“Not in my wildest dreams.” That’s how Tom Hoch puts it when asked if he ever imagined one, let alone two supermarkets — Lunds (debuting June 14) and Whole Foods Market (opening next year) — landing on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, or that the street would blossom into a prime dining-out address. Hoch, president and CEO of the Hennepin Theatre Trust, which operates the Orpheum, State and Pantages theaters, is the driving force behind Plan-It Hennepin, a yearlong grass-roots initiative “that’s fundamentally different from how city planning has occurred in the past,” he said. The goal: To develop a consensus for the future of the city’s primary entertainment thoroughfare. Hoch believes that food is destined to play a key role in the street’s transformation. “It’s such a part of the cultural experience,” he said. “You buy a ticket, and the next question is, 'Where are we going to eat?’ Those two things are inextricably linked.”
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