The Mill: Community gives back to Minnesota man who gives to the homeless

Allan Law, of Edina, stands in front of the Minneapolis Recreation Development van which has a "Love One Another" decal on it's doors. Law uses the van nightly to deliver sandwiches around Minneapolis // Photo courtesy Allan Law's Facebook

Allan Law, of Edina, stands in front of the Minneapolis Recreation Development van which has “Love One Another” decals on it’s doors. Law uses the van nightly to deliver sandwiches around Minneapolis // Photo courtesy Allan Law’s Facebook

Every night for over 12 years, “Sandwich Man” Allan Law has been passing out sandwiches to homeless people on the streets of Minneapolis. Until now, he’s operated out of the back of his van, keeping supplies in 20 coolers at his Edina apartment and a few area storage units. But unbeknownst to him, a volunteer has set up a GoFundMe page to get Law his own warehouse, which is currently just over half of its $100,000 goal.

“What’s the big surprise about this is, I’ve been doing this for 50 years, and I’ve never—not one time—ever asked someone to write a check,” Law told the Southwest Journal. “…I truly believe that God provides what I need. What more would you want than 17 freezers in your apartment?”

Law has recruited volunteers from local community groups, schools, and companies like Target and Brave New Workshop to assist in making the sandwiches. But it’s still Law who goes out every night in his van between 9pm and 10am, targeting locations and hours when he knows the most people will be in need. Last year, he handed out 800,000 sandwiches, as well as blankets, jackets, and other essential items.

Since retiring as a Minneapolis public school teacher in 1999, Law has been working day and night to ensure he can give as many people as he can the help they need. When he first started, he was handing out local stores’ unsold sandwiches and bakery items. Now, with donations and the help of the community, he’s been able to significantly expand his reach. “This is beyond dedication, this is my life. This is it,” he says.

Drink

Summit Brewing Company owner Mark Stutrud pours himself a beer in Summit's St. Paul Taproom // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Summit Brewing Company owner Mark Stutrud pours himself a beer in Summit’s St. Paul Taproom // Photo by Aaron Davidson

Summit Brewing has eliminated 15 full-time positions across all departments on December 27. The layoffs come just months after they pulled distribution of their beer out of six states this May, and are the first time the company has restructured in 32 years of business. Mark Stutrud, who founded Summit in 1986, pointed to sluggish sales as the main reason for the restructuring.

Move over MSP: Duluth has been selected as the nation’s third best city for beer drinkers, according the annual report by SmartAsset. Topping the list are Portland, Maine, and Asheville, North Carolina in first place.

This past Saturday, Twin Citians gathered along the banks of the Mississippi River to witness the relighting of the historic Grain Belt sign, which has been dark since 1996. The sign was built in the 1940s, and has been at its current home near the Hennepin Avenue bridge since the ’50s.

These frigid temperatures we’ve been experiencing are dangerous for a myriad of reasons, notably among them the risk of exploding beer. Wardens in Maine warned ice fisherman that, as they brave the cold, to be cautious of letting their beer freeze, both in cans and bottles. Whether that means they take steps to keep it warm or just opt to drink it before it can freeze is up to them.

Food

Tucci Benucch, one of the Mall of America's original restaurants, announced it will be closing come February // Photo courtesy Tucci Benucch Facebook

Tucci Benucch, one of the Mall of America’s original restaurants, announced it will be closing come February // Photo courtesy Tucci Benucch Facebook

Tucci Benucch, one of the Mall of America’s remaining original restaurants, will close on February 4 after a 25-year run. Also closing is the restaurant’s next-door neighbor, the Magic Crepe Stand, bringing an end to the strange era of mall crepes.

The Impossible Burger—an entirely meatless patty developed by a startup in Silicon Valley—has been rolled out to over 300 restaurants across the country. And now, it’s coming to Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis. It won’t appear on menus until late January, but will be available as an off-menu item until then.

Joe Minjares penned an emotional farewell to his neighbors, friends, and customers after Pepito’s closed its doors for good on Sunday. The letter was shared to the restaurant’s Facebook, where Minjares shared the story of Pepito’s in its early days his gratitude for the patronage over the years.

Culture

The 2018 Stillwater Ice Castles are set to open on January 5th // Photo by Corey Schestak, courtesy Ice Castles MN Facebook

The 2018 Stillwater Ice Castles are set to open on January 5th // Photo by Corey Schestak, courtesy Ice Castles MN Facebook

For those who can’t get enough of these bitterly cold conditions, the Stillwater Ice Castles are opening this Friday. The riverfront attraction has been forced to close early the past two years, as unseasonably warm temperatures have arrived to melt the structure.

Despite the frigid subzero temps (minus 13 degrees, to be exact), tradition took precedence as hundreds of people opted to dive into Lake Minnetonka on New Year’s Day for the annual ALARC Ice Dive.

The Kateri Residence, a Whittier transitional housing unit for Native American women with children, may be saved from closure by the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center. The residence announced that it would be forced to close in summer of 2018 due to lack of funding and rehabilitation resources. Since 1972, the house has provided shelter for mothers, who often came straight from reservations, and reunited them with their children.

California rang in the New Year with a highly-anticipated decision to fully legalize recreational marijuana. The state legalized use of medical marijuana two decades ago, and now joins a growing number of states who allow its sale for anyone over the age of 21. But because some cities, like Los Angeles and San Francisco, didn’t secure state permits in time to open on New Year’s Day, it may take awhile for many retail outlets to be up and running.

Holly Anderson, the Minnesota-born poet, former MCAD student, and frequent collaborator with punk band Mission of Burma, has passed away. Anderson had cancer as a result from the toxic fumes she consumed during her emergency aid work near the site of the 9/11 attacks.


The Mill is The Growler’s regular digest of all things new and notable in the world of food, drink, and culture. Stop back weekly for restaurant news, brewery rumors, and more. Have some news you want to share? Got some gossip to dish? Drop us a line at mill@growlermag.com.