The Buzz

Lake & Bryant

Phoenix Games, a longtime seller of board games, role-playing games, metal miniatures and models, will close its 901 W. Lake St. store and move its business online at the end of August.

Owner Neil Cauley, who has run the store since it opened 20 years ago, said the industry has been in a slump in recent years and the Lake Street location is getting too expensive. Lake Street construction has created an additional burden, he said.

“The expenses here have gotten too high and the assessment for Lake Street was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Cauley said.

Phoenix Games is having a sale through the end of August. Items are priced from 15 percent off to upwards of 60 percent off, he said. Cauley said he hasn’t decided where his inventory for online sales will be kept.

He said his store has had a loyal following and he’s hopeful customers will follow the store online.

Phoenix Games can be found on the Web at

44th & Nicollet

 A group of Kingfield residents plans to turn the defunct Westrum’s Tavern at 4415 Nicollet Ave. into a new restaurant and bar called Driftwood Tavern.

Roughly 40 neighborhood residents showed up at a public hearing about the new establishment’s liquor license application July 18 at Martin Luther King Park. Many were concerned that the new business would revive the loud noise, drug dealing and other problems they say subsided when Westrum’s closed.

The city shut down Westrum’s because of those issues and numerous liquor license violations. Kingfield residents and business partners Heidi Fields and Bryce Anderson purchased the business and property and brought on neighborhood resident Bob Damberger as a cook. Fields said their establishment would be managed better than Westrum’s was. 

According to their license conditions, the business would:

• Close at 1 a.m. daily. Alcohol would be served until 12:30 a.m. daily, food would be offered until 11 p.m. weekdays and midnight on Friday and Saturday. An outdoor seating section would close at 10 p.m. daily.

• Maintain a contract with a security company to keep crime off the premises.

• Maintain an owner or manager on premises during all business hours.

• Not provide any drink specials past 8 p.m.

Fields and city licensing inspector George Pridmore answered questions from hearing attendees for about an hour before the city’s lead licensing inspector, Linda Roberts, who oversaw the closing of Westrum’s, proposed creating a list of additional license conditions.

Some of the conditions recommended included having another public hearing in three months to discuss the business’ progress, requiring the Tavern to trespass troublemakers and installing speed bumps in the alley behind the restaurant.

Fields hopes to open in August or September. Her license application was expected to go before the City Council’s Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee July 25. If approved, it would go to the full council Aug. 3.

Emerson & Lagoon

Fitness center Snap Fitness will be the first business to move into retail space on the lower level of the recently completed Lumen on Lagoon condominium development at 1201 Lagoon Avenue.

 Starting Sept. 15, the center will be open 24-hours to members and will feature weight machines, free weights and cardiovascular equipment spread out over 3,000 square feet, said the center’s co-owner Tristan Cox.

A single membership costs $39.95 and a family membership costs $59.95, Cox said. Children must be at least 14 years old to use the facility. Members are not required to sign contracts and can back out any time, Cox said.

Snap Fitness is a Minnesota-based franchise with about 100 branches in the state and more than 450 nationwide. 

The Lagoon center does not have a phone number yet. For more information, visit