Insiders of #mymplsdt – Mpls.St.Paul Magazine

Meet Jeff + Leah Springer

Why We <3 Mpls:

We are active people, so we enjoy biking the many cycling paths, walking the lakes and along the riverfront, sledding, skating. While it’s a great place to raise a family, it’s still cosmopolitan. It’s not New York–big, but it’s still large enough to offer phenomenal arts, theater, dining, and entertainment options. Plus, we love the green spaces: from Stone Arch to Minnehaha and the dog park, and of course the Sculpture Garden.

What’s a Standout Memory of Your Time Here?

Taking the family to the holiday windows at the downtown Dayton’s. Jeff’s family always went to the farmers’ market for their Christmas tree. We continued that tradition with our kids, and now we do it for ourselves!

What Are You Most Looking Forward to this Summer?

Strolling Nicollet, summer evenings in Peavey Plaza, and tracing the riverfront with an ice cream cone in hand prior to catching a play at the Guthrie! Plus, the extension of beautiful public places, like the Midtown Greenway Linear Park, and nightlife and laughter at all hours (but especially evenings in the North Loop!).

What’s Your Favorite View of MPLS?

From the Guthrie’s extended observation deck to the falls and Stone Arch Bridge. When you drive through Theodore Wirth Park, there’s a golf hole lined up so that you see downtown Minneapolis at the end framed by trees above the fairway, at sunset, with the sun lighting up the buildings. It’s amazing!

Meet Gene Sanguma

About Me:

I’m the owner and creative director of Ties Lounge and Rooftop. I started a marketing company called Minneapolis Ties, where we ended up doing promotions for various bars in the city until one day we said, “Why don’t we just open a bar ourselves?” So here we are: owning a four-level bar and lounge right off of Nicollet!

Most Memorable Live Show:

The recent Dave Chappelle documentary (Live in Real Life) that he screened at Target Center. He came out to do some comedy, and then shared that the families of George Floyd and Philando Castile were there, so he brought out Usher and Justin Bieber for an hour-and-a-half performance—to the surprise of everyone!

Favorite Date Night Spot:

Fhima’s Minneapolis. The family that owns it are good friends of mine, so every chance I get, I go over there and throw some business their way. Their menu is constantly changing; it’s a new feel every time you go there.

Favorite Drink:

A Ties Mojito! All of our juices for our cocktails are freshly squeezed daily. We have a constant rotation of juicers hard at work in the downstairs level. It provides an elevated taste and experience for our customers. From what I’ve been hearing, our mojito is one of the best our customers have ever had!

Meet Dale Stark

About Me:

I work as the public relations manager for Hennepin Theatre Trust, and I live at The Nic on Fifth.

Why I <3 Mpls:

I’m right in the middle of everything. Just out my front door is the light rail, so if I need to go to the airport, I’m covered. The thing with living in the middle of everything is that the second I step outside, I feel like I’m already a part of the electricity that courses through the city. My commute is quite simple—my workplace is only a few blocks away, so I can just walk there via skyway or sidewalk. I probably get gas once a month!

Favorite Dish:

Breakfast for dinner is one of my all-time faves! There’s nothing like going to Nicollet Diner and getting three eggs over medium with toast and bacon at 7 pm.

Most Memorable Live Show

When we presented Hamilton for the first time a few years ago, there was such a charge in the air. People were excited about the show landing here, especially given that we had it for at least 5–6 weeks (most shows at Hennepin Theatre Trust are 1–2 weeks). We wouldn’t have booked Hamilton unless we knew we could draw that many people to the theaters. It was neat seeing all these people descend on Hennepin Theatre Trust knowing that when they leave that night, they have humble-bragging rights for a lifetime. They’re part of a special club in that Hamilton was not only good for their personal experience, it was a great thing for Minneapolis as a whole, and subsequently as it flowed out to the rest of the state. Not every theater gets to present Hamilton! We have a great theater community, we have First Ave, we have the Twins and the Lynx and the Vikings … downtown Minneapolis is truly a 24-hour cosmopolitan city.

Meet Ericka Jones

Favorite Burger:

It’s a toss-up between Parlour’s infamous burger and the one from Tullibee at Hewing Hotel.

Favorite Beverage:

Anything from Cobble Social House—and the mocktail at Hewing Hotel is to die for!

Most Memorable Show:

When Maggie Rogers performed at the Armory in 2019.

Favorite Date Night Spot: 

I like when the vibes are cozy and intimate! So I’d pick the bar area at Spoon and Stable or Parlour.

Everyday Hang:

The Nordic Minneapolis! [It’s a mixed-use building in the North Loop that houses office space, a food hall, a coffee shop, and outdoor recreation spaces.]

Meet Karin Lucas

About Me:

I have worked in downtown Minneapolis for most of my professional career. My husband and I moved here about five years ago—we moved from the Carlyle Condos to Phoenix on the River. We have two kids and four grandkids, and I currently work at SPS Commerce as the SVP/Chief Customer Success Officer.

Burger of Choice:

The cheeseburger from 112 Eatery.

Most Memorable Show:

Ingrid Michaelson at the Guthrie! We enjoy small music venues, and Minneapolis has plenty of them. The Holiday Show at Aster is always a blast and quite memorable.

Favorite Date Night Spot:

I can’t pick just one: Spoon and Stable, Bar La Grassa, All Saints, 112 Eatery, Tavola, and so many more!

Grocery Go-To:

Whole Foods and Lunds and Byerlys. Both are walkable and have great selections!

Day-Off Destination:

If we stay in the Cities, we enjoy exploring the parks throughout the city with our kids and grandkids—it usually includes a stop at Bellecour. Love the new playground by Owamni. Of course, what’s not to love about an afternoon at a Twins game?

Most Instagrammable Spot(s):

The Stone Arch Bridge, where else?! Great views of downtown and an ever-changing river. We also enjoy the views from the cantilever bridge at the Guthrie.

This article originally appeared in the June 2022 issue of Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Read more on downtown Minneapolis, 2022 summer-style, sponsored by the mpls downtown council, here.

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