Biz buzz // Hardware stores will compete

Hardware stores will compete for customers

LINDEN HILLS — Talks between Mark Settergren and Bob Bayers about a possible merger of their respective hardware stores broke down, meaning Settergren and Bayers will soon be both neighbors and competitors.

Shortly after the news broke in July that Settergren purchased the old Linden Hills Co-op building at 2318 W. 43rd St., he and Bayers began talking about merging operations.

Bayers is owner of Bayers Do It Best Hardware, a store that has been open at the corner of 43rd & Upton for almost 90 years.

Settergren wouldn’t comment about the specifics of his talks with Bayers, but did say he and Bayers “tried to make this deal work, but we’re agreeing to disagree. It just didn’t work out.”

News of the sale generated controversy. Some residents were surprised to learn another hardware store would be moving into Linden Hills less than a quarter mile from Bayers.

Just after the sale, Settergren said he hoped the two stores could co-exist. But with talks about a possible merger now at an end, Bayers said he doubts the neighborhood is large enough for two hardware stores.

“Unfortunately, in the long run I find it hard to believe that both stores can manage to exist,” Bayers said. “But we hope to bring (Settergren) to task by providing our customers with the hardware they’re used to buying from us at prices they can afford.”

Bayers acknowledged he faces stiff competition — for one, the old co-op space is more than twice the size of his store. He said he’s already been talking to city employees about getting a small business loan to finance remodeling and remerchandising.

Settergren — co-owner of Settergren Ace Harware (located at 54th & Penn in Armatage) and Diamond Lake Hardware (54th & Nicollet in Tangletown) — said he plans to open an 8,000 square-foot store in the old co-op building by October.

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A Little Bird latest business to open at 48th & Grand

TANGLETOWN — Located just two blocks south of the foodie’s heaven sprouting on the corner of 46th & Grand, the business node at 48th & Grand is in the early stages of a revitalization of its own.

Following on the recent openings of Terra-Cotta Floral, 4750 Grand Ave. S., and Artsy Digs, 4760 Grand Ave. S., the newest store to open at 48th & Grand is A Little Bird.

The store at 4754 Grand Ave. S. sells a mix of old and new home accents, candles, linens, jewelry and other gift items. Owner Jodi Sandberg takes pride in talking with patrons about the origin and history of the items in her store, making the experience of shopping at A Little Bird more interactive than most gift shops.

The inventory at A Little Bird is a reflection of Sandberg’s aesthetic taste. She has an extensive collection of Bulgarian bracelets and said she particularly enjoys hand-crafted items with minor imperfections that set them apart from mass-produced goods.

A Little Bird’s grand opening celebration is scheduled for Aug. 11 from 6 p.m.–9 p.m. The event will feature live music, treats and giveaways.

Though the new retail shops and the acclaimed eateries a couple blocks north have helped draw more foot traffic to 48th & Grand, business owners on the corner said they’re hoping a coffee shop or restaurant will open shop at their business node next and bring a more regular stream of shoppers to the area.

Lisa Gilroyed, co-owner of Artsy Digs, said she’s “fantasized about having a pizzeria with a big patio” on the northeast corner of 48th & Grand, but added it’d be difficult to bring the commercial buildings in that area — many of which don’t have upper-floor bathrooms — into compliance with the city’s restaurant code.

For more information about A Little Bird and the store’s grand opening event, check out littlebirdshop.com.

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Urban Bean opens at 24th & Lydale

WHITTIER — Coffee will be returning to 24th & Lyndale with the opening of the second Urban Bean Coffee at 2401 Lyndale Ave. S. on Aug. 8.

Muddy Waters served coffee at 2401 Lyndale for two decades before moving down the street and expanding into a restaurant and bar a few months ago. With extensive renovations of the building’s interior now complete, owner Greg Martin hopes the new Urban Bean will enjoy similar longevity.

As is the case with Urban Bean’s other location at 3255 Bryant Ave. S., the new shop offers premium coffee roasted by Dogwood Coffee and a full range of espresso drinks. Hot panini sandwiches and soups are also available.

But caffeine won’t be the only thing patrons can get a buzz from at the new Urban Bean, as Martin is in the process of securing a wine and beer license.

Martin said the plan is to make the new Urban Bean a low-key spot to enjoy a drink or two, but said the joint will remain a coffee shop first and foremost.

“We want the new place to be very interactive and not just a study hall, so if you’re a guy who wants to get off your bike and come in for a $2 or $3 can of Hamm’s, you’ll be able to do that,” Martin said, adding that he also plans to offer “good Belgian ales and hipster beers — a little something for everyone.”

For more information, check out Urban Bean’s website at urbanbeancoffee.com.

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Piccadilly Prairie creates today’s designs with yesterday’s materials

FULTON — Piccadilly Prairie is part art show, part retail.

The new store — located at 5014 Xerxes Ave. S. — is only open the second weekend of each month. With a tagline of “Yesterday’s materials, today’s design,” owner Lacey Brooker takes used and sometimes discarded household items and restyles them into functional and attractive pieces that fit in a modern home.

For instance, during Piccadilly Prairie’s opening weekend last month, one featured sale item was an incubator that had been converted into a coffee table. The incubator doors, formerly used to house eggs, now served the purpose of storing magazines, and legs from a school desk were added to elevate the tabletop to an appropriate height.

Though the store is only open four days a month, Brooker takes appointments and does custom pieces. She said part of the reason for only opening the store occasionally is to make the experience of visiting Piccadilly Prairie more akin to seeing a show than browsing a retail store.

“We try and entirely change it from month-to-month,” she said. “We’re open for four days, then spend the next month restocking and restyling.”

Each month is themed. August is about the state of Minnesota, while September’s theme is vintage schoolhouses.

For more information about Piccadilly Prairie, check out the shop’s website at piccadillyprairie.com.

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Noted

• Two acclaimed Southwest restaurants recently began serving alcohol. Quang’s, 2719 Nicollet Ave. S., in Whittier recently received city approval for a beer and wine license, and The Malt Shop, 809 W. 50th St., in Lynnhurst now offers tap beer and keg wine.

• Uber Outlet, 6015 Lyndale Ave. S., is holding its annual tent sale Aug. 11–13. Children’s items will be sold at discounted rates from a tent in the store’s parking lot.