Once Upon a Crime receives prestigious national award
THE WEDGE — This April, Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore, 604 W. 26th St. in Whittier, will be honored with arguably the most prestigious honor available to bookstores of its ilk.
The Mystery Writers of America (MWA) announced the store, along with Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore in Chicago, is a 2011 recipient of the Raven Award.
Established in 1953, the award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Notable former recipients include former President Bill Clinton (apparently a huge fan of crime novels), Alfred Hitchcock and the National Library of Congress.
Gary Schulze, co-owner of Once Upon a Crime since 2002 along with his wife Pat Frovarp (they were married at the bookstore in 2007), said he was extremely surprised and honored to receive the award, which will be presented to the couple April 28 at an award banquet in New York City.
“We didn’t apply for it, didn’t lobby — we didn’t even know it was available to us,” he said.
In a press release, MWA lauded Once Upon a Crime for frequently hosting signings for local and traveling authors and for the store’s annual Write of Spring event. The release also praised the store’s eclectic collection.
Reach Once Upon a Crime at 870-3785.
Bull Run Coffee moving into CRC space
CARAG — Bull Run Roasting Co. opens its first stand-alone coffee shop in April at 3346 Lyndale Ave. S.
Bull Run Coffee is an opportunity for a company known as a roaster and wholesaler to offer its premium coffees and teas in a café setting.
“We’re going to be offering both traditional-style coffees and slow-brew, handmade coffees,” said Brent Ringate, co-owner of Bull Run Roasting, adding that the coffee shop also would offer pastries, sandwiches and other light food items. “We want to reach out to our wholesale customer base.”
Bull Run Coffee will move into the former Cars-R-Coffins coffee shop space. After five years in business, the coffee shop component of CRC will close its doors for the final time on March 25.
“There’s many factors behind this decision, but more than anything, years of 80-plus hour workweeks have been a drain of sorts, and that’s the main impetus,” said Tom Everson, owner of CRC.
Everson maintained the CRC brand was alive and well. He said he planned to invest more of his time in CRC’s website and bike maintenance services after the coffee shop closed.
Bull Run’s emphasis on premium, slow-brewed coffees meant that almost all of CRC’s equipment would have to be replaced, but Ringate said he planned an April 1 opening.
He added the shop would feature local art, and that ownership was exploring the possibility of hosting small concerts at the space.
New women’s boutique comes to Uptown
THE WEDGE — Excelsior-based designer Cynthia Rae is taking her “fun, funky and affordable” brand of fashion to Uptown.
Just in time for spring, Rae opened her second women’s boutique (the other is in Excelsior) at 2817 Hennepin Ave. S.
Asked how her Uptown inventory would differ from the Excelsior location, Rae said, “It’ll be a little more adventurous, featuring more experimental fashion.”
Rae’s boutiques stock on-trend designs, supplemented by some of her own creations.
“Everything we do is very affordable so that everyone can look very fashionable without breaking the bank,” she said.
Queried about what’s hot this spring, Rae cited loose-fitting tops and mixed prints — for instance, she said that it’s perfectly acceptable, and perhaps even fashionable, to wear a striped top with a polka-dotted skirt here in 2011.
And after months of dirty snow banks, March and April are all about color, color, color.
“We’ve had such a long winter, so everyone is tired of gray and black,” Rae said. “Color is huge.”
A Twin Cities native, Rae loved creating clothes for her Barbie dolls as a youngster. She eventually expanded her interest in making and designing clothes to include full-size humans and opened her Excelsior boutique about a decade ago.
A grand opening celebration will take place sometime this spring.
For more information about Cynthia Rae’s Uptown boutique, call the store at 401-4484.
River Chocolate finds a home in Linden Hills
LINDEN HILLS — After years of a nomadic existence, River Chocolate now has a home at 2822 W. 43rd St.
“I really like personal contacts with people and the instant gratification of dealing with a customer,” said owner Deidre Davis, whose chocolates gained brand recognition at local farmers’ markets. “In my heart of hearts I always wanted to have a retail spot.”
Davis lives in River Falls, Wis., but said she and her husband “fell in love with [Linden Hills] a long time ago, so when this little building became available, I grabbed it.”
Davis’ renowned chocolates — including truffles, sauces and tortes, among others — are made by hand in her River Falls kitchen, but River Chocolate is about more than sweets. The store offers a variety of other locally produced foods, including pastas, teas, salad dressings and much more.
“We are working toward being a place where people can get all sorts of wonderful local foodstuffs,” Davis said.
A grand opening celebration will take place sometime in May.
For more information, call the store at 926-8466.
Clothes Mentor opens in Calhoun Village
CIDNA — Minneapolis’ first Clothes Mentor franchise opened in March at 3252 W. Lake. St.
Clothes Mentor pays cash for “gently used” women’s clothing and accessories then resells its inventory at deep discounts.
“We want merchandise that is still stylish,” said Steve Bonello, owner of the Clothes Mentor franchises in Edina and Calhoun Village. “Our stuff is still in fashion. You’re either still seeing it in stores, or certainly people are still wearing it.”
The store will be buying merchandise until about the end of April. Once an inventory has been built-up, there will be a grand opening commemorating the beginning of sales, although the store will continue to buy merchandise as well.
For example, Bonello said, if a particular style of jacket sold at Gap for $90, Clothes Mentor would sell it for about $30 and purchase it for about $10.
“The nice thing (for sellers) is that it’s cash right on the spot,” he said.
For more information, check out Clothes Mentor’s website at clothesmentor.com.
Stone Brewing debuts in Minnesota
A nationally renowned brewery will soon be entering the crowded Twin Cities beer market.
Escondido, Calif., based Stone Brewing Co. planned a number of beer tastings around the metro March 29–April 2 to celebrate the beginning of distribution in Minnesota.
Stone Brewing is perhaps best known for its Arrogant Bastard Ale, currently distributed in 35 states (Minnesota will be 36). The beer’s label is indicative of the company’s broader ethos, admonishing prospective drinkers: “You’re Not Worthy”.
In a review of the ale (which he gave an A+), BeerAdvocate co-founder Todd Alström described Arrogant as having malt sweetness with caramel, chocolate and roasted coffee flavors.
“It’s rather aggressive, but oh so … good,” Alström wrote.
If you’d like to sample Arrogant Bastard Ale or other Stone Brewing offerings, South Lyndale Liquors, located at 5300 Lyndale Ave. S. in Lynnhurst, is hosting a public beer tasting with Stone Brewing CEO and co-founder Greg Koch on March 31 from 5:30–6:30 p.m.
Information about other Stone Week Minnesota events can be found at stonebrew.com/stoneweek.
Koch lives in California, but said he is a fan of many of the Twin Cities craft brews, citing Surly and Town Hall’s beers as local offerings for which he has a great deal of respect.
Said Koch: “I’m an enthusiast about what they do, and the great thing about craft brewing is that brewers have their own particular styles and express themselves in different ways that set them apart.”
Shroud of mystery surrounds Tilia opening
LINDEN HILLS — Following months of rumors, Tilia was set to open March 19 at 2726 W. 43rd St.
Co-owners Steven Brown and Jorg Pierach were extremely coy regarding what would be on Tilia’s menu once the restaurant opened. Items like butternut squash puree with sage and pork tenderloin served atop caramelized brussels sprouts were served during a Tilia’s preview event earlier this month, but Pierach said both the staff and menu were tweaked in the days following the soft opening.
A press release revealing more details about the restaurant was being prepared as this edition of the Southwest Journal went to press. Pierach declined to divulge further details about the restaurant until the release became available.