24th & Hennepin
Uptown’s National Karate School, 2409 Hennepin Ave. S., closed the end of January, rerouting students to their other Twin Cities locations, primarily the Tangletown location at 4608 Nicollet Ave. S.
School Director Jeff Sidner said the Hennepin Avenue location had been doing poorly for a while. He said students had a tough time finding the studio and a place to park. "We haven’t given up on that area, we’re just doing without it for now," Sidner said.
The school teaches all different levels of karate and self-defense techniques. For more information, visit www.nationalkarate.com/so-mpls/.
Hennepin & Lagoon
Two Wayzata brothers are opening Burrito Loco in early April at 1400 Lagoon Ave.
Co-owner John Pillsbury said Burrito Loco is a lot like the Chipotle franchise but with a few specialties. He said he and his brother Greg will offer a unique buffalo chicken burrito and one with a spicy jalapeno cheese. The store will also offer delivery — for orders of $7 and up, and Pillsbury hopes to have late-night hours for the bar crowd.
Pillsbury said hours would initially be 11 a.m.-1 a.m. seven days a week, but Burrito Loco has submitted an application to the city to extend Thursday-Saturday hours until 3 a.m., contingent on zoning approval.
For more information about Burrito Loco, visit www.burrito-loco.com.
43rd & Sheridan
A new consignment store recently opened in Linden Hills. The Mix, 2728 W. 43rd St., features men’s and women’s vintage clothes, furniture, jewelry, candy, jellies, furnishings, postcards, blankets and more, said a spokesperson.
The Mix is currently operating on "winter hours" — open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, but plans to expand hours by April. The spokesperson would not specify current hours.
To find out more, call 922-9995.
The Uptown Diner’s owners opened the Calhoun Grill March 8 at 3220 W. Lake St., the space formerly housing La Toscana Ristorante. LaToscana closed Nov. 22.
Jim Sipperll, a spokesperson and CFO for Grand Avenue Restaurant, Inc. — which runs Calhoun Grill — said his group waited to start the new restaurant venture until the Uptown Diner settled into its new 26th & Hennepin location, where it moved in October.
Sipprell said the Calhoun Grill’s menu is identical to that of the Uptown Diner’s.
Calhoun Grill hours are Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Sunday 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m. For more information, call the restaurant at 455-1250.
The Garden of Eden, 1418 W. Lake St., known for their luxurious lotions, perfumes and bath essentials, closed their Uptown location March 7, after more than 20 years, when their lease expired.
Linda Kleinbaum, whose family owns the business, said she’s not leaving for financial reasons. Business was great, but when the lease expired, the landlord decided he wanted another tenant — Cold Stone Creamery — for the space. "We didn’t want to leave," she said.
A Cold Stone Creamery representative confirmed the new store’s location and projected a late spring opening.
Said Kleinbaum, "The neighborhood is changing, and we’re just not changing with it," referencing the new, late-night restaurants and bars moving in. "It’s becoming a night life and entertainment area, and we’re not even open then."
Kleinbaum said the family’s Edina Galleria and Grand Avenue location in St. Paul would remain open. They are looking for a new third location. For more information about Garden of Eden, visit www.gardenofedenstores.com.
For more information about Cold Stone Creamery, visit www.coldstonecreamery.com.
The owners of the Uptown landmark Calhoun Square, 3001 Hennepin Ave. S., entered a purchase agreement in early March to sell the center to North American Properties (NAP), a Cincinnati-based real estate firm with an Eden Prairie office.
The new owners may add residential lofts to the center and say they will add three floors to the adjacent parking ramp.
Ray Harris, one of Calhoun Square’s creators and owners, said the purchase agreement is for approximately $30 million but that the deal is still being finalized. NAP has 60 days to finalize the deal, during which time they will meet with the community and seek approvals for possible changes, he said.
Harris said he also sold a Hennepin Avenue vacant lot to the east, formerly home to a Taco Bell and the building strip connected to the center, and a building currently housing Orr Books, 3043 Hennepin Ave. S. and the Lotus Restaurant, 3037 Hennepin Ave. S.
Harris said Calhoun Square has been open for 20 years and the building’s tax benefits for him and his partners have run out.
Steve Johnson, NAP’s director of development, said the company plans to keep the first-floor retail and continue developing the second floor as office space.
Johnson said NAP may add residential lofts to the center, but no decision has been made.
38th & Grand
Kingfield’s popular Cuban breakfast/lunch spot, Victor’s 1959 Cafe, 3756 Grand Ave. S., closed Feb. 2 for two months of renovations to its kitchen and serving area but will reopen in early April.
Co-owner Nikki Valens said that by creating more working space for staff, Victor’s would add a dinner menu by summer.
Nikki Valens said April 5 marks the restaurant’s fifth year in operation. She said she and husband/co-owner Victor Valens purchased the restaurant’s property one year ago and decided as owners that they wanted to improve the site.
Nikki Valens said the renovations started out as a small project, but due to city requirements, ballooned and will be done in two phases.
The kitchen-and-seating phase is costing the Valenses $117,000. She said phase two of the renovations would start next year, and will redo the bathroom and make the entrance handicapped-accessible. The couple also plans to add green space to the asphalt-laden frontage. Nikki Valens said the dining room will not be altered.
38th & Nicollet
In early February, Hong Min Chu opened a new Chinese take-out and delivery business in Kingfield, called Hong’s Kitchen, 3752 Nicollet Ave. S. The space was formerly occupied by a Domino’s Pizza franchise.
The new business features traditional Chinese dishes such as General Tso’s Chicken, Mongolian Beef and noodle soup, in addition to spicy Szechwan entrees. Hong’s only offers take-out, or delivery for-orders exceeding $20.
Hong’s hours are Monday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. For more information, call 827-2322 or fax 827-5032 for a menu.