E M I is the professional audio/visual equipment and musical instrument repair of the Twin Cities. However, if you're like me and you need something repaired right away, you'll have to pay upwards of thirty dollars for them to look at it (they add it to the front of their list). Perhaps this is why there is a two week delay?!
PROS: good service, knowledgable
CONS: 2-3 week pay if you want it done cheap
The first time I visited Willies, I was very skeptical. I had heard that world famous musicians often visited and were friends with the staff and luthiers. But upon walking in, this was a music store for the true professionals. If you're looking to go on tour, let Willie's set you up. The only downside was that they weren't taking guitars to be setup.
PROS: wide selection of fine equipment, knowledgable staff
CONS: long wait for certain items/service
Twin Town Guitar is nestled in the more "old-fashioned" (if you want to call it that) part of town. You can imagine what kind of store this is - sure there are plenty of instruments, amps, and accessories, but nothing here makes Twin Town stand above the rest. Prices are nothing great; in fact, the only thing consumers can find rest in is the fact that they take on consignment.
PROS: take consignment
CONS: price, small selection, nothing special here
Acadia is located in the college-portion of Minneapolis. Obviously it is the students from the University of Minnesota that keeps them in business. But when I met a friend at Acadia for a lunch meeting, I was surprised to see the baby boomer crowd eating up this cafe. Not only that, but my meal came late, and the employee threw in a free root beer!
PROS: live music, good food (get the root beer!)
CONS: a little dirty, not much to look at
Once being a native of Chicago, I found myself skeptical entering a pizza parlor that supposedly serves "Chicago-style" pizza. If you've ever eaten at Gino's or Giordano's, you know what I'm talking about. But after indulging myself in a bite or two of this custom treat, I might just substitute Old Chicago's for Gino's, at least at the moment.
PROS: Chicago-style pizza without the drive
CONS: sometimes long wait
Sometimes if I'm in a hurry I'll grab a bite at Leeann Chin's. Most of the time it's fresh, but if you get there late you'll end up eating food served under a warming light. Not only that, a single entree (with rice) will cost you over seven dollars. For the brave souls out there that are not afraid to spend a buck or two, Leeann might be the place for you. As for me, I'll bring my own lunch next time.
PROS: good food (sometimes)
CONS: price, warmed up food
Not as often as I like I treat myself to Panera Bread. Panera is a well-known staple, especially of college students. You can usually smell the fresh-baked bread a few blocks away. But don't let the name fool you, if there's anything made of bread, Panera can whip it up for you. My favorite: the chicken sandwich - it's no ordinary thing!
PROS: great selection, reasonably priced
Erberts & Gerberts can make a mean sandwich. Unlike those other sub places (sorry Jimmy John), Erberts & Gerberts doesn't load your sandwich with loads of oils and fats, but instead, homemade bread (made that day) and fresh veggies and meats. Their combo meals are great, and pretty reasonable in price.
PROS: good quality ingredients
CONS: a little pricey
The first time I played at the Minnesota Music Cafe I was excited to find out about all the famous acts that had played there, including legendary Minnesota native, Bob Dylan. However, the longer I was there, the more I noticed it was simply a bar with a stage and poorman's sound system. If you're looking to put back a few big ones with the buds, then maybe this is for you. As for me, I'm finding something else.
PROS: fine local talent
CONS: not more than a bar with guitar
Belonging to a sportsman family, I can't help but feel a certain attraction to a store like Gander Mountain. Right when you enter you can smell the scent of pure masculinity and outdoorsmen. I was able to find the right fishing apparel and gear (and tried out my new rod right there!). The staff is knowledgable and helpful.
PROS: could spend a whole day here
CONS: could spend a whole day here