Biz buzz: Sewtropolis

Biz buzz: Sewtropolis keeping the art of sewing alive

Sewtropolis, a do-it-yourself sewing studio and fabric store, is opening Nov. 1 at 5 W. Diamond Lake Road.

It will take the place of Auntie Em’s bookstore, which recently closed.

The studio is equipped with Janome sewing machines, cutting and design tables, fabrics, scissors, threads, needles and patterns by — everything one could possibly need to sew, said owner and operator Nikol Gianopoulos.

Gianopoulos applied her Greek heritage to come up with the name Sewtropolis, or Sew City.

A Desert Storm veteran and single mother of two, Gianopoulos has dreamt of owning her own business for years.

“I walked into a quilt store in Fairfax, Virginia, and I just knew that was what I wanted to do — own my own sewing store,” she said.

Gianopoulos, 43, developed the store to appeal to 20-40-year-old women. Her intent is to keep the art of sewing alive since she feels it is no longer a tradition passed from mother to daughter.  

A variety of sewing lessons for all skill levels are available at the store weeknights from 6–10 p.m. Gianopoulos will teach students how to use the machine, make aprons, pillowcases, pajama bottoms, purses, tops and tote bags, among other things. The classes are designed so that the students, about six in each class, can learn a skill in four hours. Each lesson costs $50, plus the cost of materials. Gianopoulos is offering a reduced price sewing kit suitable for the classes.

Sewtropolis will host a grand opening at noon Nov. 1. Food and beverages will be provided and patrons can use the studio for free that day. Regular hours will be 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, noon–4 p.m. Sunday and closed Monday. For more information or to sign up for a class, call 827-9550 or check out


City approves plans for Rainbow redevelopment

The Minneapolis Planning Commission approved plans late last month for a new Rainbow Foods grocery store that will replace the outdated one at 1104 Lagoon Ave.

Plans call for the complete demolition of the existing store and 120-space parking lot. The new, two-level store will be more than double the old one’s size and a new parking garage will be able to accommodate 250 vehicles.

The grocery store’s lobby and flower shop will be on the main floor, along with additional retail space. The bulk of the grocery store will be on the second level, accessed by two elevators and several escalators.  

Rainbow will close during demolition and construction, which is expected to begin early next year and wrap up in late 2010 or early 2011.

Standard Heating and Air Conditioning unveils new headquarters near riverfront

In 2004 Standard Heating and Air Conditioning realized that they had outgrown their 410 W. Lake St. space. Drivers even had to take their trucks home at night because they didn’t have anywhere to store them, said Steve Minn, principal at Lupe Development Partners.

On Oct. 1 Standard Heating held the ribbon cutting for a new space at 130 Plymouth Ave. N.

Owners Ted and Todd Ferrara had some specific qualifications that they needed for their new space including keeping it close to the highway, in Minneapolis and close to Dunwoody. Standard Heating President Troy Gregory said the company serves the metro area and therefore wanted a central location near a neighborhood that they could serve.

The company has been based in Minneapolis since 1930.



Frattallone’s Ace Hardware opened last month in the former Checker Auto Parts space at 2733 Hennepin Ave. S.

Hours are 7:30 a.m.–9 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.–7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday.