Biz buzz

Now open: Rye Delicatessen

LOWRY HILL — Serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, Rye Delicatessen is now open in the old Auriga space at 1930 Hennepin Ave. S.

Owner David Weinstein, a Lowry Hill resident who used to work as a restaurant lawyer and is making his debut as a restaurateur, characterized Rye as a “deli that uses fresh, organic, sustainable ingredients,” including butter from Hope Creamery and fish from a Lake Superior fishery.

“Bringing the whole foodie approach to a deli and running a scratch kitchen rather than bringing in meats — that’s what we tried to create, and we added a full bar to really make it a neighborhood hangout,” Weinstein said over the opening-day lunch-rush noise.

Although Rye doesn’t serve kosher food, the menu is heavily influenced by the Jewish deli tradition. Highlights include tablouleh ($6), corned beef sandwiches ($12), poutine ($5), omelets ($6), knish pot pie ($12) and braised beef brisket ($15).

The food concept was developed by General Manager Tobie Nidetz, a restaurant consultant who teaches at Kitchen Window and worked with The Sample Room and Ike’s Food and Cocktails, among others.

“A lot of it comes from the Jewish deli tradition, but we have other things on the menu like cheeseburgers that aren’t part of that tradition,” Weinstein said.

With the restaurant and bar packed to the gills on opening day and every other patron seemingly stopping on their way in or out to offer him a congratulatory handshake, Weinstein looked around and said he’s “thrilled to make it to the first day and see the place open, but I knew going in from when I first had the concept that I don’t know how to run a restaurant.”

“I don’t know how people start a restaurant not having done it before without the help of people who have — there are too many moving parts to it,” he added as Nidetz busily coached the kitchen staff from behind the deli counter.

Rye’s bar, which will stay open until 2 a.m. most nights, features roughly a half-dozen local craft taps and the full gamut of liquors and cocktails. The deli opens for breakfast at 7 a.m.

The old Auriga building has been vacant for almost a half-decade. During a conversation shortly after he purchased the building last summer, Weinstein said: “It’s a shame for the neighborhood that the building has been vacant for so long.”

A “good, fun, casual deli is something both the neighborhood and city as a whole could really use,” he added, citing the deli resurgence in New York City as an inspiration for his deli concept.

Rye’s website (ryedeli.com) is still under construction, so for more information, call the delicatessen at 871-1200.

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Now reopened: Lehman’s Garage

TANGLETOWN — A year after the historic Lehman’s Garage at 5431 Lyndale Ave. S. was demolished, a new, state of the art and more energy efficient Leh-
man’s building is now open for business.

Weeks after the new facility opened in late October, CEO Karen Cossette and President Darrell Amberson stood in the lobby and looked at photos of the old building. One, taken in 1928, 11 years after Lehman’s first opened for business, shows Lyndale Avenue as little more than a gravel strip.

Another, taken in the ’50s, showed vehicles that look straight from Mad Men in front of a façade similar to the one that stood at the corner of 54 & Lyndale for over 90 years.

“During the Depression, things were so quiet around here that [the Lehman kids] would often go out and play softball on the street,” Amberson said. “And when a car came by they’d be offended.”

Things have certainly changed at the Tangletown Lehman’s, which now features state of the art machinery and a more open, well-lit 19,000-square-foot building.

“Before, you had to go up a couple stairs to come into the estimating room,” Amberson explained. “You had to walk through the mechanical area to get to the waiting room, and it wasn’t the best design for today’s world.”

He went on: “We’ve brought in more light and made our operations more energy efficient and green.”

The rebuilt Lehman’s — which still offers both auto body and mechanical repair services — features more energy efficient heating, air conditioning and lighting and exclusively uses waterborne paints, which are less toxic than their more-often used solvent-based brethren.

The reopening of Lehman’s flagship location in late October ended a tumultuous year for the company. Although the 54th & Lyndale location was closed for a year, no workers were laid off. Instead, Tangletown staffers were reassigned to one of Lehman’s five other locations throughout the metro.

Now, all of those workers are back, and then some — Amberson said Lehman’s hired three new employees as the company continues to bounce back from the recession.

Right around the time reconstruction work began, Lehman’s was awarded a Better Business Bureau Integrity Award. That award, Amberson said, symbolized that while Lehman’s building might be new, the business’ commitment to customer service remains the same as it was when Lyndale was a street softball hotbed.

“People are what it’s all about, both internally and externally,” Amberson said. “We often say that cars are easy and people are tough — what I mean is that it’s important to please them and have them trust us.”

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Coming soon: Linden Corner open house

LINDEN HILLS — The Linden Hills Neighborhood Council (LHiNC) scheduled an open house regarding the proposed Linden Corner development for Sunday, Dec. 11 at Linden Hills Park from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Public feedback gathered during the open house will be sent to the city for consideration when the Linden Corner plan comes before the Planning Commission in early January.

Mark Dwyer, the developer behind the controversial plan for a five-story, mixed-use building on the corner of 43rd & Upton, said he anticipates that the Linden Corner site plan will come before the Planning Commission for a public hearing and formal review on Jan. 9.

