The buzz

50th & Bryant

One of the most well-known and respected Minneapolis cuisine couples, Stewart and Heidi Woodman, has done it again. This time, they are taking it down a notch — or up, depending on how you look at it. The duo is opening Heidi’s, a restaurant serving modern French cuisine with a twist, at the beginning of October.

"We want people to come however they are dressed and enjoy what we have to offer," Heidi Woodman said.

The eatery will be located at 50th Street and Bryant Avenue in the space formerly occupied by Pane Vino Dolce. They have been in the space for about a month, cleaning up and assigning it a new look. Minneapolis culinary maestro Stewart Woodman will manage the kitchen while Heidi runs the floor. Neighborhood resident and friend Frank Thorpe will be running the front office.

The long-awaited eatery is sure to please its guests with its warm and cozy atmosphere. Open for dinner six nights a week, Tuesday through Sunday, Heidi’s will also include a Sunday brunch served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

As far as coming up for a name for the restaurant?

"It’s a compliment," Heidi Woodman said of the restaurant being named after her. "There’s no story, really. It just so happened to come to be the name."

— Alison Fiebig

Lake & Hennepin

After completing a three-year stay Downtown, David Brady, owner of Homegrown Glass, moved his store to an Uptown location at 2827 Hennepin Ave S.

Formally located at 1st Avenue and Washington Avenue North, the shop was up against the rising cost of rent and an expiring lease, and Brady was tempted to find a new space.

"Business slowed in the winter. We weren’t connected to any skyways," Brady said of the old location. "The space [at Hennepin] is smaller and manageable," Brady said. "I figured, less rent and a better location."

The store fits in well along Hennepin, packed tightly between the colorful brick-stacked stores. There is a more consistent pedestrian buzz that the store is finding beneficial. Selling an assortment of imported items, the store specializes in locally blown glass pipes, goblets and other pieces of artwork, such as ornaments and paperweights.

— Alison Fiebig

Lake & Hennepin

Entering the scene just in time to slam rumors that Uptown is losing its spark is American
Apparel, a rapidly expanding retailer that opened at 1433 W. Lake St. on Sept. 21.

Formally occupied by American Eagle, the new flashy and fashionable clothing store looks out at Uptown through tall white-framed windows. As the first American Apparel store in Minnesota, it has received plenty of attention and visitors already, especially after moving in around the corner from competitor Urban Outfitters. It adds to the chic and indie style that Uptown is known for.

With the first shipment in recently, the store is bursting with  colors, cottons and tri-blends of all sorts. The store is known for its abundance of hoodies, T-shirts, unisex cardigans and thermals, accessories and underwear. Some items, in particular, standout like their hot pink knee-high socks.

For Minneapolis customers, it has been a long time coming after being limited to placing orders online.

— Alison Fiebig

Lake & Emerson

Pizza Nea closed its 1221 W. Lake St. restaurant this month after a year and a half of business.

Owner Mike Sherwood said a number of factors contributed to the closure including a store that was too big and a lack of residential development in the area. Lake Street reconstruction might have been another factor, he said.

"We started out with a pretty good year, but in the end sales weren’t where we needed them to be," he said.

Sherwood thanked customers for their patronage. He still runs a Pizza Nea at 306 Hennepin Ave. E. and said business is good at that location.

For more information about Pizza Nea call 331-9298 or visit www.pizzanea.com.

— Jake Weyer

Lake & Irving

Uptown’s got a new place for style-conscious guys looking for a haircut, facial, manicure, massage or old-fashioned hot shave.

Winston’s Barber Shop, a high-end, male-exclusive salon owned by Maple Grove, Minn.-based Premier Salons, recently opened in the former Tommy’s on Lake space at 1608 W. Lake St. The salon is the second Winston’s, the first being in the downtown Macy’s on Nicollet Mall.  

Rob Aylward, director of operations for Premier Salons, opened Schmidty’s at the Uptown location with longtime salon owners Tom Schmidt and Jeffrey Lillemoe several years ago. Aylward eventually set out on a different path and Schmidty’s became Tommy’s. When a bankruptcy trustee took over the space following a lawsuit against Schmidt and Lillemoe that didn’t end in their favor, Aylward saw an opportunity.

"I had always wanted a chance at the all-men’s concept in that area," he said. "It’s a fantastic location. It did wonders for us when it was Schmidty’s."

The new Winston’s opened quietly in July, but didn’t display its name until this month. Premier Salon also took over the former Lou Lou’s salon next door and plans to tear down the wall before the winter holidays arrive.

"Our dream is to make that one big Winston’s," Aylward said.  

Some minor remodeling has been done in the former Tommy’s space, but most everything was in good shape and didn’t need to be changed, he said.

