Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, contributed photos originally appeared in a Johnny Northside post.
Almost a year ago to the day, I published a post on Johnny Northside about the problematic Northside "Food" Market. (Food is in quotations here because as delicious as Flamin' Hot Cheetos are, they don't qualify as actual sustenance.) McKinley neighbors were dealing with cars that were constantly illegally parked, even more constant drug dealing, loitering, and an unlicensed rental unit. Well, after a year of clamoring, neighbors can proudly say that cars aren't parked illegally there. Oh, and the place appears to have a rental license for their 450-square foot postage stamp of a room upstairs.
The rampant drug dealing, loitering, and littering is still a fact of life at 36th and Lyndale though, and there's this annoying piece of sign spam that is high up and BOLTED on. It's thwarted every effort of mine to get it down, and remained so long that the black Sharpie writing has actually faded away. Still, I live twelve blocks from the place and I've made more effort to remove that blight than the business or property owners have.
So I can relate to my friends and neighbors in McKinley who've also made more of an effort to address the criminal element on the corner than anyone associated with the Northside "Food" Market. One neighbor noted...
...a green sign from the city posted on site, although he wasn't sure what it represented. He still sees 15-20 people regularly coming and not really going. Loitering, I believe, is the word he was looking for.
Last year the business was included on a list of proposed Healthy Corner Stores, and to me this list just seemed like a way to allow inconvenience stores to temporarily endear themselves to the neighborhood or the powers that be. As much as I wanted to see more healthy food options at corner stores, I just couldn't envision Northside Food Market as a place willing to make it happen. My skepticism has been borne out, as inspectors have recently found considerable health, safety, and livability compliance violations. Business licensing issued three citations. Environmental Health found six violations - three critical and three non-critical. The Fire Inspector's report hasn't been made available yet.
We already knew the Market wasn't big on the "food" part, and now it seems clear that "healthy" wasn't too high on their list of priorities either.
After everything northside residents have had to deal with at this inconvenience store, the city council still referred it back to the Regulatory, Energy, and Environment Committee. We're now on summer number four of the