Commission blocks plans that would raze Dinkytown restaurants

Categories: News

mesa-za-560-jc.jpg
Via James Cadwell on Flickr
What will become of Mesa Pizza?
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Heritage Preservation Commission voted against Kelly Doran's bid to build a six-story boutique hotel on Fourth St. in Dinkytown. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Doran had approached the Commission seeking approval for his plan to raze the businesses. The final decision will likely fall to City Council.

If Doran's plan goes through, Mesa Pizza by the Slice, Publika Tea and Coffee Union, and Camdi Vietnamese restaurant, as well as the University LifeCare Center and Dinkytown Tattoo will be demolished to make room for the hotel, which will span from 13th to 14th Avenue. According to a Star Tribune article from Tuesday, neither the buildings nor Dinkytown itself are considered historic, but neighbors are vying for protection against the demolition. Supporters of the demolition believe that people are more important than the buildings in terms of preserving history, the article added.

See also:
100 Favorite Dishes: No. 86, Mesa Pizza's macaroni and cheese pizza

Mesa Pizza by the Slice sits just a few blocks from the University of Minnesota and, as its website states, it "has become a staple of the average University of Minnesota student's diet." Mesa sells over 50 different types of pizza, ranging from macaroni and cheese pizza to southwest taco.

Nato Coles, a manager at Mesa, said the pizza shop is ready for any outcome. "Naturally whenever a business is beloved by people in the neighborhood as well as the people who work here, when we hear that something's gonna happen to it, everyone's a little bit nervous," he said.

According to Coles, Mesa is a "neighborhood institution" that loves and is loved back by the community.

"I think that the small positives would be outweighed by the nature of Dinkytown's heart being chipped away at by a kind of development that doesn't nurture the small shop community vibe," he said. "There's other places for a hotel, there's no other place for Dinkytown."

Elyse Poshard, a shift manager at Publika Tea and Coffee Union, said that recent development has completely changed Dinkytown's aesthetic. She said that in the past, she enjoyed visiting Dinkytown outside of work, but things have changed since construction started.

"I have no desire to come into Dinkytown now that all the buildings are being replaced by apartments," she said.

But Poshard, like many others, has one primary concern.

"I'm just scared I'm gonna lose my job," she said.

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Location Info

Mesa Pizza

1323 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant


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20 comments
Keith Morris
Keith Morris

I'm fine with the other development filling in a big parking lot and a store that went out of business regardless, but tearing down an already dense collection of staples like Camdi, Mesa, etc? No.

Woody McBride
Woody McBride

Camdi has the best hot n spicy lemongrass chicken dish in the Midwest

Charles Saeger
Charles Saeger

Yeah, there's nothing a college student needs more than some asshole's bloated hotel.

rasputin1
rasputin1

Camdi? Or some garish hotel? Not a hard choice. Who the fuck wants his hotel, anyways?

alsdkfj
alsdkfj

Who owns the buildings? Why does the city council need/get to weigh in? This is dumb. Maybe I will start my own asinine group going to save all my favorite businesses or preserve an aesthetic I like against someone else's will.

Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

I can't believe that some committee would hold up urban development for a couple of 'restaurant joints'.   Like Mesa pizza is a national treasure.

Laughable.  Dinkytown is nothing more than a bunch of worn out buildings that have no historic significance.  Times change.

I bet the Mpls City Council will approve of the development.

Thomas Zocher
Thomas Zocher

Kelly Doran will be disappointed. No kickbacks, Kelly....sorry.

aromanfaulkner
aromanfaulkner

A boutique hotel in DINKYTOWN? Ok...whatever you say, mr. developer.


Terrible idea.


I miss Mesa Pizza. 

Will Webster
Will Webster

Kind of like how all the creative people are leaving NYC because the attorneys and bankers have bought up all the real estate. Developments like this don't belong in Dinkytown!

Jeanne Griffin
Jeanne Griffin

Tell developers to spend their money on/in the Central neighborhood. It needs desperate help.

Christian Jensen
Christian Jensen

This sort of thing is a vicious cycle: people are attracted to a cool neighborhood; developers are drawn to this interest; they tear down and build, along the way ruining the thing(s) that made the area attractive in the first place; people are attracted to a different cool neighborhood...

Katie Berger Tremaine
Katie Berger Tremaine

Dinkytown is getting ruined by the ambitions of wealthy developers to turn Minneapolis into the next San Francisco (by which I mean "an overpriced, gentrified hellhole built on the bones of an artistic, eclectic past").

Amber Rae
Amber Rae

Agreed! ....ne is getting bad too!

jason.dorweiler
jason.dorweiler topcommenter

I'm sure that there are other locations for the 'times a changin' buddy

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