the buzz


Uptown's fourth Thai restaurant, Amazing Thailand, opened this month at 3024 Hennepin Ave.

The restaurant and bar features a variety of authentic Thai dishes ranging in price from $10 to $18, said manager Thomas Noree. Pad Thai is the restaurant's most popular entre, he said.

In an area with plenty of Thai restaurants to choose from, Noree said he's not concerned about the competition, but he's not out to start any rivalries either. Amazing Thailand's food and price points are different from Uptown's other Thai restaurants, he said.

Chiang Mai Thai, Sawatdee and Tum Rup Thai are the other Uptown Thai restaurants.

Amazing Thailand is open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. daily and can be reached at 612-822-5588.

Lake & Hennepin

After about a year of managing trendy men's fashion store Atmosfere in Calhoun Square, Dan Vargas bought out his business partner and renamed the business VState.

The store continues to carry designer men's clothing, but Vargas also added lines for women. &#8220Accessible fashion” is how Vargas describes the store's clothing.

&#8220It's not uber trendy,” he said. &#8220It's different.”

Prices range from around $25 for a hat to $295 for a leather jacket.

Store hours are 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 612-823-4699 or visit


Environmental and design consultant ATC Associates is investigating a leak from underground fuel tanks removed from a closed SuperAmerica at 40th Street and Lyndale Avenue last December.

&#8220It's not unusual to find some hydrocarbons when a tank is removed,” said Linda Casey, spokeswoman for Marathon Petroleum Company, which owns SuperAmerica.

Casey said SA always checks for fuel remnants when tanks are removed and investigations are standard when traces are found.

SuperAmerica hired ATC to conduct the investigation, which is being monitored by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The agency will decide what action, if any, is necessary at the site when ATC's work is completed.

ATC sent letters about the investigation and a short survey to residents within 500 feet of the gas station. The survey asked residents if they had sumps, wells or petroleum tanks on their property.

Roger Worm, a member of the East Harriet Farmstead Neighborhood Association (EHFNA) who lives near the SA, said he wasn't worried about the investigation. Worm, who used to manage his own environmental research firm, said it's a precautionary measure and further action is unlikely.

&#8220I would be highly surprised if there is anything,” Worm said. &#8220It would have to be pretty major.”

EHFNA board member and immediate SA neighbor Jane Swatosh said the investigation didn't surprise her.

&#8220We knew what we were getting into when we moved next door,” she said.

She said she hasn't noticed any odors or other problems from the site. SA management issues have been more of a problem, she said.

Matt Perry, president of the East Harriet Neighborhood Association and chairman of the 40th and Lyndale Task Force, said he was staying in touch with ATC and SA officials to make sure investigation findings and community implications are shared with the neighborhood.

The closed SA is located across Lyndale Avenue from another SA that is still operational. The gas stations have created controversy in the neighborhood for years.


The Great Frame Up closed this month after a decade of business at 1407 W. Lake St.

The frame shop's owner Ross Lewis said his lease was up and he opted not to renew it.

&#8220It's been a nice ten years,” Lewis said. &#8220We've had lots of good customers.”

Calhoun Square owner Principal Real Estate Investors owns the former frame shop space. Calhoun Square General Manager Gayle Siegler said Lewis could have opted to stay, but a new agreement would have allowed Principal to vacate the store after a 60-day notice.

Principal's ability to vacate businesses applies to all new lease arrangements at the mall because of the possibility of reconstruction, Siegler said. Until Principal decides what to do with the shopping center, which is for sale, traditional long-term leases aren't an option, she said.

She hopes someone seizes the opportunity to open another business in the frame shop space, at least temporarily.

&#8220It's a great opportunity for the summer,” she said.

Lewis said he planned to go trout fishing and keep busy with other things. He's not retiring, he said.

The Great Frame Up is a franchise with more than 100 stores nationwide. Other nearby Minnesota stores can be found in Maple Grove, Edina, Minnetonka and Burnsville.


Photo development and camera store Proex will close its Calhoun Square site April 22.

Staff said the franchise has struggled nationwide because of the increasing popularity of digital cameras and home printing.

Customers are urged to visit the company's Calhoun Village location at 3232 W. Lake Street.

Used men's clothing store ReEntry is also closing this month after less than a year in Calhoun Square. Store owner Dan Capetz said he's hoping to open a new version of the store again in the future, but a location and date have not been set.