Business Buzz

Some East Isles residents, who live west of the new restaurant, were hoping that Chipotle would be a bit more East Isles.

"It’s a free-standing, single-story building that could’ve been incorporated into a three- to four-story mixed-use building," said John Meldahl, a property manager who is also a member of the East Isles Residents Association.

Meldahl said the property is probably being underutilized, but his real gripe is with the Chipotle company, which, he feels, did an end-run around the development-approval process. "My concerns were that the process got a little bit ignored," he said.

He’d hoped to see Chipotle submit its plans for the new Uptown store to EIRA. "They did it after [the plans] were approved [by the city], which kind of didn’t do us much good," Meldahl said.

Chipotle’s Berg agrees. "We met with them after the plans [for the building] were already drawn. What we did is build the building that’s allowed for that particular piece of property by the city of Minneapolis."

The new restaurant seats about 65-70 people inside, with another 40-50 on the outdoor patio, Berg said. It’s on the site of the old Embers restaurant. That single-story building was torn down to make way for Chipotle.

28th & Hennepin

By Robyn Repya

Stella’s Thrift Gallery, 2827 1/2 Hennepin Ave., a resale clothing shop, closed in early July after four months in business. A new clothing store, Retro-a-go-go, opened in the same space Aug. 1.

Stella’s owner Kate Provence did not return calls about the closing. Kathy Weiss, co-owner of Retro-a-go-go and a friend of Provence, said Provence decided the business wasn’t for her, just more of a hobby.

Weiss said she and business partner Betsy Walter, both Southeast residents, decided to open a shop in the neighborhood because there was good walk-by traffic and the rent was cheaper than on Lyndale and Nicollet avenues.

Their narrow store space, which previously housed the A & J Gem Caf years ago, was designed and patterned after the New York store Rags-a-go-go, which is owned by Weiss’s friend Natalie Fuz.

Fuz came to Minneapolis to prepare the Uptown shop — adding stuffed animals to the wall. She said both her store and the Minneapolis affiliate sell primarily ’60s, ’70s and ’80s fashions, which she handpicks herself.

Weiss said they sell some used clothes and never-worn clothes, called dead stock, bought from overstocked businesses. Unlike some used clothing shops, she said Retro-a-go-go does not buy clothes from individuals or do consignment.

Store hours are Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. The store is closed Mondays.

Calhoun Square

By Robyn Repya

The prominent kiosk Healing Source, located in Calhoun Square, 3100 Hennepin Ave., moved into a retail store across the mall Aug. 1, next to Sara Cura Silver. The store specializes in jewelry, accessories and spiritual resources.

Calhoun Square Marketing Manager Dawn Zaremba said the store is an example of their incubator program at work, which fosters businesses in a temporary kiosk setting. "It’s a stepping stone to a full-scale retail space," she said. The store’s kiosk was to the left of the elevator on the second floor.

36th & Bryant

By Robyn Repya

In late March, Sam Tekleab, owner of East Harriet’s Sam’s Food Mart, 901 W. 36th St., was left with a store full of rubble and damaged goods when a Metro Transit bus slammed into his store to avoid a delivery van that had run a red light.

Although it’s taken longer to rebuild than he thought, Tekleab said his store will be ready to reopen by late August or early


He said going through product inventory and reconnecting with vendors has held up the reopening.

The repairs are covered by his insurance company, which Tekleab said has also supplemented his postaccident lost income.

Fulton home business

By Robyn Repya

Inspired Art, LLC is a new company started last month by Fulton resident and artist Melissa Stephens. The new company, run out of Stephens’ home, houses two separate artistic ventures: MAS Creations, focusing on monoprint abstract landscapes art; and a children’s art line called Young at Heart. She sells the work from her home or in local stores.

Stephens said her monoprints, some as large as 11 feet, are pressed on paper or a similar material, and her children’s line is created from Lanolin block prints she’s made.

Her children’s work sometimes contains a message, Stephens said, with words like "Dream" or "Peace" incorporated into the work. With monoprints, she includes a narrative. "The narrative helps me to communicate my intentions for the artwork’s creation to my viewer," Stephens said.

The children’s work costs $35 and monoprints range in cost from $100 to $1,200, depending on the size and materials used.

She said she began her children’s work after the birth of her son 15 months ago, which provided her with constant inspiration.

Stephens said while she’s working to get her children’s line carried by a Southwest store, she currently sells her work at the Art Company gallery in Northeast Minneapolis, Kulak in Woodbury, and Art Holdings off I-394 and Xenia Avenue. She said she also sells work from her home; for more information, call 915-1292 or check out her Web site at