What’s open, opening, and closing on East 38th Street


As you may have noticed, for the duration of the pandemic, including the gradual “reopening,” the rebound if any, the aftermath, and the recovery, all neighborhood focus articles will concentrate on pandemic news. So, for East 38th Street, we’ll start with the Nicollet and East 38th corner hub (and surrounding businesses a few blocks in either direction) and proceed eastward from there.
For those of you who follow us online, our website now has a handy tool to see a variety of businesses and organizations and how they’re operating. Check it out at https://southsidepride.com/11222-2/. This table is updated more or less weekly, but we may be a day or two behind breaking news. However, if you have a correction to relay, you can email me personally at debrakramage at gmail dot com if you wish. (No hate mail, please, I’m fragile.)
And please wear a mask when you patronize any of these in person.
Kicking off our coronavirus tour of East 38th Street, Nighthawks Diner + Bar is open for takeout (no delivery except to your car) with online ordering at their website, Tuesday through Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m. A few blocks away, the Butter Bakery Cafe is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (one of the few open early hours) for a variety of different takeout and delivery options including DoorDash. Check the website for details. Also, nearby, the Aliveness Project is maintaining its food shelf for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Eastward a bit on East 38th, Sabathani Community Center also has a food shelf, open to anyone in need, Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. The rest of the center is closed. Across the road, the Seward Friendship store is open almost normal hours with excellent hygiene and social distancing. Except for random out of stocks and limits on purchasing certain items, they are fulfilling our needs very well. No hot bar, hot coffee, or dining in. They have added an online ordering service for curbside pickup currently only available to those over 65 or with special needs. The CSA Fair in April was online and virtual.

Dragon Wok plate

Moving farther east, Dragon Wok, which used to be part of the Nicollet and 38th cluster, is now sitting in the space formerly known as Funky Grits (RIP). Visit dragonwokdelivery.com for ordering with pickup, their own delivery service, or catch them on Bite Squad or DoorDash. Another business in the vicinity, Flotsam+Fork, is running in virtual mode, with online ordering and postal delivery mainly. Call or check their website or Facebook page.
I am not really sure what’s going on at Tiny Diner. Some of their menu is available for delivery from Barbette’s, via Bite Squad, Uber Eats, etc. There was an announcement that they were going to open a limited time pickup there but I can’t verify it. And there are straw bales in the parking lot? I guess call them if you need to know. Mama Sheila’s, sadly, appears to have closed at least for now if not for good. Lucy’s Ethiopian Market is open but only one day a week—Wednesdays.
Everett’s Foods and Meats remains open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., less on the weekends. Duck Duck Coffee has remained shut since March 17 and is planning to open for takeaway soon but no firm date yet. (Meanwhile they have become a candidate as a drop point for a CSA, so if you’d like to see that happen, check out their website to sign up.) It’s a similar story a bit down the road for Sisters’ Sludge Coffee and Wine Bar. The only coffee bar along “my” strip of East 38th that does offer grab-and-go takeaway—they also have bakery stuff and Cuban sandwiches—is Key West Bistro, but that’s skipping ahead a bit.
Providence Place, a neighborhood care facility, has had COVID-19 cases in both residents and staff. It’s on hard lockdown.

Metro Transit blue line

Courageous heARTS, an arts nonprofit, has been closed since early March but is delivering Creative Care packages of art supplies free to participating families They also have video art- making sessions. Check their website for details or to donate to keep them going. Dreamhaven Books is “open” for phone or web ordering and postal delivery or pickup. Standish Cafe seems to be doing well, considering. They’re selling both takeaway meals and “heat at home” family meals. Check standish-cafe.com to order.
Now I’m catching up to the 28th Avenue South corner with 38th. Tare Market, the zeroish-waste, no plastic, mostly bulk products shop, is open as usual. They will make you wash your hands the minute you walk in the door. They’re such Moms (that’s a good thing). Unlike many other groceries and specialty shops, you can bring your own bags and containers. In fact, that’s sort of the point.

Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub

Northbound Smokehouse Brewpub is making good use of their patio as a socially distancing waiting room if you order in person. They have a pickup table just inside the front door for your food, drink and growlers. And something called crowlers? A Cupcake Social remains open limited hours, closed Sundays and Tuesdays, and you can order by web or phone for immediate pickup or 48 hours in advance for delivery by ChowNow.
The Cardinal Bar is open for pickup and delivery. I am not sure how their pickup works (call), but you can get delivery via Bite Squad. Their reduced hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and you can also catch them on Instagram. While we’re in the vicinity, let’s look in on the Metro Transit blue line. Transit service hours have been cut back and they are asking people to only use transit for urgent needs. Most bus routes are fare-free for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Light rail service closes down at 9 p.m. and reopens at 6 a.m.
The Riverstone Spa reopened May 4 just for retail sales and gift cards. They are working on a plan, as are most “high contact” services, that will involve limiting clients onsite, PPE for stylists and techs, and elevated hygiene. Since the extension of the shutdown of salons, barbers, and spas, they are looking at a possible date of June 1.
Mother Earth Gardens has been open since April 18. Check out motherearthgarden.com for hours. They also have a volunteer-staffed delivery service for those who need more social distancing. Details available on the website.

Mother Earth Gardens

The East 38th Street tour will end on a high note. The beloved Riverview Theater is pursuing a brilliant crisis time business model to stay afloat. Virtual cinema showings are available at http://www.riverviewtheater.com/show/show/2791, with the theater getting a cut of the virtual ticket price you pay to stream recent independent film releases. And if you want, you can swing by the theater before you open your home cinema and buy popcorn to go!

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