Business

Coverage of businesses originating in and/or catering to the MN geek community, including but not limited to gaming companies, publishers, stores, favorite geek hangouts, start-ups with cool ideas, and Kickstarters worth noting.

Can Can Wonderland Is the Twin Cities’ New Venue to Amaze and Inspire

Can Can Wonderland has been open for less than two months, and already the place is packed on a Sunday morning. When I arrive at 11:00 a.m. to meet with Jennifer Pennington, Can Can’s cofounder and CEO, the coat rack in the hallway is full of coats of all sizes. We grab a seat next to the main bar (as opposed to the “wee” bar), right near the entrance. The venue specializes in artistry of all forms, and the drinks are...

Sekai Project and the Rise of the Visual Novel’s Western Audience

Although not especially well known outside the fandom community, the visual novel is a popular genre of video game among anime fans (not to be confused with the similarly named graphic novel). These games, produced in Japan, consist of narrative prose accompanied by pretty pictures in the familiar aesthetic found in anime and manga, and they play somewhat like a Choose Your Own Adventure book but with a longer story, the player making periodic choices that influence the direction the narrative...

Byte Brings Geekery and Social Justice to Downtown Minneapolis

In the food-service industry, it’s well known that you can have either a job you enjoy or a job that pays well—almost never both. But a new geeky restaurant seeks to change that dilemma and make restaurant work a practical and realistic career choice for folks in the Twin Cities. Byte, open March 1 in Minneapolis’s Warehouse District, is the brainchild of longtime chefs Travis Shaw and Mark Lowman and combines three core themes: geek culture, social justice, and...

Bingley’s Is the Twin Cities’ Best-Kept Secret for Tea Lovers

There’s an unexpectedly special place hiding in an unassuming gray brick building at the corner of 24th and Stevens in Minneapolis’s Whittier neighborhood. There’s no sign to tell you it’s there, but if you venture up to the second floor on certain afternoons of the week and walk through a door just off the lobby area, you’ll find yourself in the tasting studio of Bingley’s Teas Limited. Most likely, you’ll be greeted by a woman standing at an ornate wooden...

Clockwerks, Minneapolis’s Steampunk Brewery, Opens for Business

The Twin Cities have no shortage of breweries—we are lucky enough to live in a city where it seems as if a new brewery or taproom opens around the corner every day. But when I learned that one of these new openings involved a steampunk-themed brewery, I needed to know more. The cofounders and co-owners of Clockwerks Brewing, Brett Michlitsch and Lonnie Manresa, were kind enough to sit down with me to answer my questions, tell me their origin...

The MN Bookstore Guide to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday 2016

The biggest shopping day of the year is almost here. You can find some great deals on Black Friday, and that goes for books as well—but it’s the day after that when book lovers and the people buying gifts for them will find the best bargains. Independent bookstores have run with Small Business Saturday over the last few years as a shop-local alternative to Black Friday, with one of the big draws being author Sherman Alexie’s Indies First campaign...

Paisley Park Opens Its Doors to Minnesota’s Prince Fans

This is what it’s like in the Dream Factory, oh! After a false start early last month, Paisley Park has officially opened its doors to the public, celebrating the life of Minnesotan legend Prince. It’s a one-of-a-kind tour that lets you see some of the spaces where the artist worked, created, and relaxed, and if you’re a longtime reader of this site, you know how big a fan I am of the music he created throughout his life, so...

Trigger King Xcaliber Adjustable Triggers: A Great MN Idea with a Fatal Design Flaw

Being an avid gamer, I’m always looking for ways to enhance my gaming experiences and improve upon my skills. I’m not one to shy away from trying something new in the hopes of finding my own personal gaming nirvana. So, naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to try the Xcaliber PS4 Adjustable Triggers by Minnesota accessory company Trigger King. Let’s start off with the package and contents. The Xcaliber trigger set comes equipped with two adjustable triggers, a precision...

The Gaming Goat’s Got the Goods

Imagine going to college, plotting your course in life, and setting down the river to find what lies ahead for you. Now imagine that shortly down the river, you come to a fork—not a large one, just small enough to paddle into. There is no telling just how big that stream can become, where it leads, or how rough the waters are. Now imagine you had the courage to take that path anyway. That is exactly what Andy Sherrill...

Minneapolis’s Milkweed Books Wants to Be Weird in the Best Way Possible

Minneapolis is getting a new bookstore—with a bit of a twist. Milkweed Editions, the local indie publisher that’s been creating books for almost 40 years, is opening a cozy shop in the Open Book building, home to Milkweed’s own editorial offices (as well as the Loft Literary Center and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, among other things). Alongside its own books, which will be in the minority when it comes to the store’s inventory, it will stock a unique...
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