Growing Minneapolis (November): News and Information from the City of Minneapolis department of Community Planning and Economic Development

Growing Mpls 2

November 2021

Experience Owamni Restaurant

Owamnni restaurant

Owamni by The Sioux Chef located at 420 First St. South

The founder of The Sioux Chef and North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems (NATIFS), Sean Sherman and co-owner of The Sioux Chef and founder of NATIFS, Dana Thompson have been creating a ripple effect throughout the Minneapolis community and beyond for some time now. And they are not stopping. Their passion for revitalizing Native American cuisine and honoring and leveraging Indigenous wisdom is seen tangibly throughout their networks. Most recently, they have opened the restaurant, Owamni.

Owamni opened in July 2021 and serves as a vehicle to shine light on the beautiful Indigenous history. The name Owamni comes from a book called Where the Waters Gather and the Rivers Meet that Dana Thompson’s grandfather created with his best friend. There is a map showing all of the Dakota waterways throughout an atlas of the Eastern Sioux, and Owamni is on the map located near where the Haha Wakpa (Mississippi) meets the Minnesota river.

Make a reservation and experience the local flavors and Native American cuisine. Or just stop by for outdoor dining with no reservation needed (they have lots of space with heat lamps!). Enjoy the full experience and education of Indigenous ways, such as taking the time on your own to identify the plants and trees that grow around you and what their uses are for consuming and for health.

City Council Approves Right to Counsel Ordinance for Low-Income Renters Facing Eviction

The Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a right to counsel ordinance on October 8 that ensures legal support for low-income tenants facing eviction, a policy that will help disrupt the eviction cycles that push tenants into unsafe housing or out of housing altogether.

Renters with low incomes often lack legal representation, making it more challenging for them to avoid evictions. Evictions have a lasting impact on renters and make it more difficult for them to secure housing in the future. They also disproportionately impact members of our racially diverse communities. The ordinance establishes a goal of serving renters whose income is less than 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.

This ordinance builds on a growing body of work the City has advanced to address the challenges facing Minneapolis renters. Earlier this year, the City Council passed a fair notice ordinance to increase housing security and reduce the rate of evictions. It requires property owners to give renters notice at least 14 days before initiating eviction proceedings for non-payment of rent explaining the basis for the eviction action.

The City Council also approved the renter protections ordinance in 2019 that caps security deposits at a maximum of one month’s rent and provides property owners guidelines for screening potential renters. The City also has a Renter-First Housing Policy that affirms the City’s commitment to advancing renter protections and developing new tools to support affordability and stability in rental housing.

Learn more about the right to counsel ordinance.

Read common questions about the right to counsel ordinance.

Capri Theater Celebrates a Formal Reopening

Capri Theater (exterior)

Capri Theater reopening

The Capri Theater celebrated its formal reopening beginning on Sunday, October 3. After being closed for 2 years to complete a major expansion and remodeling, the Capri welcomed guests and dignitaries as it kicked off a week of activities. Built in 1927, the Capri is the last of 13 theaters that once graced the north side of Minneapolis. The City has worked with Capri staff over the past several years on the $12.5 million renovation and expansion that includes a 20,000 square foot addition to the theater complex, as well as significant improvements to the existing 250 seat theater. The City provided a $700,000 forgivable loan as a key part of the project’s funding. The new theater complex boasts a Best Buy Teen Tech Center, a new community space and a gallery to highlight the work of local artists.

Step Up End of Summer Celebration Video

Step Up End of Summer Celebration

This summer, 745 Step Up Interns and 628 Online Summer Learning Participants participated in the Step Up Program. Congratulations to these amazing individuals. Step Up has implemented meaningful, responsive work that uplifts us all. Thank you to the youth and Step Up Employers and Supervisors for their contributions this summer.
Watch the 2021 End of Summer Celebration video

 Neighborhood Embrace Public Artwork Celebration Recap

people smiling on bridge behind hands artwork

On Saturday October 29, the City celebrated the opening of Neighborhood Embrace, public artwork by Seitu Jones integrated into the 40th Street Pedestrian Bridge spanning Interstate I-35W. The event was emceed by Minneapolis Arts Commission Chair Joan Vordebruggen and featured comments by Seitu Jones, Council Vice President Andrea Jenkins and Mayor Jacob Frey. Thomasina Petrus, Thom West, Walter Chancellor and Daryl Boudreaux performed Jazz, and the event concluded with a formal bridge crossing by the Major Taylor Bicycling Club (Seitu Jones is a member).

