Thursday, April 22, 2010

Problems at Northside Food Market, 3559 Lyndale Ave N

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Contributed photos.

Every once in a while the Hawthorne Hawkman needs to spread his wings and visit/blog about another neighborhood. Today I was contacted about problems at the Northside Food Market at 3559 Lyndale Ave N in the McKinley neighborhood. (At this time, the city website link is not working. I will add a live link to the property information when the web site is functional again.

The tenants (yes, there is at least one apartment unit above the store) and patrons are causing myriad problems for the residents nearby. It looks like we may have a new "inconvenience store." Among other things, residents have to put up with... blocking traffic by parking in the alley, cars parking on vacant lots, litter, and loitering.

The issue was brought to bear at CM Hofstede's 3rd Ward CARE Committee meeting, and residents found out several other things. They knew the tenants upstairs were being rented to without a license. The owner was told to apply for a rental license and that application was denied. The owner still did not come into compliance and has continued to rent to these problem tenants. This has resulted in at least $1,500 in fines, and the building must be vacated of renters by 5/7/2010.

The loitering, littering, and traffic blocking also migrates over to 3600 Aldrich Ave N, where residents suspect illegal car repairs of going on.

And do you know what else I saw when I drove by today? SIGN SPAM. I'm on it.


McKinley Resident said...

This issue has been brought to the attention of every agency known possible to ordinary citizens. 311, 911, McKinley Community Organizer and Councilwoman Hofstede. This property has had its 9 is time for action. We are TIRED of hearing that the problem has been is time for action. I want to drive in my alley without having to dodge cars and people. It is not too much to ask. McKinley neighbors unite and call everyone to report this nuisance.

Johnny Northside! said...

Use this blog to post info on this comment stream. It will appear on the "current comments" function. Even if blog posts don't get up quickly about this issue--who can keep up with everything in NoMi?--we can have the discussion here.

Hom-ey in NO-MI said...

Great post JNS and also wonderful news about the May 7th departure. Having worked in the field of real estate, property management and evictions I do want to MAKE SURE these folks are OUT on that day and we as the tax payers don't spend another 2 months during the eviction process! Who is going to be there to facilitate and inspect on May 7th if this does not happen? Is the owner aware of this situation? I will make the VERY short walk down the my alley to make sure this happens!

Patrick said...

This store obviously needs to be shut down. Thanks JNS for bringing it to our attention.

MeganG. said...

This store isn't a new inconvenience store, sadly it's been a problem and a drag for years. I know of one woman who almost lost her life there. She lived in the area and NEVER shopped there. One random evening, on her way home and desperate for something, she stopped and shopped first time ever. On her way out back to the car and pack of thugs attacked her and beat her almost fatally. She nearly died.

She recovered and moved out of the northside. She is doing well now and is the happy mother of several children. Thank the Lord.

These hood stores have no place here. Zero. There is a definite business model and it just doesn't work. I don't care what you say about limited means folks needing milk and bread (ha! yeah right!) But I say limited means folks need SAFETY and PRIDE in their surroundings more than they need a semi-close place to walk, buy their tobacco, buy their drug paraphernalia, buy junk food, soda and chips.

Especially the poor people deserve a cleaner, safer, decent environment to live in. That way they have a more solid foundation to step upon their daily lives. So save the tired out arguments in favor of the hood 'inconvenience stores.'

Anonymous said...

Megan you are a self rightous elitist snob. Poor people don't need milk? You really believe that?

I think it makes more sense for you self rightous do-gooders to come up with a list of businesses that shouldn't be shut down instead of trying to name all the businesses that should be shut down.

It is quite obvious that there are very few businesses which you think should be allowed to operate.

Eyes Hurting, Tired of Ugly said...

Northside+Neighborhood "Convenience Store"+Primary Color Paint Job= BAD.

These guys hired a two year old to paint their store.
Same with:
the former "Uncle Bill's"
Pennwood Market

The world is not a box of 8 crayons. Their approach to esthetics is indicative of their ability to run a business in a manner that brings true benefit to the northside.

Anonymous said...

Great post Megan.

We need to talk to Councilmember Samuals about getting a NoMi wide minimum wage. That way we would only have nice businesses up here and not all of these da*n inconvenience stores.

Johnny Northside! said...