Winston’s encourages walk-ins and also makes appointments for individuals and groups. Hours are 9 a.m.–8 p.m. Monday–Friday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. A website for the business is in the works. For more information, call 822-4323.

— Jake Weyer  

Girard & Hennepin

Thai restaurant Sawatdee closed its 2650 Hennepin Ave. S. location two months ago, citing slow business.

Restaurant owner Supenn Harrison said the business’ contract for the space was up and she decided not to renew it. Harrison ran the Uptown Sawatdee for 10 years. She also oversees a Sawatdee at 607 Washington Ave. S., a Sawatdee bar and café at 118 4th St. N. and branches of the restaurant in Bloomington, St. Cloud and Maple Grove.  

A Thai restaurant named Uptown Thai replaced Sawatdee at the Hennepin Avenue location. The business is open and can be reached at 377-4418. Hours are 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Friday–Saturday and noon–10 p.m. Sunday.

— Jake Weyer

The buzz

44TH & NICOLLET
The owners of the former Westrum’s Tavern at 4415 Nicollet Ave. withdrew their application for a liquor license and instead applied for a beer and wine license with conditions, one of which is holding a community meeting after six months of operation.

Business and building co-owner Heidi Fields plans to open a new restaurant and bar called Driftwood Tavern at the site. The concept is controversial in the Kingfield neighborhood because of crime and noise problems Westrum’s created before the city shut it down earlier this year.

Approval of the new business and building owners’ initial application for a liquor license was delayed when they started interior demolition and minor construction without first pulling a permit, said city license inspector George Pridmore. They have since pulled five permits.

Fields said the withdrawal of the liquor license application and switch to beer and wine wasn’t made for any particular reason.

“We don’t really have a reason,” she said.

The Minneapolis City Council approved the new application. As soon as construction is completed and passes inspection and the city’s Division of Environmental Health signs off on it, the business owners will be eligible to have their beer and wine license issued, Pridmore said.

Fields said she did not have an estimated opening for Driftwood Tavern.

— Jake Weyer

50th and Penn
Duetta, a gift shop that sells a combination of antique and artisan goods in an atmosphere reminiscent of a European shop, opened at 50th Street and Penn Avenue in early September.

Co-owner Julie Louris, a seamstress and former vintage clothing storeowner, crafted many of the shop’s decorations and cultivated a wide selection of vintage goods, including vintage ribbon, on frequent trips to France, Spain and Portugal.

Duetta also features hand-crafted European jewelry otherwise sold in only San Francisco and New York City galleries.

“The goal is that we don’t carry anything that anybody else has. We don’t want to be competing with our neighbors. We just want to be able to offer something new and fresh that you’re not able to find anywhere [else],” said co-owner and former art gallery manager Tabitha Courtemanche.

Duetta opened its doors Sept. 19, but a grand opening event will be held in November. Store hours are 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Call 612-929-2325 for more information.

— Anna Rockne

24th & Lyndale
Unable to make sales in the slumping condo market, developers of Le Parisien Flats on the 2300 block of Lyndale Avenue have decided to start leasing the development’s 13 units.

“With all the drastic changes and the downturn of the industry, people can’t sell their own homes to buy condos,” said Le Parisien developer and owner Mark Dziuk. “So we’ve decided to pull it off the market, rent for a while and see what the market does.”

Condos were priced from $295,000 to $477,700, according to the development’s website. Rental rates for the same units now range from $1,700 to $3,506. Unit sizes range from 916 square-feet to 1,673 square-feet.

Le Parisien is a completed four-story European-themed development with a large retail section. Construction of the building started in 2005 when the market was still hot. The slowdown during the past year has caused problems for many developers in Minneapolis, some of whom have had to put projects on hold and others that are waiting to build.

The rental market is strong and several developers have apartment complexes in the works, but few have switched existing condos to rental units. Dziuk said the switch at Le Parisien is not necessarily a long-term plan.

“We need to wait for the market to heal itself,” he said.

Home inventory in the Twin Cities was at a record high at the end of August with 34,808 units on the market, according to a recent report from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors. Southwest had 611 single-family homes on the market and an additional 530 townhouse or condominium units.

Southwest home sales at the end of August were 14 percent behind the same time last year, but the average sale price increased roughly 6 percent. The number of new Southwest listings at the end of August was nearly 16 percent behind the same time last year.

LAKE & GRAND
Schatzlein Saddle Shop will celebrate a century of business Oct. 14 with a block party in front of the store at 413 W. Lake St.

The 400 block of the street will be closed from noon to 3 p.m. for live entertainment, pony rides, historic exhibits, a horse display and anniversary cake.

Schatzlein is a family-owned English- and Western-saddle shop that carries a variety of leather items, riding equipment and apparel. For more information about Schatzlein Saddle Shop, call 825-2459 or visit www.Ssaddle.com.

— Jake Weyer