Biz buzz: A skateboarding family

Familia Skate Shop celebrated the opening of its new location in Uptown at 2833 Hennepin Avenue with a Grand (Re)Opening party on February 28. The shop, which sells skateboards, skate shoes and clothing, moved to Uptown, across the street from the YWCA, and closed the doors of its St. Paul store on Snelling Avenue.

Familia carries more than 20 brands of boards and apparel, such as Diamond, Element, Vans, Zoo York and Emerica for their shoes, clothing and skateboarding gear.

The store’s focus is on skateboarding and creating a community, which is why they chose the name "familia," meaning "family" in Spanish.

"We’re trying to push the definition [of family] to everyone in and around the shop and Twin Cities skateboarding," the website explains.

Familia boasts frequent visits by Steve Nesser, professional skateboarder, who also owns the shop. Nesser is a member of Birdhouse Skateboards’ team, alongside Tony Hawk and Shaun White, and is a Minneapolis native.

The store is open Monday–Friday noon–8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday noon–4 p.m. Familia also has a website and online store at and a blog at

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Adios, Burrito Loco

Burrito fanatics can be very opinionated about which places offer the best eats.

Chipotle, Qdoba and Baja Sol are a few of the heavy hitters. But a Burrito fan from the Twin Cities, especially one that went to the University of Minnesota, might offer up another name: Burrito Loco.

Unfortunately for these folks, the independent burrito business recently closed one of its two locations. Tortillas were rolled for the last time at the 1400 Lagoon Ave. shop in February.

"It was a really good area," said Greg Pillsbury, who started Burrito Loco with his brother John several years ago in a tiny Dinkytown space. "It was a really good spot, but obviously when the cost of food goes up as high as it has, there’s a reason you don’t see a lot of mom-and-pop-food-only places out there."

Pillsbury said the lease on the Uptown spot expired and the rent was getting too high. He also said it was difficult managing multiple restaurants — at one point the brothers managed a hot dog and deli shop in addition to the burrito businesses.

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Repair for your PC

A new computer and electronic repair and retail store called PC Doodle is now open at 2655 Hennepin Avenue South.

The store, which is across the street from the Apple store on Hennepin, will focus on speedy computer repairs, especially PCs, said owner Jeff Abercrombie.

"The biggest thing we’re focusing on is really fast service," he said. "When people’s computers break, they want them back as quickly as possible."

Abercrombie said he also wants to build relationships with customers and let them know they are getting a good deal on their repairs and computers at PC Doodle.

The store also has a retail portion, selling computers, electronics, and "random gadgets we think are cool," he said.

PC Doodle will be holding its grand opening in a few weeks, Abercrombie said, but the store is already open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

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Crepes all day

Uptown is getting a new breakfast and lunch option; one Alain Lenne calls "healthy fast food."

Lenne owns La Belle Crepe, which as you might guess, serves a variety of crepes. Ingredients range from orange marmalade and crème fraiche to smoked turkey and bacon. The restaurant opened at 825 Nicollet Mall a few months ago and Lenne is opening a second restaurant March 15 in Calhoun Square.

La Belle Crepe will share the Aura restaurant space. Lenne’s business will operate from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily and Aura will take over during the dinner hours.

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A new restaurant called Sauce is moving into the Lyn-Lake space formerly occupied by La Bodega, which closed in February.

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Chef Scott Pampuch of the Corner Table in Kingfield  is launching a new program "Tour de Farm" that will take diners directly to the source of their food — local farmers who produce seasonal fare for Twin Cities restaurants. The program will feature four Sunday dining events this spring, summer and fall. Other chefs in the program include: Mike Philips of the Craftsman Restaurant in Minneapolis, Scott Graden of the New Scenic Café in Duluth, Lenny Russo of Heartland in St. Paul and JD Fratzke of the Strip Club in St. Paul.