was: a group of independent, locally owned stores. Patina may be technically a chain with 5 stores, each store is tailored to the neighborhood it is in, offering unique things. These stores were unique and of high quality. I'm very sad to see them go, especially since I hadn't had a chance to try Heidi's, which I hear was amazing.
I truly adored Blackbird, it was a unique, independent, intimate restaurant much like you'd find in NYC. You don't find many restaurants with that type of character and atmosphere in the Twin Cities—rather they tend to be new construction, chain/mall restaurants that buy mass produced props to try and and create the character of Blackbird. I'm sad for the loss all of these great local businesses.
My wife and I celebrated a special day at the former tenant Pane Vino Dolce. Our important document was witnessed by the waiter there. It is sad to see it destroyed.