In Minneapolis, like any other major metropolitan city, there are neighborhoods that shine with success and others that fall a little short of that goal in varying degrees. The Uptown area of Minneapolis has long enjoyed its resurgence as a trendy place as a destination spot for local residents. The Wedge neighborhood, which saddles up to Uptown to the east, seemed to lag behind as the granola tinged area where hippies more than hipsters called home. National chains like Apple and Victoria’s Secret invaded uptown as the next progression of commerce began and forced out mom and pop shops turning uptown into more like a suburban experience. Meanwhile, uptown’s disheveled sister to the east started its transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan-like rebirth complete with no less than nine new businesses locating themselves along Lyndale Avenue between Franklin and Lake Street.
With this revival comes a shaking off of the old images a bedraggled Wedge are to the more trendier LoHi East moniker which the long forgotten historical name was Lowry Hill East. The rebranding effort was started by Carter Averbeck, owner of Omforme, a home decor boutique specializing in restyled vintage furnishings and modern design. Several other businesses such as Pharmacie, Proper & Prim, Showroom have joined in the rebranding effort. It certainly helps that new restaurants like World Street Kitchen and Heyday add to the hipster vibe appeal.
New luxury apartment complexes have also added fuel to the area helping foster small businesses as a new set of residents explore the neighborhood in search of cool place to shop and hang out in. As Averbeck puts it: “We’re trading our birkenstocks for tattoos.” LoHi East is fast becoming the arty, edgy area filled with what Uptown used to have but lost – which is a blessing for those who have long waited for the tide to turn. Apparently it has and in LoHi East, there seems to be no stopping the tide towards a revival of a beautiful kind.