business buzz

LAKE & EMERSON

Wireless communication company T-Mobile opened a store in Uptown last month.

It is located in the former Cingular space at 1221 W. Lake Street in Uptown Row. Months of remodeling took place before T-Mobile moved in.

The new store sells cell phones, wireless service plans and a variety of accessories.

Store hours are 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 827-8970 or go to www.t-mobile.com.

36th & LYNDALE

DaVita, an organization that offers dialysis services to people with kidney disease, is slated to move into a reconstructed building at 3601 Lyndale Ave. in June.

DaVita has more than 1,300 outpatient dialysis facilities in more than 800 hospitals throughout the nation, making it the largest dialysis clinic in the U.S., according to the company's website.

John Gross, president of John D. Gross Real Estate and developer of the building DaVita will move into, said he thought a different type of tenant, such as a restaurant, would move into the space. But he is happy with DaVita and thinks the company will be an asset in the neighborhood.

Dede Rickson, regional operations director for DaVita, said the clinic would be open during the day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Exact hours will depend on patient need, she said.The 3601 Lyndale Ave. building used to house an auto-repair business. It was gutted and completely remodeled during the last year.

For more information about DaVita, visit www.davita.com.

LAKE & BLAISDELL

Numerous drug-related problems caused Champions Bar and Grill at 105 W. Lake St. to cease operations between Feb. 21 and March 6.

The temporary closure was in compliance with a settlement between the bar and the city, reached after a Licensing Settlement Conference Hearing at City Hall.

The bar was cited for eight drug deals discovered by undercover police between April 2006 and February of this year, according to a city report submitted to the Minneapolis City Council's Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee last month. The incidents took place after a prior settlement calling for boosted security at the bar because of drug activity.

The most recent settlement required Champions to &#8220implement security and business strategies to hinder the sale of narcotics and deter other illegal activity.”

During the 14 days Champions was closed, owner Rick Nelson said he met with community members, business leaders and police to develop a strategy to &#8220take back the bar” for good. He said the most significant change is getting customers involved in policing the bar.

&#8220The key thing is getting customers involved,” Nelson said. &#8220They don't want to lose their bar.”

Since last year, Nelson said he has hired more staff, offered cash incentives for catching illegal activity and enhanced his bar's security system, which includes 15 cameras, he said. He said his staff has booted more than 100 people from the bar permanently during the last year. He said he keeps a list of the troublemakers' names.

But catching someone in the act of dealing drugs is not easy, he said. Nelson said he has taken many steps to make his bar a safe place and is frustrated with the Minneapolis Police Department and the city.

&#8220If we do everything we can to solve the problem, I don't know why we have to suffer,” Nelson said.

Tom Thompson, a crime prevention specialist in the Minneapolis Police Department's 5th Precinct, said police don't target bars. When the precinct gets complaints from a neighborhood about an establishment, those complaints are checked out, he said.

Lt. Marie Przynski of the 5th Precinct said Champions has become known as a place to go for guns and drugs. Przynski said she is skeptical about the bar's ability to shed that reputation.

&#8220I'm not optimistic, but I would love to be proven wrong.”

By August, Champions must prove to the city that it has fixed the situation, or it could face permanent closure.

&#8220We're charged up and ready to go,” Nelson said.