I really don't see where Megan said anything about poor people not needing milk.

These thug stores are a disservice to people of all economic classes. Shop at Cub, shop at So-Low, shop anywhere but a thug store.

Anonymous said...

The city of Minneapolis has a program to deal with corner stores.

Here is one program addressing the need to provide healthy food at corner stores.

Johnny Northside said...

One comment removed due to sexual vulgarities.

MeganG. said...

@Anon 1102am - As John already pointed out I never said poor people don't need milk. I said they need a safe decent place to buy their milk.

I said the tired old argument that these inconvenience stores provide a close place for limited means people to buy their grocery staples is a bull sh*t argument and I'm calling the b.s.

The only thing these stores are for is thugs to gather, buy their blunts and cigarettes, a new doo-rag and other folks to buy junk food such as chips, soda, honey buns, fruit punch oh, and let's not forget the flamin' hot cheetos.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all about a new doo-rag, just purchase it from a safe, decent, reasonably priced store. Thanks.

Jeff Skrenes said...


Are you dissin' FLAMING HOT CHEETOS?! Those things are AWESOME. Now we have a fundamental disagreement.

On a serious note, I remember a neighborhood convenience store across from where I lived in St. Paul a few years back. This place was overpriced, but well-run. The way I saw it, I paid extra for the convenience of not having to run to Cub every single time I needed something, especially at times when I had no car.

This store even had huge signs declaring their acceptance of WIC, EBT, and other assistance. But the owners didn't take shit from ANYONE. The point being, you can have these kinds of stores in the middle of neighborhoods and they can be a tremendous community asset if they're run well.

This place, like so many others in NoMi, however, is not run well.

McKinley Resident said...

Having lived very near this store for two years, I have seen times when the owners have been very firm with "less than desirable" customers. They didn't take any crap and ran their business. I will agree that the service they are providing is not helping folks out, especially those of limited means. If you are on a budget, you best buy your milk at So-Low or Aldi. And selling chips, pastries and junk does no one good. The problems have clearly stemmed from this rental above the store. There is a McKinley Crime and Safety Meeting on Monday night at 6:30 in the Center for Families Building at 3333 North 4th Street. Special guests include Ahmed, Northside Food Market Manager and Mahmood Khan, property owner in North. Do you think they will actually show?

geektopia's keeper said...

The corner bodega is an integral part of the community in most cities that I have lived in or visited. From as small as Des Moines Iowa to NYC and San Francisco, I have utilized my local shop. Not in North Minneapolis, I don't patronize the local corner stores here. They are ill run, owners and management do nothing to improve the areas around there stores, and by ignoring what is happening outside on their doorsteps, they are encouraging the continual impact that the loitering, drug dealing thugs have on the neighborhoods. I wish I had a corner market like the one I shopped at on the southside at Chicago and 32nd or like the one in the Mission in San Francisco that I would go to get juice and bread every morning. No thugs there...I was not accosted at these places, I did not have to go through a gauntlet of dealers looking at me wondering if I was there to buy or just a hassle. Don't tell me that there are not poor limited people living at Chicago Lake or in the Mission District in San Francisco or in the Jamaican Quarter in Brooklyn, New York. None of these places are yuppie, palatial neighborhoods. Other cities do not put up with these business why should we?

Amy Jeanie said...

When you're done with that thug store, please keep moving west and deal with the one on 36th and Fremont!!!

Eloise said...


It is evident from your posts that you are not disabled and that you have a car. For you, I am sure your life would not change if these convenience stores were shut down because you'd still drive out to the Rainbow in Robbinsdale.

For me, life is not that easy. I am disabled and don't have a car. If I want to take a trip to the grocery store it is a great burden that can take up my whole day and I need other people to inconvienence themselves to help me. I don't like burdening other people like this.

I can comfortably ask a neighbor to bring me some milk from a near by store that sells milk and, god forbid, articles of clothing popular among African American people like "do rags".

I don't expect you to care, because it is obvious that you and many people like you don't care about the disabled much because of the disrespect that the Americans with Disabilities Act is treated with and your cavalier attitude about shutting down other people's businesses that don't conform to your ideal. But, I hope there are other people who might be on the fence on this issue, who can at least appreciate that there are some members of the NoMi community who rely on these stores.

