Biz buzz // Primebar coming to Calhoun Square

Primebar coming to Calhoun Square

CARAG — The former home of Il Gatto and Figlio will not stay vacant for long. National restaurant operator Restaurants-America has confirmed that it will open the fifth location of its Primebar chain in the space this spring.

Restaurants-America Vice President of Operations Marc Wuenschel describes Primebar as an upscale bar with an eclectic and unique menu that includes steaks, sandwiches, tacos, salads and more. The bar will feature 40 beers, 40 wines and a variety of signature cocktails. Menu prices range from under $10 for small plates to about $30 for larger entrees.

“The Uptown area really fit the energy of our brand,” Wuenschel said. “We think we can really bring an added value to the area. It’s a great place to hang out and have fun.”

Wuenschel said the Primebar location will host live music and entertainment on the weekends and that Minneapolis would be considered for other Restaurant-America concepts. The group also owns concepts called Red Star Tavern, Bluepoint, The Grillroom, Midtown, Townhouse and One North.

The Calhoun Square space is 7,500 sqare feet and has room for about 210 people inside and another 60 people in an outdoor seating area. Edina-based Parasole Restaurant Holdings operated the space as Figlio for 25 years and Il Gatto for two. Parasole closed Il Gatto in December but still operates the Uptown Cafeteria in Calhoun Square and Chino Latino on the opposite corner of the Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street intersection.

Wuenschel expects the new Primebar location to open by late May or early June.


Tangletown Bike Shop now open

TANGLETOWN — The former Carlson Cycles store at 322 W. 48th St. has new owners and a new name. Re-Cycle and Recovery Bike Shop co-owners Brent Fuqua and Seth Statmiller have partnered with Re-Cycle manager Charlie Siftar to open Tangletown Bike Shop, a store the trio hopes will become a major part of the area’s cycling community.

When Carlson Cycle closed, the building’s landlord approached Statmiller and Fuqua about purchasing the remaining inventory. The duo had purchased much of the inventory from Carlson Cycle’s other location on Minnehaha Avenue when it closed, but rather than simply buy the bikes, they proposed a new shop in the same space. Siftar was offered an ownership stake, and Tangletown Bike Shop was born.

While Re-Cycle and Recovery are on two of the city’s major streets (Hennepin Avenue and Central Avenue, respectively), Tangletown Bike Shop is solidly in the heart of a residential area. The partners see this as a great opportunity to run a shop that’s slightly different from the others, both of which focus on used bikes. Tangletown plans to offer a mix of new, used and collectible bikes at a variety of price points.

“Our big interest here is to become part of the community and help them enjoy their bikes,” Siftar said. “We plan to talk to the neighborhood and see what they want out of our shop.”


Body in Balance offers “orthopedic massage”

LINDEN HILLS — Home-based business Body in Balance Therapeutic Massage has a goal you don’t hear very often: to make sure clients don’t come back too often.

“Most massage therapists want you to come back weekly,” said proprietor Katrina Koller. “I try to get my clients to the point where they don’t need to see me every week.”

That’s because Certified Personal Trainer and massage therapist Koller specializes in orthopedic or structural massage, a discipline focused on treating injuries. Koller offers clients massages focused on injured areas, counsels them on how to strengthen the area and even consults with clients’ physicians or other health care professional on a treatment plan.

“It’s more about massage combined with health maintenance,” Koller said. “I can guide them on which muscles to strengthen, which muscles to stretch, really give them a lot of guidance on what they should be doing in the gym.”

Body in Balance operates out of Koller’s home in Linden Hills. To schedule an appointment or a free consultation, visit


Jonathan Adler store opens March 23

EAST CALHOUN — Designer and reality TV star Jonathan Adler will open his first Minnesota store at 1439 W. Lake St. on March 23.

The approximately 2,800-square-foot space is located under Jon English Salon and next to Ragstock. The store will offer a wide variety of home furnishings from the designer, including bedding, pottery, furniture, handbags and more.

“I decided to come to Uptown because it has a fab mix of people, stores and restaurants and a great vibe,” Adler wrote in an email. “What’s not to love about taking a stroll beside the lake en route to our new store?”

Adler describes his brand as being built around the ideas of style, craft and joy. Originally a potter, Adler expanded his line of “happy chic” offerings into a chain of 15 stores and regular appearances on the Bravo network.

“At the entry of all of my stores I have a sign that says ‘Enter Our Groovy World’ and that’s just what I hope happens,” said Adler. “My team and I work really hard to make stuff that’s great and memorable and I want to communicate the joy we feel in making it.”


New retail openings at 50th & France

50TH & FRANCE — A pair of retailers who recently made moves in the 50th and France retail district are now open for business.

German women’s clothing company Oska opened at 4999 France Ave. on March 2. The space was previously occupied by Gather, which relocated to a larger space at 5041 France Ave. and re-opened in early February.

Oska Edina is operated by Nancy Karason, who previously ran clothing and accessory shop JV & Company in downtown’s Gaviidae Common.

The store — Oska’s first Midwestern retail location — carries Oska clothing as well as other designer collections from the United States, Europe and Japan. It is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m.–6 p.m. and Sunday noon–5 p.m.


Another apartment complex planned for Linden Hills

LINDEN HILLS – A Minneapolis developer is hoping to bring a new apartment building to the commercial hub at 45th Street and France Avenue.

Scott Carlston, the president of Carlston Real Estate Inc., said he is planning a 62-unit complex that would be located on a four-parcel property just south of the commercial area that includes the Linden Hills Co-op and France 44 Wines and Spirits.

The site is currently occupied by a smaller apartment building and a single-family home.

Carlston said the project would likely be called Sunnyside Flats and cost around $12 million. It would include two levels of underground parking.

Carlston said he chose the site because it could give residents who want to stay in the area an opportunity to leave their single-family home but remain in the area.

It was immediately unclear when the project would come before the Planning Commission. Carlston said construction could take around ten months.



Local restaurant chain Baja Sol will relocate its Uptown location from 2300 Hennepin Ave. to 2546 Hennepin Ave. in early April.

Eyeglasses store Visionary Optical has relocated from its former location next to the Uptown Theatre to a new store at 2536 Hennepin.

Eden Prarie based JJ’s Coffee Company has announced plans for a new Uptown location. The new location will be called JJ’s Coffee + Wine Bistro and will open on the first floor of the apartment complex at Lake and Knox.