Biz buzz: Hollywood Hustler open

Hollywood Hustler now open at 24th & Hennepin

THE WEDGE — Well, that was quick.

Just weeks after the controversial news broke that then-vacant 2405 Hennepin Ave. S. would be the site of the nation’s 12th Hollywood Hustler, the store is already open for business.

Employees said the store’s layout and inventory are works in progress. New products are still arriving, but management apparently believes it’s better to get the doors open and sell what’s already in stock than wait.

Hollywood Hustler’s inventory is a bit reminiscent of a sex-themed Spencer Gifts. Clothing ranging from T-shirts to edible undies is for sale, along with items like Hustler pint glasses, sex board games and Larry Flynt books.

To conform to the city’s general retail zoning code, only 15 percent of the store’s floor space can be devoted to sexually explicit materials. These items — most of which are pornographic — are shielded from view in a corner of the store behind roughly 7-foot-high walls.  

At a neighborhood meeting last month, city officials told neighborhood residents they would be inspecting the store before it opened to make sure it was complying with the 15 percent regulation.

Although the store’s front windows along Hennepin Avenue are filled with lingerie-clad mannequins, Hollywood Hustler’s Minneapolis store is far less gaudy in appearance than most of the chain’s other locations.

2405 Hennepin’s trim has been repainted red, and a small, simple sign reads “Hollywood Hustler” above the store’s entryway. Hustler’s corporate website shows some of the chain’s other stores adorned with tall neon spires and flashy large lettering.

Employees at the store said a grand opening celebration is planned for Sept. 6. Though plans remain preliminary, employees said porn star Ron Jeremy and perhaps even Larry Flynt may make appearances.

For more information about the Minneapolis Hollywood Hustler, check out the store’s Facebook page. The store’s phone number has not yet been publicly posted.

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East Isles pals launch online spectacle shop

EAST ISLES — Susan Moore and Mary Jane Pappas, founders of a new homed-based eyeglasses and accessories company named Eyemusement, go way, way back.

Now in their mid-60s, the women have been friends for more than 30 years. Around the time their friendship was just beginning, each was in the process of starting their own interior design companies, both of which are still active — Moore is owner of Moore and Associates, while Pappas runs Pappas Design.

In fact, as Eyemusement’s website explains, the friends “joke about dating many of the same men (though never at the same time).”

In recent years, Moore and Pappas spent less time discussing men and more time talking about the possibility of starting a joint business venture. The fruit of those conversations is Eyemusement, an East Isles-based, all-online retail store.

As Pappas puts it, Eyemusement’s glasses, most of which are custom designed, are meant to be “playful and fun yet something you could wear to the office.” Frame designs are based on everything from glasses Moore and Pappas have seen their friends wear to antique frames discovered after years sitting neglected in the glove compartments of unused vehicles to popular, in-fashion styles.

All of Eyemusement’s glasses, which come with non-prescription lenses, cost $90. Prescription lenses can be installed for an additional cost.

Moore and Pappas are also in the process of rolling out collections of locally designed colliers and earrings.

One factor that helps keeps costs down is that Eyemusement is run of out Moore’s East Isles living room. The friends and business partners said they have no plans of going anywhere anytime soon.

“We feel this is the direction that American consumption and world consumption is going — more online purchases,” Pappas said.

For more information about the company or to order glasses, check out Eyemusement’s website at eyemusement.com.

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New pet care business serves Southwest animal lovers

LINDEN HILLS — Linden Hills resident and certified veterinarian Amy Strobel-Tully recently opened Snaggle Foot Dog Walks & Pet Care.

Snaggle Foot is a national chain with locations from Oregon to New Hampshire. Services offered include dog walking, pet sitting and in-home care for animals ranging from dogs and cats to rabbits and guinea pigs.

Strobel-Tully said she began thinking about opening a pet care company early in her career as a veterinary technician.

“There has always been a need from our clients to watch pets when they go on vacation or to come over in the middle of the day and let the dog out,” she said.

“The thing I’m trying to emphasize is that instead of sending their dog to a kennel, people can keep their pets at home and it’ll be less stressful for their pets. A lot of times dogs will get stressed and sick in kennels, so there will be vet bills on top of everything else.”

For more information about Strobel-Tully’s pet care business, check out the Minneapolis Snaggle Foot site at snagglefoot-minneapolis.com.

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After brief delay, Blue Plate’s Lowry debuts

EAST ISLES — The state government shutdown held up its ability to purchase liquor for a few weeks, but The Lowry is now open at 2112 Hennepin Ave. S.

The restaurant and bar is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Featured food items include oysters, steak medallions and fish tacos. The bar has a whiskey emphasis but the full gamut of cocktails along with about 30 tap beers are also available.

Stephanie Shimp, vice president and co-founder of the Blue Plate Restaurant Company, said she thinks the Lowry is a place families will enjoy for dinner and adults will enjoy for late night drinks.

For more information, check out the Lowry’s website at thelowryuptown.com.

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Bayers hardware will sell groceries

LINDEN HILLS — Although he has no intention to get out of the hardware game, Bayers Do It Best Hardware owner Bob Bayers said his store will begin selling groceries this fall.

Bayers said he plans a 312 square-foot convenience grocery in the hardware store. He is distributing a survey to get feedback about what items patrons would like to see in the grocery, but the idea is to offer basics like milk, eggs and breads.

Bayers acknowledged the decision to stock foods is a response to the news that Mark Settergren — co-owner of Settergren Ace Hardware in Armatage and Diamond Lake Hardware in Tangletown — plans to open an 8,000 square-foot hardware store this fall just blocks away from Bayers in the old Linden Hills Co-op building.

To take the grocery survey, go to Bayers website at bayers.doitbest.com.

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Noted

As part of a consolidation of its Southwest, St. Louis Park and Golden Valley operations, Edina Realty closed its City Lakes office at the Calhoun Village Center, 3200 W. Lake St. in Cedar-Isles-Dean. The agents serving Southwest who used to office at City Lakes are now based at a new Edina Realty office in the historic building that used to house the Lincoln Del at 4100 Minnetonka Boulevard in St. Louis Park.