Planning commissioners signal support for Linden Corner project
LINDEN HILLS —Mark Dwyer’s Linden Corner project was received favorably by the Minneapolis Planning Commission on Sept. 22 — the first city discussion about his proposed mixed-use redevelopment of 43rd & Upton.
While the discussion was informal, the Planning Commission’s Committee of the Whole had almost nothing but positive things to say about Dwyer’s $22 million plan.
That plan involves tearing down the converted gas station currently home to Famous Dave’s and an adjacent office building along Upton Avenue. Those buildings would be replaced by a 59-foot mixed-use building featuring a restaurant, five commercial spaces and a large office on the first level, with 32 to 34 one- to three-bedroom condos on the upper floors.
Planning Commission President David Motzenbecker (6th Ward) said he liked the idea of providing “lifestyle housing” for seniors. Dwyer plans to sell many of the condo units to “empty nesters” looking to move from single-family homes into smaller residences.
Motzenbecker also praised the architectural quality of the project.
The feedback from the Planning Commission stands in stark contrast to how Dwyer’s plan has been received in Linden Hills, where more than 1,000 people signed a petition asking City Council Member Betsy Hodges (13th Ward) not to support the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Dwyer needs to build a five-floor building at 43rd & Upton.
But during the Sept. 22 meeting, Planning Commissioner Theodore Tucker (3rd Ward) said he isn’t concerned about the possibility of a five-story structure at 43rd & Upton. Other commissioners commended the project design for being neighborhood appropriate in both its architectural quality and scale.
During his presentation to the planning commissioners, Dwyer characterized the neighborhood discussion about his proposal as a “nightmare” and expressed frustration about the fact that many neighbors have been misinformed about the project. Commissioners commended him for organizing focus groups in an effort to gather constructive input.
At the conclusion of the discussion, commissioners debated whether Dwyer should bring his project back to the Committee of the Whole to gather more informal feedback before the proposal goes up for formal review before the Planning Commission.
In response to that question, Planning Commissioner Dan Cohen (7th Ward) seemed to capture the consensus of the committee, signaling his support for the project by saying: “I don’t need to see it again. I think [the developers] have paid their dues.”
Dwyer said he’s “really pleased that [planning commissioners] saw the vision and liked the vision.”
He said he anticipates submitting a site plan to the Planning Commission for formal review around the middle of this month.
Now open: Pat’s Tap in Lyndale
LYNDALE — Pat’s Tap is now open in the old Casey’s Bar space at 3510 Nicollet Ave S.
Owned by Kim and Kari Bartmann, the skee-club and gastro pub serves about 20 craft and local taps. Dozens and dozens of canned beers are also served, but no bottles.
As Pat’s Tap “Canifesto” explains, “We believe in serving beer by the can. Cans are airtight and oxygen-free, protecting the beer and keeping it fresh.”
Cocktails and a variety of wines are also served.
As far as food goes, the menu features everything from hamburgers ($10) to rainbow trout ($16). A variety of meats and cheeses are offered, including charcuterie plates and a la carte cheese.
There is more to do at Pat’s Tap than just eat and drink, however. The gastro pub also features a pool table and four old school analog skee-ball machines.
Pat’s Tap will eventually feature a “skee-club” of some sort, but specific plans haven’t been hammered out at this point.
The bar is open daily until from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., with brunch served Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.
For more information about Pat’s Tap, call the gastro pub at 822-8216.
Now reopened: Patina at 50th & Bryant
LYNNHURST — More than 18 months after being consumed by a devastating fire, Patina again anchors the corner of 50th & Bryant.
Office Manager Katie Curran said the reconstructed store isn’t drastically different from the original Patina that stood at 5001 Bryant Ave S. for 17 years.
“Each store has its own personality and character, and we’re excited with how [the 50th and Bryant location] turned out,” she said.
Owned by Patina, the new building on the corner of 50th & Bryant has two restaurant spaces in addition to the corner retail space occupied by the gift shop — one along Bryant and another along 50th.
On Sept. 26, Curran said “there are no confirmed restaurants” but added that Patina management and ownership hoped to finalize lease agreements with tenants soon.
For more information, check out Patina’s website at patinastores.com.
Now open: Honeyshine in Bryn Mawr
BRYN MAWR — Selling jewelry, vases, candles, ties, pillows and an assortment of other gifty items, Honeyshine is now open at 414 Penn Ave. S.
Owners Adam Braun and Daisy Mitchell describe Honeyshine’s mission as seeking out new designs and bringing them together with vintage and consignment finds to create a collection of unique objects.
Braun said his store’s concept was inspired by similar design-focused vintage shops he frequented in Brooklyn while living in the Big Apple.
“We’re trying to bring things from smaller designers, bring things to Minneapolis that don’t exist here already,” he said, adding that the shop will also feature and sell the work of local artists.
Braun and Mitchell originally wanted to open a restaurant in Bryn Mawr — “the neighborhood is in desperate need of a restaurant,” Braun, a Bryn Mawr resident, said — but with each of them raising young families, they concluded restaurant hours would be too much to handle.
So they resorted to the backup plan. Mitchell had long wanted to open up a home furnishing store, and Braun’s wife helped her flesh out the concept to include all the other eclectic items that now housed at Honeyshine.
Braun, for his part, is thrilled to be the newest entrepreneur in his home neighborhood.
“Uptown felt too big for us,” he said. “We wanted something that had a funkier feel to it, and Bryn Mawr is on the edge of the city in a really good way.
A weekend-long grand opening celebration is slated for Nov. 4–6. For more information, check out Honeyshine’s website at honeyshine.net.
Newly expanded: House of Music into Fulton
FULTON — Brad McLemore got sick of turning students away, so he decided to more than double the space available to his House of Music business by renting a commercial property next to the Lake Harriet School’s Upper Campus.
For seven years, the House of Music and its 20 or so instructors have operated out of a cramped 900 square-foot space behind Heartfelt in Linden Hills. At 2,500 square feet, the new Fulton space is almost three times larger than what the House of Music is accustomed to.
“Just because of lack of space, I was literally having to turn students away at a certain point,” McLemore said. The new space “will allow me to add more teachers and students and have performances and larger classes — things I couldn’t do before.”
Mesa Pizza Managing Partner David Hathaway said his restaurant’s Uptown location, 1440 W. Lake St., is scheduled to open Oct. 11. The pizzeria will be open until 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday, 1 a.m. the rest of the week.
There may only be a couple weeks left to enjoy it this year before colder temps arrive, but Amore Victoria’s,1601 W. Lake St., rooftop patio is now open.
Puff n’ Stuff Gifts, 818 W. Lake St. in the Wedge, is going out of business and holding a liquidation sale through October. Owner Sage Spirtos hopes to open an arcade in the property this winter.