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Family plans Chicago-inspired shop in Minneapolis' Lyn-Lake neighborhood

Nov 2, 2021, 7:43pm CDT

Caspian Group

Richard Spencer (middle, back), several family members and broker Marshall Nguyen (far left) stand outside of the future home of Chicago's Very Own in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood. A Chicago transplant and his family are opening a shop that will bring a taste of the Windy City in Minneapolis' Lyn-Lake neighborhood. Richard Spencer hopes to have Chicago's Very Own ready to sell gourmet popcorn, butter cookies and hoagies at 2944 Lyndale Ave. S. in early 2022. Spencer and his family moved to the Twin Cities from Chicago, where they ran a restaurant, in 1997. He and his brothers previously owned two barber shops in Brooklyn Park – his home for the past 25 years – and he continues to work at one of them. Chicago's Very Own will offer about 40 varieties of popcorn, including the iconic Chicago mix that combines cheese and caramel popcorn, and around 15 kinds of sandwiches, including a Chicago-style hot dog made with a Vienna Beef frank and hoagies piled high with Italian beef, ribeye steak and corned beef. Spencer hopes Chicago's Very Own will introduce the Twin Cities to some of the food that he grew up eating. "We're going to bring that taste back here to share it with Minnesota," he said. Spencer's family is intentionally investing in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood and trying to "build [it] back up." They plan to "be a pillar in the community," Spencer said, by donating a portion of sales to various local organizations and supporting employees who want to get their GEDs. Spencer and his family bought the building on the corner of Lyndale Avenue and Lake Street for $870,000 last week, with help from Caspian Group brokers Marshall Nguyen and Jay Mawas. Jeff Mitchell of Hoyt Properties represented the seller, Robert Tenner. Wrecktangle Pizza recently shared its plans to open its first standalone restaurant across the street at 701 W. Lake St.

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