Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Broadway Pizza Needs

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman

When I get together with friends from across NoMi and we solve all the neighborhood's world's problems, one topic seems to come up with increasing frequency: what would make us patronize area businesses? More to the point, since this conversation is probably ALREADY happening at Good Sports, Broadway Pizza, or Donny Dirk's, what would draw OTHER PEOPLE from outside NoMi?

And that brings us to what Broadway Pizza needs: an outdoor patio. My goodness, look at the view! Today was such a gorgeous day, who WOULDN'T want to eat outside, looking at the Minneapolis skyline and the river?! The view at night is perhaps even more astounding, although harder to capture in a photograph. While I'm daydreaming, it would also be cool to light up the Broadway Avenue bridge like we do with 35W.

What bothers me here isn't just the fact that we're missing out on something amazing. The person who brought this to my attention has spoken with Broadway management about this very issue. He was told that they don't have an outdoor patio on this spot because they're worried about drive-by shootings. Really?

I can understand that concern back when Johnny A's and Stand Up Frank's were your two neighboring establishments. But there's really no excuse now. And the fear that nothing good can happen because things were rough before is something that really holds our neighborhood back.

I like Broadway Pizza a lot, and not just because of their great political campaign victory parties. So I'm not looking to publicly shame them in any way. But people should call or stop by and tell the management what a great addition to NoMi this would be. Most importantly, tell them how much more often you'd come by or recommend the place to your friends. Let's make it clear to Broadway Pizza that the outdoor patio would be a financial boon. And by next summer we'll have the best restaurant view in all of Minneapolis.


  1. http://www.startribune.com/science/101413729.html?page=1&c=y

  2. Anon 9:39, I approved your comment because the link contained in it is rather interesting, especially in light of all the negativity out there on other blogs that shall not be named.

    However, in the future, my preference is for comments to at least have some relation to the post in question.

  3. I'm not sure I agree with you on this one. The parking lot gets really full over there. If you gouge that for a patio it will be like trying to park at Psycho Suzie's, except there's no nearby street parking. Maybe I'm missing something?

  4. I.I may have a valid point in a way, but the Bway Pizza parking lot is laid out really really poorly. If they were to put a patio off the building side that faces Bway and overlooks that big hill they have between them and Bway, they could have their architect redesign the large portion of remaining parking lot to fit more cars. Really they might only lose 10 or 12 spaces in the part that is between Bway and their building.

  5. Oh and P.S. perhaps a full looking parking lot will create that high-demand buzz, folks will drive by and think "oh wow, a lot of people are there, must be something special, we'll have to go there, too"

  6. There is actually a fair amount of unused parking space area on the south side of the building, even when the lot seems full. Also, the lot is really not marked well at all. You could probably add a space or two just by laying down some easily visible lines.

    And I agree with the anonymous commenter that having a spot that's crowded will create buzz. I don't think we'd have to worry about what Yogi Berra once said, "This place is too crowded. That's why nobody comes here anymore."

  7. to ANON 9:31: A full looking parking lot? Their parking lot usually IS full it does not need to look full.

    This is a place that doesn't really need a patio. If a patio does go up, it would probably just be some tables and chairs on a little fenced off portion of the parking lot. I really don't want to see Broway traffic when I'm chowing on pizza. If it was something nicer then, yeah I might take advantage of it, but in these times why would a business pay out the nose to hire a designer and contractor for a patio that can only be used less than 6 months a year?

  8. You guys have got to be kidding me? Have you seen the size of the lot that Broadway Pizza sits upon? Or realize the size of the parking area behind the building? And there is virtually no one utilizing the onstreet parking along West River Road? They have AMPLE room for a patio. Not to mention one of the best views of the skyline and the river in the city. In the summer, my coworkers as a group frequently go out together and always base where they are going in the summer upon having a good patio. If Broadway Pizza had such a patio, they would get much of this type of summer business.


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