Biz buzz

38TH & GRAND

Kingfield boutique Fairy Godmother closed its 38th Street & Grand Avenue location Aug. 16 after nearly five years of business.

Ballgown-wearing storeowner and self-proclaimed Fairy Godmother Terre Thomas expanded her business into Calhoun Square just before the closure. That space is much smaller than the original store, but Thomas is hoping to hang on to it and find another, larger space in Uptown.

Thomas has said that business at the 38th & Grand store was slow this year and she was hoping to move to Uptown because of its better foot traffic.

She called the closure of her original store “bittersweet and exciting” in an e-mail notice to customers.

“Being the Fairy Godmother on Grand Avenue has been a life-changing experience and I know that we’ve touched many lives as well in these last five years,” she said.

Fairy Godmother is boutique specializing in “encouragement, inspiration and fun,” and carries books, cards, trinkets and other items for just about every transition in life.  

The store in Calhoun Square is open from 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon–6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit
www.fairygodmotheronline.com.

28TH & LYNDALE

Yoga and spin studio Inner Strength Fitness, 5200 Minnehaha Ave. S., will move to 2800 Lyndale Ave. in January.

The new studio will offer Kundulini Yoga, fitness and prenatal yoga, group strength training classes, happy hour spin, spinning and brunch, live DJ spin classes and more, according to a news release about the move.

The new location is just off the Midtown Greenway and will offer plenty of bike parking. Inner Strength Fitness also offers a “green package” for customers who don’t use a car to get to there.

The studio had been having problems with unruly neighbors at its existing space.

For more information, call 644-1953 or visit www.innerstrengthstudio.com.

EAST FRANKLIN & 4th AVENUE

The Electric Fetus aims to register 1,000 new voters during the Republican National Convention Sept. 1–4 when it will offer in-store performances and an open mic to discuss the importance of voting.

The 40-year-old landmark record store will team with the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote for the event, running 3–6 p.m. all three days of the convention.

Electric Fetus owner Keith Covart said he hoped the event would make young people, especially, realize how easy it was to register to vote in Minnesota.

“We want to take all the excuses [for not voting] away,” Covart said.

Electric Fetus staff will assemble a list of the 10 most important political albums of all time and offer those records for 20 percent off during the event both in the store and on the Electric Fetus website (www.electricfetus.com). Refreshments will be offered during the event, as well.

Covart said he hoped to keep the open mic a nonpartisan discussion of the importance of voting. Both the public and candidates will be allowed to speak between live music sets.

Kurt Anderson and Dean Barkley, both candidates in the Independence Party primary for the U.S. Senate held by Norm Colemen, intended to speak, Covart said.

“We just want people to vote,” he said. “It’s simple. But you know you have to have a little hoopla to sell that point.”

BRYANT & LAKE

Bryant-Lake Bowl owner Kim Bartmann recently signed a decade-long lease for her business at 810 W. Lake St., ending three years of uncertainty and rumors of the Uptown icon’s closure.   

The bowling alley, restaurant and theater was on a year-to-year lease during the past three years as property owners sought more consistency in rent payments and weighed numerous factors including development options and market conditions, said Kyler Meldahl, whose family owns the property.

Bartmann, who has owned and operated Bryant Lake Bowl since 1993, said she had started looking for other locations for the business, but was glad to finally sign a long-term lease.  

With her space secure, she has a few plans for the business. Some areas including the kitchen will be upgraded and the theater — long supported by the restaurant — will begin a transition to a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.    

On Oct. 31, Bryant Lake Bowl will celebrate its 15th anniversary. Bartmann said some special events are in the works for that celebration, including a “Kim’s Favorites” theater performance.

Around the same time as the anniversary, Meldahl is planning to open a gelato and coffee shop next door called Jackson’s Coffee and Gelato. Jackson is a middle name in his family, he said.

The shop, across the street from Dunn Bros., will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. or later, Meldahl said. He said he’s been in talks with the former manager of Caruso’s Gelato Café, which closed its Calhoun Square shop last year, about hours and operations.

Meldahl’s family founded Urban Bean, a coffee shop located at 3255 Bryant Ave. S.  

Also on the corner, DreamHaven Books will close its doors Aug. 28 and reopen Aug. 30 at 2301 E. 38th St.

Hours at the new store will be noon–7 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday.

Biz buzz

LA Fitness coming to Calhoun Square

Uptowners looking to get their sweat on will have a new place to do it in 2009.

Calhoun Square management confirmed July 29 that a large LA Fitness sports club is planned for the mall, which is scheduled to get a complete makeover starting in August. Speculation of the Irvine, Calif.-based fitness giant coming to Calhoun Square started long before the announcement and before the Planning Commission’s March 31 approval of renovation plans.

LA Fitness is the second new tenant to be announced for Calhoun Square in recent months. Fairy Godmother, a boutique started at 38th Street and Grand Avenue, opened a second store July 1 in the mall.

LA Fitness will span 31,500 square feet in the mall, mostly on the second level. An entrance will be created off Lake Street.

The fitness center will include workout areas, state-of-the-art exercise equipment, a variety of fitness classes and personal training, according to a news release from Calhoun Square’s management company, Capital Growth Madison Marquette. A supervised “Kids Klub” will be offered for children.

“We’re very excited to bring LA Fitness to Calhoun Square,” said Keith Anderson, executive vice president of Capital Growth Madison Marquette. “The distinct urban design of the facility and the health club use both fit our goals of providing unique entertainment options and gathering spaces for the Uptown community.”

Renovation of Calhoun Square is expected to take about two years. The new mall will have larger and reconfigured retail spaces, a plaza along Girard Avenue and a mix of national and independent tenants. Two levels of parking will be added to the existing ramp.

For more information on Calhoun Square renovation, visit
www.calhounsquare.com.

46th & Bryant

The Blue Moon Trading Company, a boutique at 910 W. 46th St., has moved and the space is being taken over by the Weinstein Gallery.

“We thought it would be a great edition,” said Leslie Hammonds of the Weinstein Gallery, which features art in a variety of mediums. As of yet she said they have not decided for what specifically they will be using the newly acquired space.

Neighboring businesses suspect multiple recent break-ins drove Blue Moon out of the area. “I think it was the last straw for them,” said Alison Thompson of Guse Hardware.

Blue Moon’s owners could not be reached for comment.

31st & HENNEPIN

Lucia’s Restaurant at 31st and Hennepin will open Lucia’s Dog Bar on August 13. There will be festivities, food and dogs are allowed to bring their people along.

“Essentially we are enhancing the outside patio area,” explained Barbara Meyer, Lucia’s general manager. “We’re adding a water fountain for dogs to drink out of.”

Lucia’s Restaurant has been in business for 23 years now. Chef Lucia Watson, who is the proprietor of Lucia’s, started to think about the idea of a dog bar about six months ago.

“Again she is thinking up something new and exciting,” Meyer said.

The inauguration of the extended patio will last from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 13. For more information call 825-1572 or visit www.lucias.com.