YouÂ’ve savored the pub grub at Anchor Fish & Chips. You bellied up to the bar at Dangerous Man. But the Sheridan neighborhood has plenty of charm tucked away in these lesser-known spots.
Mrs. Kelly’s Tea
77 13th Ave. NE
Sheridan-based tea maker Mindy Kelly has been blending her own tea varieties for more than two decades. In a small production facility in the Grain Belt Brewery Warehouse, Kelly produces hundreds of kinds of made-to-order and custom teas. While the space is closed to the public most days, Kelly opens it up to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month for tours and to sell tea and accessories in a small retail corner of the shop. There the expert blender can answer all your tea questions and, of course, share a cup with you.
“The most important thing to me is that people don’t feel threatened by tea. We try to bring this down to what we feel comfortable with,” she said.
Recently, her favorite teas (if she can even choose — “it’s like asking a mother what’s her favorite child”) are the extremely popular Earl Blue (earl grey with lavender), Peppermint Petal (peppermint tea with rose) and her nationally celebrated Celebration Tea.
The best time to try Kelly’s teas is in December when she hosts a prolific tea tasting with 100 varieties to test, not to mention all the possibilities with custom blending on site. For nearly 25 years, Kelly said, the annual tradition has brought tea lovers to the Sheridan neighborhood. If you don’t make it in to her shop, Kelly’s husband and youngest daughter also help sell the teas at the Minneapolis and Mill City farmers markets.
The Knight Cap
1500 4th St. NE
In the land of dive bars known as Northeast Minneapolis, The Knight Cap Bar sticks out with plenty of personality and tried-and-true entertainment. Longtime owner Dick Ponath’s charming cash-only watering hole has darts, pull tabs, meat raffles and bingo nights to get people in the door, but also has affordable local beers and food — including Heggie’s pizza — that have earned it its regulars. The Knight Cap features a few welcome quirks, from the gigantic fish tank built behind the bar to painted knights lining the interior.
Eat My Words
1228 2nd St. NE
For the past two years, owner Scott VanKoughnett has operated the independent Eat My Words Bookstore just a short walk from hotspots Anchor Fish & Chips and Dangerous Man Brewing Company. Eat My Words is one part used bookstore — it has more than 20,000 books across all genres — and one part event space with readings, signings with local authors and even small concerts. The cozy shop, usually complete with a teakettle or coffee pot, is a prime stop to nestle into one of several heavily cushioned armchairs and get lost in a rare book (most recently, the store has boasted an array of unique science-fiction novels in the window). It also supports the city’s literary scene by works from local authors and publishers, along with distributing zines.
1612 2nd St. NE
If you’re new to Sheridan, it’s easy to overlook Sentyrz Supermarket. The neighborhood-focused grocery and liquor store has served the area for nearly a century thanks to its grandfathered liquor license that allows it to sell spirits side-by-side with its groceries and well-known butcher operation. Sentyrz offers house-made sausages and jerky produced with its smokehouse and a variety of local beers and affordable wines. For first-timers, the “biggest little store in town” also features tastings with local beer and spirit makers and hosts outdoor flea markets.
Matchbox Coffee Shop
1306 2nd St. NE
Tucked behind Dangerous Man Brewing Company’s new growler shop is one of the few worker-cooperative businesses in Minneapolis, Matchbox Coffee Shop. The tiny café — the storefront would be a near miss without the bright-yellow “COFFEE” sign — runs like few other cafes. Matchbox maintains a tab system for its regulars so if you don’t have money for the cash-only coffee shop you can pay it off later or in advance. “We believe in trusting the people in the community,” said owner-barista Gabe Barnett. The cafe is a charming stop to get both a fair-trade drink and some political discussion.