A sendoff for Ron

Ron’s Market at 46th Street and Bryant Avenue is set to close at the end of this month, but not without a proper farewell party for Ron Erickson, the guy who has spent the past two decades behind the counter at the neighborhood grocery store.

An “appreciation festival” is planned for June 13, from noon–6 p.m. at St. Luke’s Church, 4557 Colfax Ave. S. Local bands will play, food will be grilled and goodbyes will be said.

Erickson is letting his lease expire and moving to New Mexico to be with his wife. Jeff Gatesmith, who has lived next door to Ron’s Market since it opened 20 years ago, organized the sendoff.

“He’s been more than just a shopkeeper and it’s more than just a corner grocery store that we rely on,” Gatesmith said. “It’s a gathering point.”

Gatesmith said Ron was the type of shopkeeper who started a tab if you forgot your wallet, or would help you out with a purchase when times were tough. His shop was also a kid hangout, a place for their first adventure to buy a candy bar.

 “I’m sure something else will go in there, but it is like losing a neighbor, Ron himself personally, like losing a neighbor and a friend,” Gatesmith said.

Gatesmith said the community plans to buy up the food as the shop closes and organize a mini-food shelf.

Erickson said he was surprised by the neighborhood’s efforts.

“When I first heard about it I was a little put back,” he said. “The community has been great and supported me through all my years here.”

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Grillin’ by the Walker

A new Garden Grill by Wolfgang Puck will be open throughout the summer at the Walker Art Center’s Vineland Place terrace at Walker Green Space.

The grill will serve grilled-to-order burgers and hot dogs, as well as salads and ice cream treats, all for under $5 on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m.–8 p.m. and weekend afternoons from 11 a.m.–2 p.m. until Sept. 6.

It is intended to enhance Target Free Thursday Nights, which includes outdoor concerts, and Free First Saturdays. Hours will be extended to 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Free First Saturdays.

For more information, contact the Walker Art Center at 375-7600.

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New digs for Sushi Tango

Sushi Tango reopened in Calhoun Square on May 1 in a new, larger location on the second floor.

The new location has a modern look and twice the seating capacity as well as an outdoor patio that overlooks the plaza on Girard Avenue.

In addition to fresh sushi, teppanyaki is now offered on the expanded menu. The restaurant also has seasonal tap beers, an updated wine list and new specialty drinks.

Calhoun Square is located on Lake Street & Hennepin Avenue. Sushi Tango is open from 5 p.m.–1 a.m. Monday-Wednesday and noon–1 a.m. Thursday–Sunday. For more information, visit www.sushitango.com or call 822-7787.

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Figlio closing for revamp

Figlio at the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street will close in mid September or early October for a complete remodel and possibly a name change.

The culinary direction of the restaurant, which opened at the corner in 1984, will also be retooled, said Phil Roberts, CEO of Parasole Restaurant Holdings, which owns Figlio and several other local establishments.

“We haven’t remodeled Figlio for 12 years,” he said. “So it’s really time that we do that, we get in there and spend some money and bring it into the 21st Century.”

Another Parasole restaurant called Cafeteria is slated to open next door to Figlio in Calhoun Square about a year from now, he said. The concept for that restaurant is still being discussed.