Sammy’s survival year

Hosted By: Max Nesterak - May 14, 2021


Sammy McDowell, owner of Sammy’s Avenue Eatery, prepares an order at his northeast Minneapolis location on Thursday, May 13, 2021. Photo by Nicole Neri/Minnesota Reformer.

Sammy McDowell didn’t set out to create anything more than a restaurant. But Sammy’s Avenue Eatery has become ‘the Cheers bar’ for people of all walks of life in north Minneapolis.

Sammy talks about making it through a year that has been ruinous for restaurants, small businesses and Black-owned businesses. He weathered COVID-19 shutdowns and the civil unrest, with neighbors turning his cafe into a hub for donations and volunteer security operations.

And, he talks about becoming an accidental bridge builder when he opened a second location in a predominantly white neighborhood.

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Sammy McDowell

Sammy McDowell is the owner of Sammy's Avenue Eatery with two locations in Minneapolis.