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The Ol’ Dave’s Popcorn/Milk Jam Snack Shack Is Becoming a Banh Mi Joint

Plus the Strib chooses hot-dog hater Don Samuels, Uptown goes to rooftop heaven, and downtown St. Paul is renting space for free in today's Flyover.

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

Delicious New Life for Ol' 38th Street Snack Shack

Exciting food news in south Minneapolis: The iconic snack shack at 1848 E. 38th St.—the longtime home to Dave’s Popcorn and short-lived home to Milk Jam’s satellite location—has a new owner and, apparently, a new concept. Eagle-eyed Racket reader @dat_briguy spotted the “COMING SOON” signage yesterday for D’s Banh Mi, which promises authentic Vietnamese sandwiches, vegan/veggie options, and “so much more.” Our official editorial position? Pumped! It's a Vietnamese food desert East of the freeway, and that's a damn shame. Back in June, Racket had the scoop that the brothers Wadi (Milkjam Creamery, World Street Kitchen) were pulling the plug after four summers in Powderhorn; they listed the 280-square-foot shop for $200,000. The buyer, according to county records, is Hilda Tov, the owner of nearby Hilda’s Hair Hut. We’ve reached out to Tov for deets on the forthcoming banh mi hut.

Strib Ed Board Stays Losing

The Star Tribune editorial board doesn’t like Ilhan Omar. In the 2020 primaries, the ed board even endorsed hopeless blank-slate challenger Anton Melton-Meaux over the incumbent 5th District congresswoman, only to withhold any endorsement in the general election vs. Republican Lacy Johnson and perennial sham candidate Mickey Moore. This year, they’ve finally got their made-to-order anti-Ilhan champion in Don Samuels, and their Samuels endorsement touts his longtime political and community involvement in north Minneapolis while ignoring what a polarizing and, well, eccentric figure he is. As for their Omar complaints? That she doesn’t play nice with the mayor (and so?), that she stood by the “defund the police” slogan, and that she took a stand on an issue (Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure package) when her vote wasn’t necessary, something reps do all the time. Also, there’s a weird “don’t forget the suburbs” paragraph. It’s hard not to suspect that this endorsement has as much to do with Omar’s unseemly lack of deference to establishment figures than actual policy differences. Anyway, it’s a predictable and disappointing move: You’d hope the folks who endorsed/shamefully un-endorsed wannabe council member Moore last fall would at least go hog wild and pick "anti-globalist" fringe candidate Royce White. Anyway, endorsements are just further reminders that rich people don’t buy newspapers because they love journalism.

Uptown Offers Fancy Fair Foods in the Sky

How many times a day do you look up at a building and say, “If only I could eat fried cheese and drink specialty cocktails atop that structure?” A lot, right? With that in mind, people are probably going to freak out over the opening of Arts + Rec Uptown, a new rooftop bar and patio located on top of Seven Points at Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street. According to a press release sent out this morning, the eats up at this sky bar will feature “elevated fair food like the Dorito-crusted cod, fried pickles, and [a] breakfast waffle dog.” Mmmm, Dorito fish. The menu is helmed by Brandon Randolph, who has had stints at trendy spots such as Solera, Heartland, and The Bachelor Farmer. Meanwhile, the drinkin’ menu will offer “low-proof and non-alcoholic beverages, boozy popsicles, and even mini-keg cocktails served tableside.” This big roof business—the space seats up to 95—will open this Friday, August 5, in the middle of Uptown Art Fair madness. Bring sunscreen! 

You Can Open a St. Paul Store Rent-Free

Renting a brick-and-mortar space can be cost-prohibitive if you’re a fledgling business. Meanwhile, downtown St. Paul has a bunch of commercial space to fill since losing about 10% of its tenants since 2020. The St. Paul Downtown Alliance is working towards a different kind of fix, by teaming with building owners to offer short-term rent-free leases for entrepreneurs who may be ready to try in-person business, but not be weighed down by a full lease. Right now there are 10 spaces available for short-term events, pop-ups, or other ideas. Two openings have already been filled; economic think-tank 2043 SBC is headed to the Treasure Island Center, while Fashion Week star Ramadhan Design is headed to Wells Fargo Place. “I’ll be doing prep work from the studio,” designer Rammy Mohamed tells the Pioneer Press. “My dream is to start manufacturing clothes for Minnesotans in Minnesota.”

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