25 Trailblazers of 2017

Good ideas are only worth something if a person is willing to put them into action. Luckily, our state is filled with innovators with the courage to challenge convention and rethink the way the world works. A street artist whose sole medium is yarn. A musical gatekeeper giving undiscovered local musicians a chance to shine … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: James Buckley of Icehouse

Go to Icehouse on any given night, and you won’t be disappointed. There, you will find established artists like Lissie, jeremy messersmith, and Dave Simonett, and up-and-comers getting their first shot at filling the space with music that spans a wide range of genres. A key reason that room is constantly abuzz with thrilling talent … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Joe Mande

Whether you realize it or not, chances are Joe Mande has made you laugh. You might recognize his face if you’re familiar with his stand-up (and if you aren’t, you should be) or acting, but the place where he’s really made a splash is behind the scenes as a writer for some of TV’s biggest … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Emma Deaner of Superior Siren

“I’ll always remember escorting Haley from the gardener’s cottage to the pier right before her set,” says Emma Deaner, associate events manager at Glensheen. “We were walking down the path and she’s like, ‘I always dreamed of working here.’ Me too!” Bringing music to Glensheen is just one of the many dreams Deaner is living. … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Local Soccer in Minnesota

Minnesota has an enduring—but complicated—history with soccer, with teams like the Kicks, Stars, Strikers, and Thunder rising up and fading away. But as these teams have come and gone, the state’s fans and amateur players never let the dream of pro soccer in Minnesota die. It’s these believers who effectively paved the way for the … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Baddies Comedy Co.

The best comedians will get as much stage time as possible. But for comedians Bruce Leroy Williams, Brandon Riddley, and Pierre Douglas, there just weren’t a ton of options. So they made their own stage. Recognizing that the traditional comedy clubs and open mics in the Twin Cities didn’t spotlight very many black and urban … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Joe Spencer

Whether or not you know it, chances are you’ve been directly impacted by the work of Joe Spencer in the City of Saint Paul. For the past 12 years, in the administration of outgoing Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, Joe has served as the Director of Arts and Culture, helping to bring vitality to downtown, … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: John Moe of ‘Hilarious World of Depression’

In 2015, when the live comedy program “Wits” got the axe from American Public Media after a five-year run, fans were curious where creator and host John Moe might pop up next. He disappeared from the public eye for a while, before reemerging in December 2016 with a new podcast that aimed to tackle the … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Kevin Warren, COO of the Minnesota Vikings

It’s been a season full of success stories for the Minnesota Vikings on the field, but one of the organization’s brightest stars shines outside the lines. Kevin Warren came to the Vikings in 2005 after representing the Wilf family in the $600 million purchase from previous owner Red McCombs while working for the international law … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Craig Cohen

When Craig Cohen and his father Jeffrey first emerged as interested buyers of the old Schmidt Brewery in 2007, their partnership was initially unexpected for many in the West Seventh neighborhood. Jeffrey, a well-known real estate developer in the 1980s, was located in Maine, and Craig had returned to Minnesota nine years prior to recover … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Gavin Kaysen

When Gavin Kaysen began taking reservations at Bellecour, his French bistro and second restaurant endeavor, the first two months were booked in just one day. Kaysen told Eater that when he saw the reservations cascading in, it was “honestly one of the most humbling things I’ve ever seen.” It was clear then that he had … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: J.D. Fratzke & Matty O’Reilly

The restaurant game has never been an easy one. But the last decade of dining in the Twin Cities has thrown innumerable challenges at restaurateurs—a cook shortage, a minimum wage debate, food costs and rent on the rise, and diners possessed of a fickle, Instagram-fueled, hit-the-hot-new-joint-once-and-never-return mentality. In the face of these challenges, the partnership of … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Jack Riebel

Chef Jack Riebel grew up just four blocks from an iconic St. Paul dining establishment: The Lexington. “My mom came in here all the time,” Riebel said in an interview with the Pioneer Press in January of 2017. “I remember eating the pot pie at the bar.” So perhaps it was no surprise that after … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Carol March

St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood has grown from a collection of rough-around-the-edges warehouses into a revitalized, pulsating dining district within the Capital City. With restaurants like Big River Pizza and Saint Dinette, and exciting new additions in Kyatchi, Octo Fishbar, and Salty Tart, momentum in Lowertown is hitting an all-time high. But before the neighborhood started … [ Read more]

Trailblazers 2017: Ann Kim

In a different life, Ann Kim could be running a Jimmy John’s with her husband and business partner Conrad Leifur. She considered the idea when she was a struggling stage actress working for the Hennepin Theatre Trust. She had a dream of opening her own restaurant, a dream that was scoffed at by those around … [ Read more]

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20