Remembering the father of First Avenue

Allan Fingerhut opened the iconic music venue in 1970

The name Allan Fingerhut may not mean anything to you, but without him, we likely wouldn't have the most iconic music venue in Minnesota.

Fingerhut, of the famous Fingerhut family, took an old bus depot in Downtown Minneapolis and made it First Avenue. Fingerhut died Monday in California at the age of 76.

Star Tribune music critic Chris Riemenschneider talked about how Fingerhut made First Avenue into what it is.

"There wouldn't be First Avenue without him, plain and simple," Riemenschneider told WCCO's Chad Hartman Thursday. "(Allan) didn't want to work for the family company, he wanted to open a rock club."

Riemenschneider says Fingerhut took some of his family's money and spent it on an abandoned Greyhound bus depot at the corner of First Avenue and Hennepin and turned it into what it is today, one of the most famous music venues in America.

Riemenschneider, who wrote a book about the venue, "First Avenue: Minnesota's Mainroom", says Fingerhut's reign at First Avenue came to a somewhat bitter end in 2004.