Tickets to the Minnesota State Fair’s food parade went on sale the last Friday of July and sold out immediately. The 19,000 vehicle tickets sold out within two-and-a-half hours, according to the Fair’s Twitter account. The popular attraction was canceled due to the coronavirus, and the parade, a mile-and-a-half drive-thru experience, had 16 food vendors participating. Scalpers posted tickets on Craigslist, with starting bids, ranging from $50 to $350. The original price was $20 for a carload of up to five. The parade ran for three weekends with designated time slots.


I am not a beer drinker and yet I am lamenting the news that The Growler, the local magazine celebrating the craft beer market, is another victim of the pandemic. I enjoyed the quality writing and innovative ways they looked at food and beverages in Minnesota, not to mention their enthusiasm while winning awards at the last Minnesota Media & Publishing Association’s award ceremony.  


In a report looking at the top 50 metro areas in the U.S., Square—a payment processing tool for online ordering—ranked Minneapolis fourth in the line-up of cities that have seen the largest percentage increase in new sellers moving online in response to the pandemic. Albuquerque, New Mexico, is first, followed by Durham, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; Minneapolis; and Richmond, Virginia. The study defined adoption by the percent increase in sellers who took their first payment using Square’s online store during the period, which included January, February, March and April of 2020. 


After a successful kickstarter campaign and a lot of sweat and tears, Yia Vang has finally found a home for his brick-and-mortar restaurant, named after the Thai refugee camp where he was born. Vinai will be opening in 2021 (hopefully a better year for restaurants) in the Bottineau neighborhood in Northeast Minneapolis. Chef Marshall Paulsen, formerly with The Birchwood Café, will lead operations for Vang. 

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