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D’s Banh Mi is Finally Opening in the Ol’ Snack Shack!

Plus weed czar needed, the last days of video universe, and an existential threat to St. Anthony Falls in today's Flyover news roundup.

Instagram: @ds.banhmi

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

D's Banh Mi Comes to Life

Approximately one million years ago, mid-August 2022, we were first to deliver you news of D's Banh Mi, the Vietnamese restaurant taking over the ol' Dave's Popcorn/Milk Jam snack shack at 1848 E. 38th St. Over the past 10 months, several readers have requested updates and, today we've finally got one: D's just announced its soft opening for July 4. (H/T to Racket subscriber Calculon for spotting the Insta announcement.) What does this mean for you, the banh mi-starved south Minneapolitan? That residents of certain zip codes (55406, 55407, 55417) can begin ordering a limited menu of incredible-looking dishes for delivery: three different banh mi sandwiches, a lemongrass chicken vermicelli bowl, and two varieties of spring rolls.

What took so damn long? Extensive renovations to the 280-square-foot structure from 1951, including the installation of a full commercial kitchen. Hilda Tov, the owner of nearby Hilda's Hair Hut, told us as much last year. And she should know: The entrepreneur bought the place with her three sons who'll run it—Dyon, Dustin, and Dylan—the latter of whom has been a chef for over a decade. “We really wanted it in this part of the city," Tov told us, agreeing with our observation that south Minneapolis is a Vietnamese desert east of I-35W*. “If you’ve had banh mi elsewhere, you’ve not had this type of banh mi... for the vegan type of cooking we have here, diners will love it; it’ll be unlike anything else they’ve tried.” Once it's fully operational, D's will be a year-round destination unlike its seasonal snack shack predecessors. (*A commenter below rightly points out that the desert extends west of the freeway, too.)

Wanna Be Minnesota's First Pot Czar?

Wanna make six figs overseeing the bureaucracy around smoking fatties? Have we got the job for you: The just-posted opportunity to become Minnesota's first-ever Office of Cannabis Management Director. "The inaugural Director of the Office of Cannabis Management will have responsibility for building a new state agency from the ground up and play a key leadership role in establishing and regulating an emerging new cannabis market in Minnesota," reads the job application, noting that the position will report directly to Gov. Tim Walz, who'll also personally choose one lucky applicant.

Laid-back stoners might be daunted by the amount of work involved, including: "lead planning and policymaking; regulatory functions including compliance, enforcement, and licensure; social equity; tribal relations; legislative relations and operations management." But the pay—between $105,757-$151,505 annually—and generous state bennies sound pretty enticing. Applications are due by July 31, and we'd be remiss to pass on the lowest-hanging joke: No word on whether there's a freakin' drug test, man.

Last Call for Video Universe, the Sole VHS Shop in Town

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of old tech here at Racket, so we were super bummed when Scott Prost, owner of Robbinsdale's Video Universe, announced in January that he would be closing shop sometime this year. Welp, today is that day, according to the store’s Facebook page. “Your commitment to supporting local businesses and embracing the nostalgia of physical media has been truly heartwarming,” it states. Open since 1985, the store has weathered–and in some cases outlived!–a variety of shifts in media consumption over its nearly 40 years, and has even seen a resurgence of enthusiasm for VHS in recent years. Still, Netflix and other streaming services have made it increasingly hard to hustle hard copies of stuff. “Every time a new format comes about, you’re losing another percent of culture,” Troy Rachey, a VU employee since 1996, told us in 2021. The shop will stay open tonight until 7 p.m., with most vids for sale in the $3-$5 range (including DVDs). Whatever doesn’t get scooped up will most likely make its way to Amazon and eBay.

What if St. Anthony Falls Collapses?

“It’s invisible. It’s scary. It’s no one’s problem.” That’s how Peter Callaghan begins his story in MinnPost today on a menace to the future of the Mississippi River near downtown Minneapolis. Hooked? We were, and reading on we learned about the wall that the Army Corps of Engineers installed 150 years ago that helps keep St. Anthony Falls intact. Turns out nobody knows what condition that's in, and no one can agree on whose responsibility it is to maintain it. A group from the U is looking into the situation, though, so at least we'll soon have an idea about how much to panic. And if the wall fails? Well, the falls could collapse and the river would develop a new path, threatening anything on its banks, including bridges, while the water level could drop, endangering the regional water supply. Anyway, have a good weekend!

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