Owned by an enterprising Chinese immigrant, the restaurant served classic American Chinese, authentic Chinese, and down-home American food to a broad swath of customers with humor and hospitality.
Photographer and journalist Wing Young Huie is the fifth child of Joe Huie. After graduating in 1979 from the University of Minnesota with a BA in journalism and a burgeoning interest in photography, he started his career by publishing an article in Lake Superior Port Cities magazine, for which he photographed and wrote about his father. Since then, he has photographed thousands of people to capture the complex cultural realities of American society. Though his photographs have been shown in museums globally and in large-scale public installations in Minneapolis and St. Paul, it is in classrooms that his work has been most impactful, showing students how his assumptions are confronted when he gets out of his bubble to photographically engage strangers and hear their stories. The Minneapolis Star Tribune named him Artist of the Year in 2000, stating, “Lake Street USA is likely to stand as a milestone in the history of photography and public art.” His seventh and most personal book, Chinese-ness: The Meanings of Identity and the Nature of Belonging, won a Minnesota Book Award and a Northeastern Minnesota Book Award. In 2018 he was honored with the McKnight Distinguished Artist Award, which made him the only photographer ever to receive the award in its twenty-three-year history.