Biz buzz // Walgreens could replace Pearsons restaurant

Walgreens is looking at moving its 49th Street and France Avenue store in Edina to the current site of Pearson’s Edina Restaurant near 50th Street & Ewing Avenue.

The family-owned neighborhood café would close after 36 years on the corner and 71 in Minneapolis, but the Pearson family said nothing is decided yet. The Walgreens move is a proposal that’s still in its early stages.

Downtown-based Semper Development this spring brought preliminary redevelopment plans to the Fulton Neighborhood Association board. Revisions were presented at a July 22 community meeting, after this edition of the Southwest Journal went to press.

Semper Development architect John Kohler said parking and traffic flow issues at the Edina Walgreens are among the driving factors for the possible move. The Pearson’s site is larger and could remedy those issues, he said.

The restaurant building would be demolished and the site would be completely redeveloped for the drugstore, Kohler said. Height would be on par with the old building, but the new development’s face would stretch further along 50th.

Kohler said the new store would not look like a typical Walgreens. Creating a design that fits with the surrounding property — specifically the newer Pinehurst building next door — is a priority, he said.

No plans have been submitted to the city and no timeline has been drawn.

 “This is an initial concept,” Kohler said. “We want to get the feelers out there and see what the neighborhood thinks.”


New grocery store moving into Ron’s Market   

Southwest residents still mourning the June closing of Ron’s Market at 4600 Bryant Ave. have a new grocer to look forward to.

Tom Thomson, who owns Guse Hardware next door to the former Ron’s store, plans to reopen the market under a new name with new offerings by September. Thomson plans to cut down on the chips, soda and other junk food and focus instead on fresh, local, organic items.   

“As much local stuff as we can get that’s good and good quality,” he said.

The store will also offer recipes and cooking expertise from professionals. Thomson said he’s been working with a cookbook author, someone with a food science degree and local growers and distributors.

He’s working on remodeling the space for his new venture, which hasn’t been named yet. Hours will probably be around 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m. daily.    


Smokin’ hot barbecue comes to Tangletown

Friends and family always told Chris Jackman, known as C.J., that he knew how to cook ribs.

The Bloomington resident said he’s been doing it for 20 years, ever since he picked up the skill from his father. But he never did it for a living, until now.

C.J. and business partner Greg Alford — a South Minneapolis resident — recently opened C & G’s Smoking Barbecue at 4737 Nicollet Ave. S. The restaurant replaced an Italian eatery next door to bakery Madwoman Foods.

Aside from ribs, C & G’s serves a variety of barbecue dishes and special creations including a Motor City corned beef sandwich, chicken wings, catfish, Coney dogs, chili cheese fries, hot-water bread and more. The focus is food, so the restaurant does not have a liquor license.

Hours are 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Thursday and 11 a.m.–11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. C & G’s can be reached at 825-3400. A website is in the works.


A new option for take-and-bake pizza

Take-and-bake pizza company HomeMade Pizza is scheduled to open in Calhoun Commons Sept. 10.

The 3056 Excelsior Blvd. store will offer pre-made pizzas, cookies and salads with all-natural ingredients. HomeMade Pizza has four other Minnesota locations, as well as stores in Illinois and the Washington, D.C., area, but this will be the first one in Minneapolis.

Homemade Pizza will offer some competition for Papa Murphy’s, a take-and-bake chain that is largely unrivaled in the metro area.  

“We’re a family-owned company and we’ve always worked hard to stay true to our roots — offering our customers made-to-order, bake-at-home pizzas created from the freshest, best ingredients we can find,” said Shane Colton, from the Chicago branch.

The pizzas range from classic cheese and pepperoni to “favorite ensembles” like sausage and caramelized onion and spinach pie, with fresh spinach, feta cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, pine nuts, fresh Wisconsin mozzarella and an olive oil base.

Any combination is possible, even taking plain cheese pizzas and adding your own toppings at home, such as fresh produce from the farmers market.

Online ordering, which will allow customers to place an order online and pick it up when it is ready, will be up in the fall, but the in-store wait is expected to be about 10–20 minutes.

Customers can pick up a pizza, take it home, and put it in their refrigerator until they are ready to eat. Ten to 15 minutes in the oven, and it’s ready to serve.

The store will be open Monday–Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday – Sunday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. To check out the menu, visit

“With everybody living such busy lives these days, we’re trying to make dinner easier while striking the balance of giving you something you can feel good about serving and eating,” said Colton.


