Suddenly she said, “Hey that’s the original Hooters” and pointed to a mundane building by the side of the road.
“Huh,” I replied.
I’ll never forget that day. The original Hooters. (Since torn down, because progress.)
But you don’t have to go to Florida to be wowed. There are so many urchains right here in the Twin Cities.
Like did you know that Target stores are “local”? Yes, they are based here. The first Target is in Roseville. It’s gone now, but the site is still a Target store and I suppose that is has some sort of holy shrine-like quality for big-box aficionados.
|[The original bean counter.]|
So here’s a map of original chain locations from around the Twin Cities. (A store needed to have 4 or more locations to be considered a local chain, and I skipped grocery stores or gyms, because they’re quite boring.)
The general trend seems to be that pizza places migrate from the core city outward into the suburbs, while chain retail places travel in the opposite direction. Together they form a "cycle of chains" like the water cycle, whereby authenticity travels outward in exchange for cheap globalized commodities. It's like the food chain, except it's the chain chain.
Dunn Brothers - Grand Avenue, Saint Paul
Punch Pizza - Highland, Saint Paul
Best Buy - Roseville
Then and now, a crappy strip mall. (See also: this story on the Best Buy origins.)
Target - Roseville
Caribou - Edina
Pizza Luce - Downtown, Minneapolis
Leann Chin - Minnetonka
Where Minnesota's most greatest contribution to cuisine, the cream cheese wonton, was born. Probably didn't look like this back in the 80s.
Famous Dave's - Somewhere in Wisconsin
Somewhere in the woods there, burned down a while back.
Key's Café - South Saint Anthony, Saint Paul
Red's Savoy Pizza - East 7th Street, Saint Paul
Nothing compares. (See also: Red's Savoy as the rock of Gibraltar.)
Carbone's - Dayton's Bluff, Saint Paul
Zorbaz Mexican Pizza - Detroit Lakes
Not sure this sounds like a good idea.
Radisson - Downtown, Minneapolis
Since become a "Radisson Blu", which is the color blue with the 'e' removed.
Bibelot - Saint Anthony Park, Saint Paul
The alpha of Christmas kitsch. (See also: Sidewalk of the Week.)
Buca di Beppo - Downtown, Minneapolis
Super America - Lowertown, Saint Paul
Creative Kidstuff - Linden Hills, Minneapolis
Granite City - St. Cloud
Herberger's - Onakis
Because of course "Herberger's" comes from a tiny town.
I don't know what this is but apparently it's a thing. They're even coming to the Union Depot for some reason.