Insert Beer to Continue: Craft beer, cocktails, and nostalgia are reinvigorating the modern arcade

“Pinbot circuits activated” Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-Start “Finish him!” If you were born between 1980 and 1990, these sayings were probably—and maybe still are—part of your lexicon. Even if you didn’t grow up stomping Goombas or trying to rescue April from the Shredder, you might have gleaned the language from an older brother or cousin. For those of … [ Read more]

Brewer Profile: Dave Berg, August Schell Brewing Company

A peacock has marked me with a deadeye stare, its regal tail splayed on the stone walkway outside the gift shop of the August Schell Brewing Company. I’ve just parked on Schell’s Road, and a cyclist zips past on a Surly Cross-Check, nods, and hops off. I snap some pictures of the bird, taking in … [ Read more]

Urban Boatbuilders is empowering youth, one boat at a time

“From Lake Superior, you can go anywhere in the world.” That’s what one of the instructors at Urban Boatbuilders in St. Paul likes to tell his students. “Not that I would recommend traveling the world in a canoe,” Marc Hosmer, Urban Boatbuilders’s executive director, says. “But the idea of connection to the broader world and … [ Read more]

Brewer Profile: Michael Koppelman of Badger Hill Brewing Company

It is midday on a Friday, one of the first 70-degree days in May, and Badger Hill Brewing Company’s taproom is hushed, save for a few lone wolves flipping through newspapers at the bar. I’m here to meet with Michael Koppelman, part owner and head brewer of Badger Hill. Though we’ve never met before, he … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Fresh views on camping at Vistabule Teardrop Trailers

There’s a timeless nostalgia and sense of adventure in the very shape of a teardrop camping trailer. The petite, two-person campers weigh around 1,200 pounds and can be hauled by most station wagons or small trucks. They were popularized in the 1930s, but the internet age renewed them into fashion. Now a handful of entrepreneurs … [ Read more]

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Do It Yourself, Together: How maker spaces & tool libraries are building community

A squat, unassuming building of beige-painted brick and exposed cinder block sits tucked behind some of the great restaurants of Northeast Minneapolis’ Central Avenue. A red, hexagonal sign reads “MPLS Make” in white letters. It’s 4pm on a Thursday. A sign on the back door reads: “KNOCK LOUD! We’re rocking music and power tools  in … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: Creative reuse and customer empowerment at Junket Tossed & Found

At first glance, you might think Junket: Tossed & Found is yet another vintage shop surrounded by numerous other vintage shops on Minnehaha Avenue in South Minneapolis. Old rockers, desk chairs, and salvaged theater seats huddle together out front. There’s a ‘90s-era school desk with a flip-up lid and a classic red wagon. An old … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2016: Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone of Revival and Corner Table

When Nick Rancone and Thomas Boemer transformed Corner Table in 2013, they connected with a zeitgeist. High-end diners and food adventurers still craved sustainability, but with a little less bang-you-on-the-head zealotry. Instead, they angled for seasonally-focused, casual elegance with a side of soul—think coq au vin next to maple-roasted jowl. That modus operandi carried them … [ Read more]

Sepak attack: The sport of takraw is gaining a foothold in Minnesota

Thirty people are are dispersed between two nets on a near perfect August night outside Olson Middle School in North Minneapolis. Younger players, roughly between 20 and 40, play at one court, 50-and-60-somethings at the other. The courts are twined-off, the grass worn. Spectators cheer from the sidelines. From a distance, this might seem like … [ Read more]

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Single-Speed Service: The fast-paced world of bike delivery couriers

I arrive at the Uptown Minneapolis office of Rock-It Delivery at 10am on a warm Thursday in June. It’s a cave-like space, dank and minimal, with a vintage couch by the window, a desk with a computer, and, of course, bikes lined up along the far wall. There is a cargo bike for large orders … [ Read more]

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Penumbra marks 40 years of illuminating the African-American experience through art

When you pull up to St. Paul’s Penumbra Theatre, considered one of the largest and most important African-American theater companies in the nation, the first thing you notice is the playground. Tots toddle down teal-colored slides. Little yellow dump trucks sit bedded in a swath of wood chips. The fence that borders the property is … [ Read more]

Repair, reuse culture is alive and well in the Twin Cities

It occurred to me after visiting Repair Lair, Nancy Ford’s singular repair-and-reuse shop on East Lake Street, on a rainy day in March, that almost all of my friends in high school had, for the most part, shopped at secondhand stores. We were a punked-out, idealistic bunch (we once plastered Dinkytown with anti-Exxon fliers). But … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Handmade timepieces from Padron Watch Company

January and February can be the dreariest of months for retailers. The Christmas bustle turns a sharp corner, and long days spent trying to keep up with an influx of customers turn into long days wishing for just a few customers. This can be particularly true for small businesses, especially in the age of online … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: MaxBat

Wooden baseball bats for the major leagues & amateurs alike Brooten, Minnesota—population 742—sits 120 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. Pass the Brooten city sign and there’s a gas station, some galvanized sheds with a few windows, a couple brick garages, a tiny lumberyard, and then an endless stretch of flat, green fields. As they … [ Read more]

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Craft Culture: Faribault Woolen Mill

Photos by Aaron Davidson Historic images courtesy of Faribault Woolen Mill The Faribault Woolen Mill hugs the Cannon River in Faribault, Minnesota, 50 miles south of Minneapolis. A small dam foams alongside the building, whose walls boast a hodgepodge of vivid and faded red brick. Inside, the looms, pickers, and carting machines beat a persistent … [ Read more]

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