News briefs // Ice House Plaza unveiled

WHITTIER — Mayor R.T. Rybak, developer Peter Remes and sculptor Zoran Mojsilov led a ceremonial ribbon cutting at a May 18 grand opening and dedication for the Ice House Plaza, a new public gathering space at 26th Street and Nicollet Avenue.

The opening included a performance by The New Standards as well as food and drink from several businesses that have moved into the burgeoning area, including Eat Street Social, Dunn Brothers and Icehouse Restaurant, which is due to open on June 4.

Rybak, whose father once owned a drug store just blocks from the redeveloped site, described the area’s recent transformation as “amazing.”

“This street has had its ups and downs, but its never been this good, it’s never been this cool,” he said.

The 7,000-square-foot plaza was once home to the Metropolitan building, which was torn down in 1961 amid urban renewal efforts. Reclaimed granite from the building was used to make benches and a fountain on the site.

Mojsilov was commissioned to create the centerpiece for the plaza, a sculpture titled “White Angel.”

— Drew Kerr 

Franklin Street Bakery space finds a tenant

LINDEN HILLS — The former home of the Franklin Street Bakery has been leased, but property owners are mum on what may be moving into the building. 

Gene Andersen, who owns the 3904 Sunnyside Rd. building, said in mid-May that the new business owners were not yet ready to step forward to speak about their plans. 

Andersen said the space attracted quite a bit of interest after Franklin Street Bakery closed in March after failing to generate the level of traffic owners had hoped. 

— Drew Kerr 

Blessing of bicycles returns to the Basilica

HENNEPIN — On June 3, The Basilica of Saint Mary will hold its fourth annual Festival of Bicycles, including a blessing of bicycles. The festival begins at 10:30 a.m. with a selection of local vendors and exhibits. At 1:30 p.m., cyclists are invited into the church to receive a blessing and blessed bike oil. At 2 p.m., a group bike ride will depart from the Basilica led by Freewheel Bike Shops.

The Festival of Bicycles is free and open to all, with or without a bicycle. Helmets are required for the group ride. 

— Jeremy Zoss