Historic Photo of the Week: Rainbow Building

Featured, Hennepin-Lake, History — By on December 24, 2012 7:32 am

The Rainbow Building on the northwest corner of Hennepin & Lake has been home to many businesses over the years, with a couple earning regional attention. More on that in a moment. The photo below appears to be from just after 1990.

Rainbow Building ~1990

This photo from near 1990 shows the Rainbow Building in Uptown Minneapolis.

The data available, states that in 1990, the building was home to the following retail tenants:
2916 Hennepin – Annie’s Uptown
2920 Hennepin – Invision
2922 Hennepin – Spudsters
1426 W Lake – Elan Delicatessen
1428 W Lake – Victor’s Gallery

In the photo, the 1428 space is occupied by a company called MindWare, which was a brainy toy company opened in 1990 in Uptown. The company has since grown into a largest catalog seller in its category.

Annie's Uptown

Annie’s Uptown at 2916 Hennepin Avenue in Uptown, circa early 1990s

Annie’s Uptown was another outpost of Annie’s Parlor in Dinkytown. The restaurant came in after the Rainbow Cafe closed (been there for decades and was a regional destination). Annie’s was replaced by Chino Latino in 1999, which has garnered attention for being a must-take-your-visiting-family/friends/etc place.

Spudsters at Uptown

Spudsters was located at 2922 Hennepin at the corner of Hennepin Avenue & Lake Street in Uptown Minneapolis.

Spudsers was on the corner of Hennepin and Lake for a number of years, coming after Huntley’s Limited (menswear) and before Caribou Coffee. Caribou Coffee left in 2002 and was replaced by MAC in 2003.

Bonus photo:

Rainbow Building 1990s

Caribou Coffee had an early outpost at the Rainbow Building, as pictured in here in the late 1990s.

Thatcher Imboden

How cities work and change, how they are the product of their inhabitants and outside forces, and the resulting livability keep me thinking and dreaming about the future. I work in transit oriented development and have a background in urban real estate development. I am Past President of an Uptown business organization, grew up in Uptown, was on an Uptown neighborhood association Board, and am an Uptown and Lyn-Lake historian.

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  1. Phil says:

    Love these types of posts!

  2. Donna Harrison says:

    I bought maternity clothes at Over the Rainbow – it was a custom-made clothing boutique. When my mom (owner of the Uptown Card and Gift Shop) wanted to treat me to a special lunch, she took me to the Rainbow Cafe. Great memories!

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