The sign above Dur Dur Bakery & Grocery Store’s entrance prepares you for what is inside: halal meat including goat and camel, which to Somali nomads is everything: mode of transportation, food, and milk. Devoted Muslims typically consume halal meat, which means the animal is killed in a humane way and a dedication is recited. Located on 1552 E Lake Street, Dur Dur is only a few blocks from Midtown Global Market, where Somali Chef Jamal Hashi has his restaurant Safari Express. Prior to demonstrating how to cook Gedo Masala, a recipe he learned from his mother, he stops at Dur Dur to pick up spices as “This is where life is!” In ancient times, he says, “Somalia was known as the Cape of Spices…Immigrants don’t just bring burden, but they bring great stuff. Great ideas, food, you know, things that make us human.” E Lake Street’s abundance of choice is testimony to that premise. 

Landscapes of hope – 1552 E Lake St – Retail

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Art Deco lamps light up the interior in a 1920s photograph of Minnehaha Liquor store on Lake Street and Minnehaha Blvd, one of the city’s oldest liquor stores and one of the first to receive a liquor license. The store’s neon sign is a quintessential example of American retail attention-grabbers. It wasn’t until after WWII that Max Krause came to the US through Ellis Island, eventually settling in Minnesota. He bought Minnehaha Liquors in 1983 and in 1989 his son Steve Krause became the owner–a story that speaks to the American dream with a business serving the Minneapolis and Longfellow neighborhood for almost 100 years. Only two years ago, Steve’s son Jason joined the family business. Their motto is to “strive and make sure that each person who walks through our doors knows how much we value them and appreciate their business.” A gofundme account has been set to help employees after the store burned to the ground.

Landscapes of hope – 2613 E Lake St – Retail

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Positioning Minneapolis’ cosmopolitanism is Midtown Global Market, a “place of cultural exploration, culinary discovery and ethnic unification.” As an internationally-themed public market, it is home to over 50 vendors for restaurants, specialty produce and grocery items, and locally made crafts and goods. Opened in 2006, the market was the vision of local Latino business owners who convinced the City that the vacant Sears building could be reinvented as a place to jumpstart immigrant and minority entrepreurnship as well as reflect the city’s ethnic diversity, from African to Mexican, Hmong, Native American, Indian, and Arab. Today, over 1.5 million people visit the market every year. The 15-story tower above the market contains 350 condominiums and apartments along with a large corporate office. See gofundme for Pham’s Rice Bowl that was also helping deliver meals to healthcare workers.

Landscapes of hope – 920 E Lake St – Retail

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Wells Fargo Bank’s 2218 E Lake St building served area residents–15.6% of the population in the Longfellow neighborhood are foreign born–17.4% are Hispanic and 15.8% Black, many of whom are Somali immigrants who arrived to Minnesota in the 1980s to escape civil war. Banks are instrumental in helping new immigrants set roots in this country through establishing credit. They are also instrumental in jump-starting minority businesses and Wells Fargo is considered one’s first stop when it comes to big bank loans.

Landscapes of hope – 2218 E Lake St – Banks

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Kare 11

Midori’s Floating World Cafe has been voted among the best Japanese restaurants in the Twin Cities. For 17 years, the cozy restaurant on 2629 East Lake St has been serving Japanese staples such as agedashi tofu and grilled mackerel dinner bento box combo amidst a sea of bright-colored paper umbrellas hanging from the ceiling. Being in a block that was the center of looting and arson, the restaurant tables were used as ramparts built in front of a burned Arby’s and aspects of the interior, from the kitchen walls to the storage room and equipment are in need of repair. See this  gofundme to help with rebuilding. A Nagasaki native, Midori Mori-Flomer, the restaurant’s owner, is a reminder of humanity’s resilience.

Landscapes of hope – 2629 E Lake St – Restaurants

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Starr Automotive has been a stable on East Lake Street for over 25 years. A family-run business, Starr also boasts dedicated employees from South Minneapolis. Multiple gas stations and auto repair shops were destroyed around the Twin Cities, pointing to the need for designers to develop more effective fire-proofing measures.

Landscapes of hope – 4001 E Lake St – Retail

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

The Heart of the Beast Theater is a Lake Street landmark. Its annual Puppet and Mask Theatre MayDay Parade, Ceremony, and Festival have been vibrant examples of art as community building in the Twin Cities area for 45 years. It also hosts many of Pangea World Theater’s productions, a forum where difficult conversations that “illuminate the human condition” can happen.

Landscapes of hope – 1500 E Lake St – Theater

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Mercado Central is a thriving marketplace of 35 Latino businesses at the corner of Lake Street and Bloomington Avenue. There are over 9,000 Latino-owned businesses found in MN, bringing promise for a thriving economy to the state and beyond. At the Mercado, one can find everything from food to clothing, electronics and services such as law advice and insurance.

Landscapes of hope – 1515 E Lake St – Retail

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

Pointing to the city’s Scandinavian heritage, Ingebretsen’s has been a cultural institution of  Lake street for over 90 years. With a building that boasts a colorful exterior, it is not to be missed. The boards that covered the storefront provided the opportunity to solidify ties to the past and the movement for social justice with a quote from Martin Luther King.

Landscapes of hope – 1601 E Lake St – Retail

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni

East Lake Street is one of Minneapolis’ major arteries, a place that has recently become a haven for minority-owned businesses, particularly African and Latino immigrant entrepreneurs. Driving down Lake Street one can witness Mexican bakeries, Black barber shops, signs in Spanish and some of the city’s most beautiful murals. A blocked street prompts us to literally pause and ask “How do we move forward?” If we cannot take the main street, we have to take side streets to get to where we want to be.

Landscapes of hope – East Lake St – Streets

Twin Cities, Minnesota


Photo credit: Tasoulla Hadjiyanni