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Band Box Back in Biz!

Plus housing woes in Dinkytown, a Rondo descendent gets a home, and a little bit of history in today's Flyover news roundup.

Band Box Diner, Facebook

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Welcome Back, Band Box

“Yep. For real.” That’s the message the Band Box Diner posted on Facebook this morning along with a photo of an “OPEN” sign. The historic Elliot Park burger-slinging joint, est. 1939, shut down along with most of the city in March 2020 and hadn’t reopened since. You couldn’t social-distance in the cozy 14-seat diner, after all, and co-owner Heather Ptacek was also being treated for breast cancer. But as Bring Me the News reports, the $26,000 raised through GoFundMe last fall has gone toward repairs and updates, and Ptacek and husband Brad seem ready to feed you once again. And it looks like the hours are now steady: From 9-3 on Wednesday through Friday, and Saturday from 9-2.

Another Reason to Miss the Dinkytown McDonald’s

You can’t live in a McDonald’s. Unfortunately, you also can’t live in Identity Dinkytown, the housing complex that’s still being constructed on the site of the beloved old U of M-adjacent fast food joint. Not yet, at least. And that’s a problem, because with the semester underway, students who’ve already paid rent to CA Management Services, the Chicago-based entity that owns and operates the unfinished Identity, are scrambling to find substitute housing. To offset the cost of alternate lodging, CA is offering a $150 gift card to renters, which is, what, two days in a hotel at best?

"The most common sentiment I hear in my office is the feeling of being deceived, and the feeling of feeling stuck or that they're being held captive," Shana Tomenes, staff attorney at the University of Minnesota Student Legal Service, told WCCO news. Tomenes says the landlord has told different students different possible move-in dates, and those kids are justifiably frustrated. If this is the sort of problem you anticipated when Dinkytown was handed over to big-money developers, including private equity real estate firms, well, Kelly Rogers at the Minnesota Daily agrees with you. Rogers offers a series of reasons for U students to reject the new "luxury" apartments that have sprung up, including maintenance issues and hidden fees, and a quick history lesson of how we get here. “If you’ve ever felt like your corporate landlord is detached or vampiric," she writes, "it’s because they probably are.”

St. Paul Inheritance Fund Celebrates First Home Purchase

It’s estimated that, when adjusted for inflation, 600+ families lost around $157 million in equity when they were pushed out of the historically Black Rondo neighborhood of St. Paul in the '50s and '60s to make way for I-94. That’s a loss that the Twin Cities community hasn’t bounced back from. In Minneapolis, for example, an APM study shows Black homeownership at less than 20%, while white homeownership is at 77%. The St. Paul Inheritance Fund hopes to increase Black homeownership, starting with the program’s first loan recipient, Anthony Bradford. If you make $87K or less and can prove you’re a Rondo descendent, you can receive up to $100K in forgivable loans, plus another $10K if you move back into the neighborhood. In Bradford’s case, his great-great grandfather, Dan Presley, moved to Rondo in 1921 after losing his business in the Tulsa Race Massacre. Thirty-some years later, he was forced out of his St. Paul home due to “urban renewal” programs. Now Bradford, 22, is living in the same area. “I know for a fact that he would want to review money with me and discipline with money, because Presleys for years have always been disciplined people,” he said when asked what his relative would think of him now. “We knew how to take care of ourselves and our own.”

This Day In Minneapolis History: Sept. 14, 1913

We're introducing a new Flyover series for slow news days, one that will help justify the annual fee we pay to access Star Tribune archives. Enjoy this poetic/terrifying headline/subhead combo from the front page Minneapolis Journal exactly 110 years ago:

You'll find the full story below. That location today? Apparently a vacant lot near Abbott Northwestern Hospital! And it seems cops were much less funded at the time, given the hasty ambulance pivot, though their crime-solving prowess seems about the same these days.

Awakened by a noise at her bedroom window, Miss Nellie Ryan, 2635 Twelfth avenue S, early today saw a man's feet dangling in the moonlight and a minute later saw the prowler turn the fastenings and attempt to remove the screens. She screamed and aroused her mother, Mrs. Mary Ryan, a widow, and her sister, Mrs. Mary Ryan. They ran to the window and their cries brought members of the family of James Ryan, who lives on the opposite side of the street, to their assistence.

Mrs. Ryan's house is being converted into a duplex and an extension ladder had been left standing against the front wall. The burglar swung himself under the ladder and his attempt to remove the screen on the second story window woke Miss Ryan.

The police were summoned and responded in the ambulance, the only vehicle available. They found tracks leading through the rest of the lot but no other trace of the intruder.

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