The height and intensity of the project resulted in more than 1,000 neighborhood residents signing a petition urging City Council Member Betsy Hodges (13th Ward) not to support the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) Dwyer needs to exceed three floors.

Despite the backlash this summer and fall, Dwyer only made minor tweaks to his proposal, which was received favorably by the Planning Commission’s Committee of the Whole in September.

Dwyer said that neighborhood focus groups held this fall resulted in some changes to plans for the first floor of the project, including the addition of wood trim windows, a water fountain, more bench seating and bike racks, but “at the end of the day as a design team we looked at it and really the process affirmed for us that the five-story option balanced out the amenities offered to the neighborhood.”

“We’re really happy with the way it’s laid out,” he added.

Grant Hawthorne, Chair of LHiNC’s sustainable development committee, said the open house will feature informational booths prepared by LHiNC, Dwyer and his design team and Linden Hills Residents for Responsible Development, a group that opposes the Linden Corner project.

After checking out the booths, neighborhood residents will be asked to complete a questionnaire regarding their support or lack thereof for the project. Those questionnaires will be “passed on to the city along with LHiNC’s vote recommendation,” Hawthorne said.

Molly McCartney, Linden Hills neighborhood coordinator, said she expects LHiNC to formally vote on the Linden Corner project during the council’s Jan. 3 meeting.

For more information about the Linden Corner proposal, check out lindenhills.org/whatwedo/LindenCorner.php.

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Calhoun Square update

CARAG — Timberland’s first stand-alone store in Minnesota is now open in Calhoun Square.

The 2,000-square-foot store offers a range of outdoorsy clothing, footwear and accessories for young and old, men and women alike. It is located on the first-floor, Hennepin-facing side of the building next to the new 4,411-square-foot AT&T store.

In other Calhoun Square news, Mary Lower, public relations representative for the shopping center, said the CB2 store, currently in the final stages of construction at 31st & Hennepin, should open in early December.

CB2 is the hip, urban brand of Crate & Barrel. It sells housewares and furniture at more affordable prices than its parent store.

The Minneapolis location will be the 10th CB2 store in the U.S. and the only one in the Midwest outside of Chicago.

“We’re working to get a buzz going again at Calhoun Square,” Lower said.

Lower added that it remains unclear whether The Independent, the bar and restaurant that used to overlook Hennepin & Lake from the second floor of Calhoun Square before it closed last summer, will ever reopen.

She said Calhoun Square management plans to again have a restaurant tenant of some sort in the old Independent space, but there is no timeframe or tenant in place at this time.

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Now open: Social House

THE WEDGE — The Social House bar and restaurant is now open in the old Fusion space, 2919 Hennepin Ave. S.

Open at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Social House features Asian-fusion cuisine prepared by executive chef Travis Wong and executive sushi chef Long Nguyen. In addition to a robust sushi menu, dinner options include New York strip steaks, Kung Pao chicken and scallops.

As for drinks, Social House features sake, bottled beer, wine and signature cocktails.

For more information, check out socialhousempls.com.

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Now serving dinner: Sun Street Breads

TANGLETOWN — Dinner is now served at Sun Street Breads, 4600 Nicollet Ave. S.

The bakery has proved to be a huge hit since opening earlier this year. One might think that adding dinner service is a response to Sun Street’s success, but Martin Oulmet, who runs the business along with his wife, Solveig Tofte, said dinner was in their plans from the beginning.

Dinner service “was part of our business plan all along,” Oulmet said, adding that he and his wife wanted to initially focus on the bakery, breakfast and lunch aspects of the business.

Oulmet and Tofte hired chef Annette Colon, formerly chef de cuisine at Lucia’s Restaurant and Wine Bar in ECCO, to design the dinner menu. That menu includes beef pasties ($12), salt roasted chicken ($16), short rib pot roast ($17) and shellfish stew ($18), in addition to a variety of sandwiches and small plates.

Dinner is served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, check out Sun Street Bread’s website at sunstreetbreads.com.

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Now open: No Mas Vello

WHITTIER — No Mas Vello is now open on the first floor of The Murals of LynLake building, 2839 Lyndale Ave. S.

Owned by Emmanuelle and Christopher Hardy, No Mas Vello (from Spanish, “no more hair”) specializes in intense pulsed light (IPL) hair removal. IPL involves the tandem use of lamps and capacitors whose rapid discharge provides the high energy needed to destroy follicles and reduce hair growth by 80 to 85 percent.

Emmanuelle said the Minneapolis No Mas Vello is just the second in the U.S. The franchise originated in Spain in 2007 and now has locations in 12 countries throughout the world.

She added that IPL is much cheaper than more established laser hair-removal procedures.

No Mas Vello is currently offering a $15 discount on the typically $49 per-session price to encourage new customers to give IPL a shot. More information can be found at nomasvello-usa.com.

Reach Aaron Rupar at [email protected] On Twitter at @atruparJournals.