Biz buzz // Good will in Linden Hills

Spreading good will in Linden Hills

Charlie Frawley is no stranger to Linden Hills businesses. Every day he stops into Bayers Do it Best Hardware to buy a bottle of diet cola. He drops by Great Harvest for a sample of fresh bread. He loves Sebastian Joe’s ice cream and he eats at Famous Daves.

Frawley, 21, is also a bit of a character in the neighborhood. He cracks jokes to the businesses’ employees and waves at the shoppers on the sidewalks.

The Linden Hill business owners have gotten to know Frawley so well that a couple months ago they decided to make him the “Good Will Ambassador of the Linden Hills Village.” The job sends Frawley, who is developmentally disabled, down to Lake Harriet twice a week to distribute band shell schedules and to welcome visitors into the neighborhood.

Frawley’s new part-time gig was made possible by a non-profit organization called Community Involvement Programs that finds jobs for young adults with disabilities that connect them to a community and allow them to grow socially and professionally.

Community Involvement Programs career counselor Josh Dean asked Linden Hills Business Association President Mark Dwyer about possible options for Frawley.

Dwyer then talked to Linden Hills business owners and they voted unanimously to make him their ambassador.

“All I had to do was mention Charlie to a few business owners,” Dwyer said.

Bob Bayers said he’s enjoyed Frawley’s visits to his hardware store that have been going on for several years. He and his staff will joke back and forth with Frawley.

Now Frawley comes into the store on Mondays and Fridays to pick up his satchel of pamphlets before heading toward the lake.

“It’s a win-win,” Bayers said. “We gain a good will ambassador and Charlie has a job he can call his own.”

Frawley’s mother, Maggie Quinlan, said she hopes her son will be able to use his current job as a stepping stone to a more permanent job at one of the Linden Hills businesses.

“Charlie is out there, he’s outdoors, he’s seeing people that know him and don’t know him and he’s gaining a lot of confidence in having something he is in charge of,” Quinlan said.


Tai Chi center opens at 40th and Lyndale

Tai Chi changed Lee Dunn’s life 20 years ago. Now he wants to take what the Chinese martial art form gave him — tranquility and good health — and pass it on to the people of Southwest Minneapolis and beyond. He plans to open his new Tai Chi and Chi Gong center, High Moon, at 710 W. 40th St. in September.

Dunn has spent the last 30 years working as a bricklayer. Laying bricks took a toll on Dunn’s body; he gained muscle but lost flexibility. It twisted up his shoulders and forearms and generally, he felt miserable.

He tried playing sports. He tried other physical activities. Nothing worked.

Then around 1990 he visited Tilopa Tai Chi Qigong Center at 45th Street and Colfax Avenue. His instructor, Marilyn Allysum, taught him Tai Chi — a martial art form that emphasizes slow movement and breathing.

Dunn, who lives just blocks from his new business, said the exercises brought him tranquility and made his body feel much better. It extended his career as a bricklayer.

Dunn spent several years as a teaching assistant under Allysum before branching off on his own and teaching his own students at the St. Francis Liberal Catholic Church, 3201 Pleasant Ave. and at the Lake Harriet Dance Center in Richfield.

He recently retired from laying brick. Now the 55-year-old works at the Harvest Moon Natural Foods Co-op in Long Lake and plans to teach night classes when his new shop opens up.

If his workdays seem long, they’re not. He doesn’t view Tai Chi as work.

“Teaching classes is a love,” said Dunn, who met his wife in Tai Chi. “I love helping people find what they love from Tai Chi.”

To sign up for classes, call Dunn at 822-2400. You can also learn more about High Moon at


New Indian restaurant coming to Uptown

The owner of four popular Indian food restaurants in the Twin Cities is opening an Uptown location, but he said his 1221 W. Lake St. spot will be different than his first four.

Dijit Singh’s newest restaurant is called Darbar India Grill.

Darbar will use the Tandoori cooking method — using a clay oven and building an extremely hot and smoky fire to prepare lamb, chicken and fish kabobs. Customers at Darbar will be able to view their food being cooked, as the oven will be surrounded by glass, Singh said.

Unlike the suburban locations, the Darbar will not have a buffet, Singh said.

The restaurant will have a wide selection of Naan — specialty Indian breads. It will also have a full bar.

Singh, 33, opened his first restaurant in Roseville in 1998. He’s targeting a mid-August opening.

Darbar will be in Uptown Row, occupying the space that Indio, a Mexican restaurant, occupied until shuttering its doors in December 2008.


Geeky masseuse moving closer to her Southwest customers

Lynn Patricia knows she is geek.

“There’s just no getting around it,” she said of the geeky yet methodical and scientific approach she takes to the massage therapy she performs on her patients out of her St. Paul clinic, the New Light Therapy Center.

But many of those patients don’t live in St. Paul, she said. They live in Southwest. So she’s bringing her beds to them, opening up shop at Spring Salon Spa at 43rd and Upton.

Spring Salon Spa is the new name of what was once “Kent Here for Hair.” Two of the stylists bought the salon from the owner and changed the name. They also recently finished a complete remodel of the salon.

Patricia has an impressive list of clients. She specializes in sports injuries and has treated some prominent musicians, including Jack Johnson and members from bands Keb Mo, The Big Wu and Los Lobos.

Patricia’s services include relaxation massages, deep-tissue massages, hot-stone massages and acupuncture.  

Patricia has been doing massage therapy for eight years since graduating from CenterPoint Massage and Shiatsu Therapy School & Clinic in Minneapolis.

Patricia plans to keep her St. Paul location open and go back and forth between the two clinics. To reach Patricia, call 325-3357 or make an appointment online at


Azia Restaurant moving downtown

Azia Restaurant, 2550 Nicollet Ave. S., and its two adjoining rooms — A25 Sushi, and The Caterpillar Lounge — closed Aug. 8 after nearly 10 years on Eat Street in the Whittier neighborhood.

Owner Thom Pham wrote in a statement that the building the restaurant leased was problematic.

Azia will move to 6th Street and Hennepin Avenue in downtown and change its name to Wondrous Azian Kitchen. Pham plans to open the new location Aug. 12. A grand opening will be held Aug. 19.


Simply Jane paint studio nominated for Nickelodeon award

Southwest paint studio Simply Jane, 4801 Nicollet Ave. S., has been nominated for Best Kids’ Party Place by Nickelodeon’s Parents Connect Web site.

It’s the third straight nomination for the studio. Simply Jane, among other services, hosts parties for kids, teaching them to paint “their own masterpiece.” Kids are taught a specialized painting technique and work on a personalized project.

Simply Jane is competing against Abrakadoodle, In the Company of Kids Creative Arts Center, Minnesota Children’s Museum and Snip-its Salon. Owner Jane Elias said she’s looking forward going up against larger businesses and studios.

“We’re just this tiny little Southwest Minneapolis one-of-a-kind art studio,” she said.

She’s encouraging people to vote for her studio online at



Two businesses have signed leases in Uptown Row, 1221 W. Lake St.

Mayfield Chiropractic will move from its Franklin Avenue location and open in Uptown Sept. 1, according to Ross Fefercorn of Uptown Row.

Fefercorn also said RE/MAX Results will open an office in Uptown Row.