Vegas gallery owner opens Uptown store

Las Vegas art gallery owner Ken Zamani chose Uptown for his second venture, Art at Your Door Gallery II, which opened July 6 at 1433 W. Lake St.

The gallery features about 20 international artists, as well as custom framing, home accessories and gift items. Most suppliers are from the Minneapolis area.

Zamani is also looking for a few local artists to add to the collection. The gallery offers copies as well as original works, with prices from $200 to the thousands.

A thousand custom frame samples are available from almost all major companies. Zamani requires that the companies featured have 15–20 years of experience with framing.  

Zamani and his wife, a Minneapolis native, split their time between here and Las Vegas.

They worked for a month renovating the space and said the gallery has been “well received.” Zamani is not an artist, though he jokes that he wishes he were. He worked in interior design and home décor for 30 years.

A painting by Zamani’s favorite artist, Orlando, hangs behind his desk. The Cuban artist is well known for his elaborate rooms in which he paints other famous works of art.

During the summer the gallery is open 11 a.m.–7 p.m., but stays open an hour or two later on Friday and Saturday. The store does not have a website, so call 824-7956 to get in touch.  


Bull Run Coffee stampedes into Calhoun Village

In October Bull Run Coffee will join Rustica Bakery in its new location in Calhoun Village at 3220 W. Lake St.

It will be the first retail location for St. Louis Park–based Bull Run Roasting Company, a roaster wholesaler, said owner Greg Hoyt.

The menu will include coffee, espresso, espresso beverages and iced beverages. Only seven or eight coffees will be available at a time, but each blend can be brewed on a single cup. No airpots will be used to store mass amounts of coffee.

A state-of-the-art espresso machine, milk art and brand new espresso blend require precise and skilled work by baristas. The lack of large overhead menus will stress consumer-producer relationships.

Hoyt said he is most excited about the tasting experience that will be offered to customers.

“I’ve been dying to do this because no one else has. No one has brought to retail the behind-the-scenes way in which we evaluate coffees, slurping coffee with spoons,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt suggests the cupping experience changes the way people look at coffee, and believes it’s a great way to include people in the process.

For four years Hoyt wanted to connect with consumers in a new way. Two years ago he began talking with Steve Horton, owner of Rustica Bakery, on how to combine the two companies, which share similar philosophies.

Rustica also successfully paired with coffee shop Java Jack’s in its old location.

The new store will most likely open at 6:30 a.m. weekday mornings and at 7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It will probably close at 10 p.m.

The Bull Run Roasting Company provides coffee to restaurants, country clubs and stores around the Twin Cities and is open to the public during the week. For more information, call 952-285-4242 or visit

“We want to meet people on their coffee journey and help them along,” said Hoyt. “It’s a celebration of coffee.”


Café taking over former Acadia space

A prominent, but vacant storefront at the corner of Franklin and Nicollet avenues soon should have a new tenant.

The owners of Tillie’s Bean planned to open a second location of their South Minneapolis coffee shop at 1931 Nicollet Ave. S., the former home of Acadia Café, which decamped last year for the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. The space was briefly Café Oliver, but the soup-and-sandwich joint closed last fall after only a few months in operation.

Maggie Turner, who owns Tillie’s Bean with her husband, David, said they planned to serve coffee and their breakfast-all-day menu 6 a.m.–4 p.m. daily. Tillie’s is a family-run operation, with David Turner roasting the coffee and Maggie Turner’s mother preparing fresh baked goods daily.

During its tenure at the corner, the Acadia Café built its reputation on an extensive beer list and the live, local music it hosted in the building’s intimate theater space.

The Turners may some day offer beer and wine, but they won’t be on the menu when Tillie’s Bean opens in August. The theater space will be made available to nonprofit organizations for fundraisers.

The café’s namesake — nature-loving Tillie, the Turner’s 6-year-old daughter — inspired the café’s eco-friendly practices. They planned to use recycled materials and compost organic waste to cut down on trash, Maggie Turner said.

According to her mother, Tillie’s current obsession is polar bears.



Luggage and travel-goods retailer Urban Traveler moved in June from its Uptown space near Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street.

The longtime Uptown business opened a new store in Minnetonka’s Ridgedale Center. Urban Traveler spent many years in Calhoun Square before moving to its most recent Uptown location last year.


A Subway restaurant is scheduled to open soon at 28th Street and Nicollet Avenue, in the former Maytag space.