More tenants move into new spaces in Calhoun Square

Several of Calhoun Square’s businesses had new spaces to show off during the 2009 Coffee Fest Nov. 21.

Longtime Calhoun Square tenant and retail anchor Kitchen Window reopened Nov. 19 in a new space fronting Hennepin Avenue.

The new, larger location is just down the hall from its previous site, but features a dramatically larger glass storefront, two levels, new large and small cooking-school rooms and an outdoor patio for cooking demonstrations.   

Hours are 10 a.m.–9:30 p.m. Monday–Saturday and 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday. Kitchen Window can be reached at 824-4417. Visit kitchenwindow.com for more information.

At Calhoun Square’s Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street corner, Figlio replacement Il Gatto is now open.  

Italian for “The Cat,” the Parasole Restaurant Holdings venture is “sleek, fluid and muscular like a cat, but distinctly urban, even gritty,” said Parasole founder Phil Roberts in a prepared statement.

The dinner-only restaurant serves “Uptown Italian,” which Roberts described as Italian food with an “Uptown feel, and character all of its own.” Seafood will also be a focus.

Kitchen hours will be 4:30 p.m.–1 a.m. Sunday–Thursday and 4:30 p.m.–2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

The restaurant is near the Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street corner of Calhoun square and can be reached at 822-1688. For more information, go to ilgattominneapolis.com.

Sushi Tango, Vision World, Bay Street Shoes and Bremer Bank also previously opened in remodeled spaces within Calhoun Square.

The mall’s general manager, Gayle Siegler said a more than 30,000-square-foot LA Fitness was on schedule to open in March. Noting the “soft economy,” she declined to discuss any other possible tenants coming to the mall.

She said landscaping around Calhoun Square would continue this spring. Further erosion control work around the undeveloped parts of the site also will be done early next year, she added.

Other parts of the mall’s ongoing makeover were on hold, including a later phase of the project that called for a residential tower near the intersection of Hennepin Avenue and West 31st Street.

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Uptown Bar building’s replacement going up soon

The Uptown Bar & Café building at 3018 Hennepin Ave. was demolished in mid-November and construction of its replacement is scheduled to begin Dec. 1.

The 9,600 square-foot, two-level retail building — a tenant for which has yet to be announced — will feature a large glass storefront and a stepped second level comprised partially of usable, public green space. Construction should be done next spring, within 30 days of the new, 11,000 square-foot, two-level Columbia Sportswear building next door. That project is also planned to have a green roof, though it won’t be accessible to the public.  

Jeffrey Herman, president of real estate brokerage and development company Urban Anthology, which was behind the deals and developments for both sites, said the projects are more costly than usual, but their quality should add value to the street and enhance retail sales.

Herman is also working with the owners of the bygone Uptown Bar to find a new location for the business.

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Wedge Co-op celebrates anniversary with refunds

The Wedge Co-op is celebrating its 35th anniversary as a natural and organic food cooperative this month and it recently gave members something to celebrate.

The co-op distributed more than $693,000 in patronage refunds to approximately 12,000 of its members who shopped there during the 2009 fiscal year.

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Piccolo to replace Café Agri

After months of rumors, it’s official: Café Agri at 43rd Street and Bryant Avenue will soon be replaced with a new restaurant called Piccolo.

Café Agri owner Fabrizio Ciccone set Nov. 29 as his restaurant’s last day. The sustainable vegetarian, gluten-free concept didn’t have a strong enough following, he said. Even after adding gluten items to the menu, business wasn’t where it needed to be.

“The next step would have been to introduce the meat and we didn’t want to do that,” Ciccone said.

So he made a deal with friend Doug Flicker, a chef most known for his work at Auriga, which closed in 2007. Ciccone said Flicker plans to use the tiny space for a new restaurant named Piccolo, which means “small” in Italian. It’s scheduled open in January.

Flicker couldn’t be reached for comment on his new venture, but Ciccone said more details would be announced soon.