Biz buzz // Studiiyo 23

Urban fashion store and art gallery opens on Hennepin

With rare Michael Jordan sneakers dating back to 1985, local art work, a DJ table and pinewood floors, Moh Habib on Aug. 21 unveiled Studiiyo 23, an urban fashion store and art gallery at 2319 Hennepin Ave.

Everything about Studiiyo 23, from the name to the design to the merchandise, is a reflection of Habib, a 34-year-old world traveler who spent his high school and college years in Minnesota.

“In those travels — I’ve been to 30 countries and 169 cities so far — I picked up the best of what I like from all those spots, and what I did was try to merge everything I love in life into one space,” he said.

Habib has spent the last eight years working in Japan and Switzerland, first for Northwest Airlines and later as a consultant. The name Studiiyo 23 combines the English word “studio” with the Japanese word “iiyo,” which Habib said is the Japanese ideal that anything is possible.

Habib is a die-hard Michael Jordan shoe collector. He owns more than 150 pairs of Jordan shoes, including rare ones that he snagged only because he was visiting the right city at the right time. He displays his own sneakers in the store, but also sells the newest Jordan shoes. He said he is the only independently owned Jordan retailer in Minnesota.

Along with the Jordans he also sells other urban footwear, hats, shirts, bags, headphones and other accessories. Right now he is only selling men’s merchandise but said he plans to expand to offer a women’s selection.

While half of the shop is for fashion, the other half is all about art, music and culture. Habib will feature a new artist every month. This month he’s featuring acrylic paintings and painted antique furniture from Diane Simon of St. Paul.

Studiiyo 23 also has a DJ table where spinners will work at various times and a projection-screen TV so customers can partake in PlayStation 3 tournaments.

“When I describe the space to people I don’t say it’s a sneaker shop,” Habib said. “I say it’s an art gallery that sells sneakers and urban fashion because it has that art gallery feel.”

A bittersweet parade for Linden Hills Co-op

The Linden Hills Co-op will say goodbye to its 43rd Street location by organizing a New Orleans-style jazz funeral that will feature a brass band and pallbearers leading a parade to the new location, about a mile away at 3815 Sunnyside Avenue.

The parade begins at the existing co-op at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 12. Members, friends and shoppers are invited to walk or ride along.

The pallbearers will push a wheelbarrow full of co-op memorabilia destined for a time capsule. Those interested in contributing to the time capsule can bring items to the 43rd St. location at noon. Kids can decorate their bicycles Mardi Gras style. Light refreshments will be served following the parade.

The Sunnyside location will open Sept. 23. The 43rd St. location will close Sept. 19. The new location will hold a grand opening Oct. 23 with deep discounts, free workshops, $4,000 in prize giveaways and free food.


BLB operator plans to buy Casey’s Bar and Grill

Kim Bartmann, who runs popular Lake Street establishments Bryant Lake Bowl and Barbette, said she has a purchase agreement for Casey’s Bar and Grill, 3510 Nicollet Ave.

Bartmann wouldn’t offer specifics on what she will do with the space. She is asking to present to the Kingfield and Lyndale neighborhood groups soon to show them her plans.

She said the renovation will last a couple weeks and said work will be done on the kitchen and dining area. Casey’s has a very limited food menu.

 “We’re a very food-focused company, so I think that will be a major change,” she said.

Bartmann said the current Casey’s owner has taken good care of the place and kept it clean.

“It has a lot of potential,” she said. “It’s a cute old bar.”

With Blackbird Café relocating to 38th and Nicollet and rumors of other potential restaurant openings, Bartmann said that area of Nicollet is gaining momentum.   

Bartmann, who battled through road reconstruction in front of Bryant Lake Bowl for two summers, is likely to face it again when Nicollet Avenue is rebuilt in 2012.

“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” she said.


Combo art gallery, spa, yoga studio coming to Linden Hills

Raising two daughters as a single mother is no easy feat, but couple that with starting an art gallery, spa and yoga studio, and Michelle Dudar is one busy woman. Not to mention, she’s pregnant with her third child.

Galleri M., 4404 Abbott Ave. S., has been up and running as an art galley since April. Dudar recently started a spa in the same building, an old Linden Hills home that most recently was the site of Harriann Upholstery. Dudar lives with her two daughters on the second floor.

That means Dudar is putting her biggest passions in life under one roof. She’s raising her daughters, promoting the arts and using her talents as an Aveda graduate who specializes in facials.

“I don’t want to be big, I just want to be small and I want to be able to provide good art and beautiful skin and just give back to my community in the way I know how,” she said.

Galleri M. features all types of artwork, from both local artists and those whom Dudar has gotten to know over the years as a self-described nomad. She’s lived in the Middle East, Africa, and most recently, Austin, Texas. But she came back to where she was raised to give her kids the same frozen lakes and snowflakes she grew up with.

Dudar stresses small when she talks about Galleri M. She wants a small client list and small yoga classes under the teaching of Ella Chissotti.

“I want it to be really inviting and friendly,” Dudar said.

To schedule an appointment, call 920-3600. The gallery is open Thursday through Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Amma Maternity 
hosting baby fair

Edina resident Sara Pearce, founder of Amma Maternity, is hosting a Baby Fair Sept. 14 to help new and expecting parents overcome the often confusing and disorienting feelings they have when a new baby comes into their lives.

Amma Maternity, 3511 Hazelton Road, is the Twin Cities most comprehensive resource for new parents. The center has a full menu of parenting and childbirth classes, drop-in playtimes, breastfeeding assistance and on-site boutique featuring baby books and products hand picked by the staff.

The fair will help parents with a number of topics, including choosing non-toxic baby products, surviving postpartum, helping your baby develop good sleeping habits and learning more about the early days of a newborn.

The event is free, but diaper donations will be collected for The Diaper Drive.

The fair runs 6:30–9 p.m. For more information, visit



Fulton Beer signed a lease for a 6,000 square-foot brewery at 414 6th Ave. N., which is just a couple blocks north of Target Field.

Co-owner Ryan Petz said Fulton is working to get financing for equipment and renovation, which could range from $250,000 to $500,000. At earliest, the brewery could open this winter, but it would depend on financing.

Fulton Beer is currently brewed in Black River Falls, Wis., and is served in 70 to 80 Twin Cities bars.

See the Sept. 23 issue for a full story on Fulton’s progress.


The Jon Charles Salon, 1221 W. Lake St., was named for a third consecutive year as one of the nation’s top 100 salons in Elle magazine’s August issue.