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Imagine Eat Street

September 29 @ 11:00 am 5:00 pm

Imagine Eat Street is a big, family-friendly block party hosted by Our Streets and Whittier Alliance that encourages neighborhood connection and community organization. This event is a fantastic way to experience artists, musicians, and local businesses from the neighborhood and imagine a better future together.

The section of Nicollet Avenue between Franklin Ave S and 29th Ave S, known as “Eat Street,” is known for known for packing a diverse array of restaurants into a few short blocks. Meet Minneapolis calls it “Minneapolis’s Grand Tour of International Food,” and with good reason! Authentic Bavarian, Vietnamese, Greek, Chinese, Thai, and Caribbean cuisines are just a few of the flavors that can be experienced on the “must-taste” corridor.

In the early 1970s, the City of Minneapolis made “the worst planning mistake in Minneapolis history” and razed the Lake and Nicollet commercial corner. Though planners envisioned the site being populated by a shopping mall, no investors expressed interest. A desperate Minneapolis City Council was approached by Kmart Corporation, who agreed to occupy the lot on the condition that they would be allowed to eradicate Nicollet Avenue between 29th Avenue and Lake Street, building a large surface parking lot to accompany their big box store.

The strange silver lining that emerged from the original Lake Street Kmart mistake is that by disconnecting Nicollet Ave from the regular street grid, the historically commercial street retained low traffic levels and escaped car-centric “improvements” by traffic engineers. By the 1980s, the smart entrepreneurship of dozens of small business owners earned Eat Street it’s name and reputation as an iconic Minneapolis corridor.

Now, City of Minneapolis planners have decided, once again, to make a decision that runs counter to the desires of residents and businesses in the neighborhood by reopening the Lake at Nicollet lot to car traffic, despite widespread enthusiasm about a car-free option.

At the Imagine Eat Street event, community members will have the opportunity to learn more about the future of the Lake at Nicollet site, and will also have the opportunity to envision future street designs that maintain the neighborhood-centric, low-traffic environment that made it possible for Eat Street to flourish, which could include a fully-pedestrianized Eat Street corridor.

Join us as we joyfully organize around the future of Eat Street.

2600 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404 United States