Exploring Lake Street

Posted: January 27, 2012

Take a stroll down Lake Street

Meara Cummings, Talon staff writer

Even though it’s right around the corner, for most Minnehaha students their knowledge of Lake Street stops around 44th Ave. We all know about the Dairy Queen and the Super America from our after school snack runs, but not much about the businesses further west. Who knew you could find a place to clean your letter jacket, pick up art supplies, get your bike fixed or even eat some cactus strips all within about a one-mile radius of our school?

In 1885 Lake Street was just a country road leading to Lake Calhoun with only a few scattered houses along the way. Fast-forward to 1905 when the Selby-Lake interurban line, which many Minnehaha students would soon ride to get to school, had just been completed and marked the beginning of development on Lake Street. That development brings us to 2012 where Lake Street is bustling with busy shops and attractions. Throughout the years, Lake Street has always had an important place in Minneapolis history. Since the Minnehaha community is so closely connected with Lake Street, it’s surprising that most students don’t usually venture past 44th Ave. to explore the variety of interesting places to visit. So before you drive to the mall, check out some of the local options that Lake Street has to offer.

The Craftsman

4300 E. Lake Street, right next to Super America

The Craftsman serves New American Cuisine and uses organic ingredients that change with the season, supplied mostly by local producers and growers. The food is exceptional as well as the atmosphere, which compliments the natural vibe with many windows around the restaurant as well as a beautiful patio open during the summer. They serve dinner all week, and offer an impressive Sunday brunch that includes dishes such as the fried egg sandwich (with bacon, cheddar cheese, micro greens and aioli on grilled toast) and my personal favorite dish, the quiche (ingredients change with the season). The entrees are a little on the expensive side but it’s worth it for the organic, locally grown ingredients.

Northwest Graphic Supply Co.

4200 E. Lake Street 

If you’re looking for professional grade art supplies, why look any further than 42nd and Lake Street? While specializing in supply of local screen printers, Northwest Graphic Supply Co. also offers a wide variety of high-quality art supplies such as brushes, paint and canvases, always 50 percent off. They have good prices on high-end supplies and have been in business for 50 years. So next time you’re in need of paint for art class or just for fun, consider checking out the selection at Northwest Graphic Supply Co.

The Hub Bicycle Co-op

3020 Minnnehaha Avenue

Venturing down towards 27th and Lake, you will find a bustling business community including the Hub Bicycle Co-op, the Twin City’s only cooperatively owned bike shop. Here you’ll find a huge selection of new and used high performance bikes, a full repair shop, bike accessories, clothing and a knowledgeable staff. The Hub caters to the hardcore year-round cyclists, as well as the recreational weekend rider and is one of the reasons why Minneapolis was rated the most bike-friendly city in America by Bicycling magazine.

El Norteno Authentic Mexican

4000 E. Lake Street

Established in 1996, this family owned and operated authentic Mexican restaurant offers casual dining with a cozy atmosphere. The small deli in the front offers some Mexican specialty items such as tortillas and tamales, and the attached restaurant will serve you a great entrée. With fresh ingredients and reasonable prices, El Norteno is a good place to go to get an authentic Mexican meal such as tacos, burritos, tamales, enchiladas and much more. Their chicken quesadilla is especially delicious and served with plenty of guacamole, shredded lettuce and sour cream. In the summer, they have a lovely back patio with many beautiful flowers open for dining.

Don’s Leather Cleaning Inc 

3713 E. Lake Street

Don’s Leather Cleaning has been in business for 40 years and can clean almost anything, from letter jackets to Ugg boots. Anything leather or suede can be cleaned at Don’s for a good price (Coats $49, handbags $69, shoes $39). They also do repairs on zippers, tears, lining and can shorten sleeves as well. Most students know those white sleeves on the Minnehaha letter jacket can get dirty pretty fast, and many girls know how bad winter weather is for Ugg boots, so a quick trip to Don’s Leather Cleaning could be a good idea to help maintain your leather and suede items.

27th and Lake

near Target

Also nearby you’ll find several ethnically diverse restaurants right around the corner. Midori’s Floating World Café offers sushi, tempura, noodles and other Asian cuisine. El Nuevo Rodeo serves authentic Mexican food such as tacos and burritos as well as more unique dishes such as Mojarra A La Diabla Con Nopales (Whole fried tilapia with spicy chili de arbor sauce and cactus strips). T’s Place offers authentic Ethiopian-Asian cuisine, with a variety of entrees such as T’s Chicken Curry and Ethos Asian Fried Rice. So whatever type of food you’re craving, 27th and Lake is a good place to start.

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