Anonymous said...

Stores in NoMi that are shut down go through a years' long process of meetings with police, regulatory agencies, and others. They are not shut down the first time a gum wrapper falls on the sidewalk.

The city works diligently and spends a lot of manhours (and taxpayer money) working with the store owners to try to get them to be proactive about crime issues, loitering, etc. Wafina's was a nightmare for years, as the police department and city regulatory agencies worked to try to get the owners to adopt a business model discouraging loitering and drug dealing, among other problems.

To those who are resentful of these stores being being threatened or actually shut down, direct your complaints to the store owners, not the long-suffering residents who must live with the conditions surrounding these stores or the city staff and police who are constantly cleaning up one problem or another.

Anonymous said...

Lets look at the real issue here. How does the glass at the front of the store look? Is it nice or more like Butt Glass. I don't care what goes on in a store or what they offer as long as they have clean windows.

McKinley Resident said...

To Eloise:

The store at 36th and Lyndale is not even handicap accessible. The only entry into the store is by steps. Is that the convenience you are looking for?

I would love for this store to offer me a safe place to purchase daily items at a fair price. I can't stand going to a big box store (Cub or Rainbow) when I only need one or two items. And I would be happy to support a local business with my dollars if I felt that they were in the business of supporting the community.
I was grilling one afternoon and needed aluminum foil for some potatos I was cooking only to realize I had forgot to purchase some at Cub. Frustrated and not wanting to drive all the way back to Cub, I headed to the corner store at 36th and Lyndale. I found my aluminum foil packaged in a box from about 1992 that was the smallest possible roll of foil they make. And it was $5. The reason these items are on the shelf, collecting dust, for years is that no one can afford them. Because I was too lazy to drive to Cub, I sucked it up and paid the $5.

In an area that is economically depressed as North Minneapolis, is this a convenience store? The business model is to buy up products from other stores (Cub, Aldi, Rainbow) and mark them up to sell as convenience items to people who have no means of transportation. So, do you still think this is a benefit to our community?

Anonymous said...

In regards to MeganG's story of the lady beaten and robbed, this is why corner stores aren't safe here. At night sometimes you'll see a dozen or so teenagers eating candy but more or less just standing around inside. They case customers coming in, waiting for the loner, lady, or old person that might make a good target, then follow them out. This happened to me a while back, and when I called the cops they first scolded me for shopping at a corner store at 9:30pm. When I told them I lived a few blocks away they asked why I, a young white guy who didn't grow up here, would live in north mpls. "Cheapest rent ever." The officer told me that I must be either an alcoholic or drug addict to want to live here but whatever the case, I should get my act together and move because a young white guy who's not from here has no business in north mpls. The officer clearly saw me as wasting their time with petty reports. I've never called the 4th precienct for anything since, but I also don't shop alone either.

Patrick said...

400 PM,

There's obviously way too much due process that goes into the decision of whether to shut down a store. We need much more of a summary proceeding if we are going to have any success revitalizing NoMi. These inconvenience stores are a huge obstacle to our efforts.

Johnny Northside! said...

I got the following message about a month ago through Facebook, just thought I'd post it and make it part of the discussion.
3559 Lyndale Ave N --Northside Food Market AKA Crappy corner store.

Hey guys,

I know there was a blog post that was done last year by JNS about the obvious drug dealing and crappy 466 sq ft 1 bdrm rental above this store. There is supposed to be a vote by the city council on their license but it keeps being held. Me and several of our neighbors have emailed all council members in hopes to get some answers. Everyone says they are "working on it" but I fear we are going on Summer 4 of the "Crappy Corner Store"

Today I noticed a green sticker on the door of the rental unit. Not sure if its water/sewer, unlawful entry etc..not sure. In either case there are STILL 15-20 people coming and going from this piece of crap store. If there is a story here I would love to see it brought back to life. The more the council sees folks pissed off about it the more I feel we can take steps to get rid of it. If there is any other information you would like from me I would be happy to provide.


NoMi Passenger said...

Post tornado - this store is condemned (or whatever the business wording is) by the city and there is to be NO business being done from the store. Residents were told if the store is open or doing business, call 9-1-1.

Johnny Northside! said...

Valuable info, indeed.

Many thanks, NoMi Passenger.