Biz buzz: New building, new Uptown Bar patio

Attention Uptown Bar patrons: Prepare to say goodbye to street views from one of the neighborhood’s most popular spaces to hang.

There’s a two-story retail building planned for 3016 Hennepin Ave. S., between the Uptown Bar and The North Face store and across the street from Calhoun Square.

So come spring, when construction is slated to begin, no more patio. At least not adjacent to the street — the bar plans to relocate the patio to the back of the building.

The project is led by developer Jeff Herman, who runs the Southwest-based commercial real estate firm Urban Anthology. He has a purchase agreement with the Uptown Bar owners for the space and said the development has their support.

Herman said he has spoken with a number of interested retailers but has not confirmed any yet. He said he’s looking for a "flagship retail tenant" along the lines of similar national retailers on the block, including Urban Outfitters, Victoria’s Secret and American Apparel. He said he may also seek other users, including service-oriented businesses.

Herman said if construction begins on schedule, the building will open sometime this fall.

A greener future for discerning decorators

Green-minded decorators and remodelers looking for high-end options have a new place to call home in Casa Verde.

Casa Verde opened late this fall on 50th street near Bryant Avenue in the Lynnhurst neighborhood, offering a comprehensive selection of eco-luxe (a mashup of ‘ecology’ and ‘luxury’) wares, from kitchen and bath appliances and fixtures to cabinets, furniture, home accents, and more. Products are chosen for their materials, as well as for the sustainability of the process used to create them.

"We are excited to … show how kitchen design and home furnishings can be luxurious, beautiful, well designed and eco-friendly at the same time," said Rosemary Merrill, one of the store’s founders, in a release. "We believe the demand for high-end yet eco-friendly design is just taking off in our community."

Casa Verde is located at 911 W. 50th St. For more information, call 353-4401 or visit

Adios, Indio

Minneapolis chef and restaurateur Hector Ruiz has shuttered his latest Southwest venture, Indio, after less than a year in business.

The Uptown restaurant, which featured authentic, higher-end Mexican cuisine, closed late last month. A message on its website thanked customers and staff for making Indio "the wonderful place it was." Ruiz wasn’t able to be reached for comment.

While you can’t replace the taquitos that Indio was known for, you can still support Ruiz’s two other active restaurants in Southwest: El Meson, a Spanish-Caribbean bistro at 3450 Lyndale Ave., and Café Ena, a Latin fusion joint at 4601 Grand Ave.

Flanders Contemporary Art closed

Bankruptcy forced the closure of Flanders Contemporary Art, 3012 Lyndale Ave. S., owner Douglas Flanders said Jan. 5.

Flanders said he was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy by a local business partner who helped finance the construction of his current gallery, which opened four years ago. Slow sales, made worse by the economic crisis, left Flanders unable to repay the loan, he said.

The closing was announced in a message on the gallery’s website.

"The gallery had to go into bankruptcy just because of a lack of business," Flanders said. "We hope to reopen, but we don’t have a specific time and place."

Chapter 7 bankruptcy involves the liquidation of a debtor’s assets to repay creditors.

Flanders said art he used as collateral for the loan is in storage and will be auctioned to repay the debt. Art that was in the gallery on consignment has been returned to the artists.

Flanders first opened his gallery in 1972 at 1204 Harmon Place, a space now occupied by Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurant. A sculpture by Tony Caponi still stands at the location.

The gallery, which specializes in modern and contemporary art, moved several times before opening in 2004 in the Lyn-Lake area.

Flanders said he never developed a strong, local customer base for his gallery.

Flanders said he was struggling to keep up with monthly expenses for running his gallery. The economic downturn — not to mention the Bernard Madoff scandal, which directly affected many of his clients — was the last straw.

Flanders planned to reopen in a new, smaller space following bankruptcy proceedings.

Dylan Thomas contributed to this report