The bridge artwork includes a railing design that references the house and trees that were originally displaced to construct the freeway, and bronze hands fabricated by the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center. The hands, which are installed on the four pillars at the east and west ends of the bridge are meant to connect and welcome residents from the neighborhoods on either side.

City Council Approves the Upper Harbor Coordinated Plan

The City Council approved the Upper Harbor Coordinated Plan. That action was one of the most significant milestones in the overall decades long process of the redevelopment of the Upper Harbor and the reconnection of the Mississippi River to community. The plan moves the City process into the implementation stage of the redevelopment of this former river barge terminal into an extension of the McKinley neighborhood. 

The plan is innovative because it not only sets out the “what” will occur with the development programs it also sets out the “who” will benefit with the plan centering on existing community. As a result, the City will continue to own the land but people and businesses of the North Side are now the overall and explicit guiding light of all future actions steps in this process. 

The 48-acre Upper Harbor redevelopment is divided into 10 parcels for parkland, public infrastructure, housing, production space, community supporting commercial space, a Community Hub, and a Community Preforming Arts Center (CPAC). The estimated $350 million development of the Upper Harbor will occur over many years in multiple phases with the expectation at the end to include: 

  • 5 acres of new parkland and river access 
  • 520 units of housing 
  • 45,000 square feet of commercial space 
  • A 7,000 to 10,000 person CPAC 
  • A health and wellness-oriented Community Hub
  • 160,000 to 180,000 square feet of production and makers space to support and estimated 300 living wage jobs
  • New parkway, bicycle and pedestrian trails and related infrastructure 


Mill City Farmers Winter Markets
Saturday, November 13 and 20 | 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Join an online discussion with African American Community Leaders about Sites of Consciousness for the Black Community
November 16, 2021 6:30 p.m. 

Listen and join the Q&A with panelists, Tracey Williams-Dillard (Owner and CEO of Minnesota Spokesman Recorder) and Angela Myers (NAACP President). In partnership with the City, Lange Johnson Development is conducting citywide community engagement for a future Minneapolis African American Historic and Cultural Context Study. Through community outreach, research and interviews, Lange Johnson Development are identifying, honoring and highlighting places and people across the city where African Americans have made spectacular contributions.

Learn more and join the discussion

SOAR: Women’s Virtual Business Conference
Wednesday, November 17 | 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

SOAR is a women’s virtual business conference. It is also a mindset, an action plan, and a community geared at supporting women business owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders in our region take steps to make incredible things happen. In its third year, the SOAR Conference will continue to be a fully online experience to learn and connect as we reflect on lessons learned from the past year, celebrate resiliency, and move forward together.

More Information

East Town Business Partnership November 18 Hybrid Business Forum
Thursday, November 18 | 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

The pandemic has delivered crushing blows to the hospitality industry. This forum will feature owners and operators discussing how the East Town district can more meaningfully advance restaurants, bars, and hotels alongside the recovery and re-animation efforts.

More Information

New/Expanding Businesses



Union Hmong Kitchen

In the News

Read in SW Voices

Minneapolis restaurants Owamni, Sooki & Mimi make New York Times' top restaurant list
Read in the Star Tribune

Minneapolis loan program helps business owners of color buy property in their communities
Read in the Star Tribune

Dayton’s Project Opens to the Public Nov. 18
Read in Twin Cities Business

In Minneapolis, a Thriving Center for Indigenous Art
Read in the New York Times

Black Business Spotlight: CaldToArt Studio
Read in Minnesota Spokesman Recorder

Black Business Spotlight: Wolfpack Promotionals
Read in the Minnesota Spokesman Recorder

About this Newsletter

Growing Minneapolis is published monthly by the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Department. If you have questions, please contact

For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats please call 311 at 612-673-3000.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000. TTY users can call 612-263-6850.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-673-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500.