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Quick Q+A: Tom Hoch For Minneapolis

The already pretty exciting race to become MPLS mayor became even more exciting this week when former Hennepin Theater Trust CEO Tom Hoch officially added his name the list of high profile mayoral candidates that includes current Mayor Betsy Hodges, former MPLS NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds, and City Council Member and running enthusiast Jacob Frey.

We wanted to get a feel for Hoch’s campaign right out of the gate, so we sent him a Quick Q+A full of hot topics from our arts and culture coverage.

Secrets of the City: Your announcement says: “We need to get Minneapolis back on track.” What does that track look like? When did we start slowing down on it?

Tom Hoch: The track curves to the left and has “Tom Hoch” in big letters on it. It also comes with a great soundtrack of Steven Sondheim and Cole Porter. I think we started to slow down when I decided not to run for mayor four years ago.

You’ve got the endorsement of John Sweeney, owner of Brave New Workshop—how important is the local theater voting block? As important as the local long-distance runner voting block?

There’s an old saying, “as go the thespians, so goes the nation”. All the runners will be gone by November, so I think John locked this thing up for us.

It’s our opinion—and we’d guess the opinion of most, if not all, of our readers—that downtown MPLS, aside from a few bright spots, is a hassle, prohibitively so. From your years with Hennepin Theater Trust, who needs to do better there, the city government or business leaders?

City government definitely needs to do better right now. After I get elected in November, I expect businesses will need to step up their game, too.

Which sleeve to you wear your Skyway Avoidance Society patch on?

Eric Dayton never mailed mine, and I’m still pretty bitter about it.

The upcoming Super Bowl: How much should residents charge to Air B’n’B their homes for while they get the heck out of town?

I think they should gouge the out-of-town masses as much as possible. Maybe we can use the tax revenue to finally finish Nicollet Mall.

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Red Bull Sound Select Presents: Yfn Lucci + Joey Purp + Sweetz P

It’s another year of #breakmusic from the can’t miss Red Bull Sound Select music series! It all kicks off with YFN Lucci, whose creative blend of singing and lyricism with a southern touch landed him on Billboard’s “Top 10 Hip Hop & R&B Artists to Watch in 2017”, and Chicago’s Joey Purp, who makes his MPLS debut. PLUS local Sweetz P + DJ Tiiiiiiiiiip support the evening and Dolo hosts. Tix only $5—RSVP:

Music Hall Minnepolis, 111 5th St N, MPLS

Burger Hunter: Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.

There’s gold in them there hills! This hunt takes us on an adventure into the west metro where the yuccie’s drive with no regard for humanity. 10-and-2 yourself straight to the Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille. Now this place is burger Mecca. They even have an internal battle each week between their own burger specials. I went with The People’s Burger. It won 22 weeks straight and earned itself a spot on the menu. This beast is loaded with flavor. The grind is a mix of chuck and smoked short rib so the pedigree is choice af. The meat taste is rich. Fitting for the number of high buck vehicles in the parking lot. Ok let’s mine our way through this big winner. Bun is brioche, butter grilled and perfy. Light and nice. The burger is topped with a housemade American chive cheese that all about smothering your meat. We call it “Instagram ready” in the biz. It’s so yummy and really should be consumed more in life. Next up is the smoked poblanos and tomato jam. Sweet and smokey work together like a miner and his pan . . . Or a hipster and her fixie. You get the point. They complete each other. There’s a reason so many BBQ joints render this tasty outcome. The People’s Burger has even more going on. Imagine a calendar full of appointments where everything is syncing in harmony. iSuccess. Last up is the bacon mayo. It’s sneaky great. The mayo just slides into your DM’s and the bacon is creeper . . . This burger is high and mighty but worth the investment. The chew is terrific and def a sweeter ride. Don’t sleep on the cheese curds they might be better than the Minnesota State Fair. Big claim . . .  Big hunt!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.3   Presentation: 8   Originality: 10

Gold Nugget Tavern & Grille, 14401 Excelsior Blvd, Minnetonka;

Midweek News & Notes: Mayoral Mischief

Since many of our readers don’t read anything, not a damn thing, we feel we should share some of the important-to-you stories being shared around the SotC virtual water cooler so that you’re properly briefed before your happy hour.

News: The Betsy Hodges re-election campaign posted a fake ‘Frey for Congress’ job listing.

Notes: Since the DFL endorsements are the real elections in MPLS, and the endorsement for mayor is June 24th, expect the next few months to be full of city politics news. And since it’s going to be competitive, there’s going to be a lot of activity. Case in point: Someone from the Hodges campaign was, joking or not, trying to play up the storyline that Jacob Frey is a political climber by posting a Frey for Congress job listing. We think it was a joke, a pretty funny one at that.

News: Tom Hoch, former CEO of Hennepin Theater Trust, might run for MPLS Mayor.

Notes: While Hodges and Frey are the top contenders, along with former MPLS NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds, the addition of Hoch would crowd the field with qualified candidates even further. Why are we spending so much time with the MPLS mayor’s race? Because with the national government so crazy and the MN Legislature full of rural reps who want things like permits for bike lane users (a real thing), city politics will be even more important in the upcoming years.

News: Meanwhile, on the other side of the river, Chris Coleman is living the St. Easy life.

Notes: Taking in Wild games, live tweeting the Grammys, having a Valentine’s Day date with his wife, things are pretty chill for the new coolest mayor in MPLS + STPL before his run for Governor. We love it.

News: Introducing Twincy Summer: You Can’t Drive There!™

Notes: Along with the major CF that will be caused when I-94 goes down to one lane through the Lowry Tunnel, Portland Ave and Cedar in MPLS will have closures around the Greenway for bridge repairs.

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