Chair Salon finds new home, plus other buzzes

LYNDALE — The Chair Salon has relocated to 3255 Lyndale Ave. S., scattering stylists throughout a two-story home.

“The look is very similar, even a little more intimate than it was,” said co-owner Tim Cronin. “We loved our corner at 36th & Bryant, but it was time for a change, and time for a little expansion.”

The owners tried to choose a spot close to the former location — it’s close enough that Cronin personally carried a large chandelier five blocks to the new salon, because it wouldn’t fit into his car.

“It feels really homey,” Cronin said. “One client said, ‘I would live in this.’”


Herkimer adding space for bean bag fans   

THE WEDGE — The Herkimer management is planning a major patio expansion with two bean bag toss lanes.

The patio at 2922 Lyndale Ave. S. would grow from 40 to 128 seats, featuring new greenery and lights.

The restaurant has hosted leagues like softball and kickball for 13 years, and bean bags arrived a couple of years ago.

“This is something we can do in our back alley,” said General Manager Susan Rowland. “In Minnesota, everybody wants to be outside all summer.”

The Herk has made some other changes in recent months, adding wheat beers and IPAs to an expanded line of eight tap beers.

The new executive chef, Omar Gillego, is overseeing both moto-i and The Herkimer. He started last winter, and his credits include work for the prestigious restaurateur Jean Georges Vongerichten. The menu is now streamlined, but the El Puerco is still the big hit: the smoked pork is cooked in an eight-step process.


Seward Co-op adding second spot 

BRYANT — A second Seward Co-op location called “Friendship” will edge closer to Southwest territory in a year or more.

The new store would stand a block east of I-35W at 38th & Clinton. The site is currently owned by the Greater Friendship Baptist Church, giving the new store its name. Seward Co-op memberships will be valid at both locations, although shoppers need not be members to buy there.

The co-op announced that it has reached capacity at its existing location at 2823 E. Franklin Ave. The second spot would help ease congestion at the Franklin store and reach an area underserved in terms of healthy food. The Bancroft, Bryant, Central and Powderhorn neighborhoods are considered a “food desert,” meaning most residents live more than a mile from a supermarket or other source of healthy, affordable food.

The new store isn’t a done deal — the co-op still needs to secure financing, raise member capital, and complete the city’s design approval process.


Bra boutique heading to 50th & France 

50th & FRANCE — A bra boutique dedicated to teens and early 20-somethings is slated to open this month at 5049 France Ave. S.

Braboleta (inspired by the word Borboleta, which means butterfly in Portuguese) is an offshoot of the La Bratique shop on the same block.

Owner Tracy Anderson said she’s opening the new store because she wants teens to “love what they have.” She said plenty of stores cater to teens, but their bras often don’t fit correctly. Sizes at Braboleta range from 30A to 40HH.

“We are all pretty self-conscious at that age,” she said. “I want to give them the tools to feel comfortable with what they have.”


Art Materials showcasing artwork in storefront

THE WEDGE — Instead of a new Trader Joe’s store, the patrons at Art Materials are seeing an exposed barrel-vaulted 18-foot ceiling, giant artwork suspended from the ceiling, and a rotating gallery show at 2728 Lyndale Ave. S.

The owners are hanging a 7-by-5 foot canvas on one of the ceiling walls.

“We’re an arts store, so it’s no holds barred as far as what we can and can’t do,” said co-owner Larry Brown.

In a second phase of the project, the owners plan to renovate the entry and the exterior fronting Lyndale.

When the City Council denied Trader Joe’s proposal to build a new store on the site last year, Art Materials decided to keep its storefront.

“We ended up staying here and having great fun remodeling the existing building, to the point where we’ve shocked a lot of people,” Brown said.


Calhoun Square adds children’s clothing store to retail mix 

CARAG — A high-end Italian children’s clothing store has sold around the world since 1973, and it’s now open at Calhoun Square, 3001 Hennepin Ave.

The clothes at iDO Bambini Creattivi are designed and made in Italy using all-natural fabrics. Manager Katalin Nagy said the company takes strong stances against child labor and in support of environmentally-friendly production and materials.

“You pay more, but the value is tremendous,” she said. “[The clothes] have been put through numerous tests so they wash well, wear well, and last a long time. I’m talking 10 years.”

Buttons are triple-stitched, and the designers think about the details — baby jackets have an extra layer of fabric at the neck, for example, so the zipper doesn’t bother the baby.

Kids receive fruit snacks and play in a corner of the store filled with coloring books and toys.

“Once in a while, we get a child that doesn’t want to leave,” Nagy said.


Digital content group opens above Blackbird 

KINGFIELD — A new content consultant called Dialog Studios is opening above Blackbird at 3802 Nicollet Ave.

Staff write copy for websites, provide strategic communication advice and organize web content. They are currently working with a hospital system in Memphis on internal web communication.

The office is equidistant from the three co-founders who live in the metro area — co-founder Julie Vollenweider also said they chose the location for its “cool neighborhood.”


Common Roots using Fulton beer byproduct in bread 

THE WEDGE — Fulton Brewery’s leftover grain isn’t going to waste — after Fulton brews a batch of Sweet Child of Vine, Common Roots uses the byproduct to make multigrain bread for sale at 2558 Lyndale Ave. S. (The bread doesn’t taste like beer, but it has a distinct texture.)

“We’ve seen some of this happening in other cities,” said Common Roots owner Danny Schwartzman. “We’re interested in trying to make use of all the ingredients we can. We serve a lot of their beer, and we’re using relationships we already have with the business.”

Common Roots has bigger changes on the way. The café is opening a new kitchen at 2940 Harriet Ave., and it’s looking to grow its catering business for weddings and other events. Common Roots employs six full-time event planners, and plans to add another.

“It’s more scale than people realize,” Schwartzman said.

Like the café, the catering menu options are entirely made from scratch with organic ingredients. The kitchen is operating out of a former Eyebobs eyeglass assembly facility.



SEE Eyewear is under construction at 3032 Hennepin Ave. S., the former home to Golden Leaf Tobacco.

The spec shop brands itself as a fashion-forward retailer without a high price tag, using the slogan “hip without the rip.”


Super Elite Groceries at 33rd & Grand has a new owner and a new name: the Corner Store on Grand.

Owner Dongkun Ko said he is pursuing a license to carry 3.2 beer, and he hopes to carry lottery tickets as well.


Nordic Home Interiors closed June 22 at 620 W. 58th St.

The shop continues to sell hand-knotted rugs online at