Biz buzz // Highly anticipated Downtown Lunds now open

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June 18, 2012 // UPDATED 5:48 pm - December 27, 2012
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss

HENNEPIN — The new Lunds location at 12th and Hennepin is now open. The long-awaited grocery store celebrated its grand opening on June 14 w ith a ceremony featuring samples, food demonstrations, giveaways and speeches by Mayor R.T. Rybak, Council Member Lisa Goodman and Lunds CEO Tres Lund.

 

The new 20,000-square-foot grocery store is open 6 a.m. to midnight every day and features several high-end amenities. The store employs a staff food expert to help answer questions about food and to offer menu ideas. 

 

It also has a Bachman’s floral area and a Caribou Coffee. The deli boasts a salad bar, olive and antipasti bar, hot sandwiches and prepared foods and roughly 250 varieties of specialty cheeses. It also stocks over 3,500 organic and natural foods.

 

The newest store in the Lunds chain also features several energy-saving elements. An on-site rain garden was created using recycled materials from the construction process. Lighting and refrigeration systems use high-efficiency components. The 80-stall parking lot even includes two charging stations for plug-in hybrid cars. Lunds is applying for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification.

 

The grocery store is the newest occupant of the building constructed in 1912 by the Reno Motor Company in what used to be Minneapolis’ automotive district. The building was used as an automotive showroom.

 

The adjacent Lunds Wines and Spirits shop also began its life as an automotive showroom. Once known as the Sturr-Bullard Motor Company building, the building at 1208 Harmon Place was once a showroom for Nash and Ford cars. Now it features a tasting bar, walk-in beer vault and micro brew room, as well as wines from around the world. The new Lunds Wine and Spirits also opened its doors on June 14 and retains many of the original decorative elements from its days as an auto showroom. 

 

“There’s a rich history to these buildings, and we’re looking forward to preserving their retail heritage while providing today’s urban residents and workers with a shopping experience that’s second to none,” said Brian Kopp, general manager of Lunds Hennepin Avenue in a statement. 

 

STEELE Fitness will also be part of the new Lunds development. It plans to open a new two-story fitness center in the Lunds building, which includes an outdoor, rooftop training area.

 

The rooftop workout area is a first for the state, according to STEELE Fitness.

 

The new 8,000-square-foot  fitness center will open late summer. It will be the fourth location for STEELE Fitness in the Twin Cities. 

 

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Ambitious bar The Pourhouse opens in old Spin space 

 

DOWNTOWN CORE — Prohibition-themed bar and restaurant The Pourhouse is now open at 10 5th St. S., and its co-owner Deepak Nath is adamant that it’s nothing like the space’s previous occupant, Spin. 

 

That’s a fair statement, as The Pourhouse isn’t like anything else in Minneapolis.

 

“We’re not a super-nightclub. I think that day and age in Minneapolis is past,” said Nath. “We wanted to do something different, be a little creative.”

 

That attitude shows up in The Pourhouse in many forms. Secret passageways lead to a hidden bar and to a concealed outdoor patio. A 24-foot television screen hangs over the main floor stage, with over 40 more TVs dispersed throughout the restaurant. Games like shuffle puck, Big Buck Hunter and an oversized version of Jenga are scattered around the space, and an outdoor area sports custom-made pong and flip-cup tables. 

 

Nath said The Pourhouse will soon add a Jacob’s Ladder and a photo booth big enough for groups, as well as some other surprises. 

 

“We’re not taking ourselves too seriously,” said Nath. “We wanted to have the things that make venues fun.”

 

The Pourhouse is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily and offers a different experience for meals, happy hour and late night. The menu features cheeky items like burgers named after Bernie Madoff and Tom Petters, a two-foot hot dog and a pint of bacon. Happy hours feature special events like live comedy on Wednesdays and a free buffet on Fridays. After dinner, the tables can be pulled off the main floor for live entertainment. 

 

The Pourhouse can hold around 1,000 people for live events. Some of the staircases that previously connected the first and second floor have been removed for better sightlines, and The Pourhouse has an abundance of one of the most important features of all — bathrooms. The venue has 29 bathroom stalls, including a series of unisex “jail cell” bathrooms. 

 

“Even during our busy opening, there was never a wait for a bathroom,” he said.

 

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Obama visits the Bachelor Farmer 

 

NORTH LOOP — Eric and Andrew Dayton’s hot North Loop restaurant had its most famous diner ever on June 1, when President Barack Obama stopped by the Bachelor Farmer for a private fundraiser. 

 

The meal was directed by Bachelor Farmer chef Paul Berglund, with the menu created by MCAD DesignWorks, the in-house design studio at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Each of the staff wore a tie created for the event by the Daytons’ store Askov Finlayson and local clothing company Pierrepont Hicks. 

One tie was presented to President Obama as a gift. 

 

“It was a thrill and a tremendous honor to host the President in our restaurant,” said Eric and Andrew Dayton in a statement. “And we’re incredibly proud of our entire team for the terrific job they did today.”

 

In the wake of the excitement generated by the president’s visit, the restaurant introduced a few changes to Sunday service. On June 3, the restaurant introduced Sunday Supper instead of regular dinner service. Sunday Supper is a set three-course menu with a soup, salad or toast course followed by a family-style entrée and a dessert. 

“We’re excited to use Sunday nights as an opportunity to focus our kitchen’s full energy and talent on a single challenging and ambitious dish, such as a whole roasted bird or slow-cooked meat,” said Eric Dayton in an email. “These types of dishes require a complexity of technique and timing that would otherwise be prohibitive as part of our full dinner menu.”

 

Dayton said the price of Sunday Supper will typically be $29–$34 per person and will change weekly, with vegetarian alternatives available when appropriate. Sunday Supper Service begins at 5 p.m. The restaurant will no longer take reservations on Sunday nights. 

The restaurant also added Sunday brunch service on June 10. 

 

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Hazel’s Northeast adds patio seating

 

AUDUBON PARK — Hazel’s Northeast, 2859 Johnson St. NE, has added a small sidewalk patio. After receiving approval from the city, the restaurant added five outdoor tables, adding 14 seats of outdoor dining.

 

Co-owner Adam Sieve the restaurant received hugely positive response from the neighborhood when it announced it would pursue outdoor seating.

 

“We got a huge Facebook response to the news, the biggest response we’ve ever gotten to any news we’ve put on Facebook,” said Sieve. “It seems like something the neighborhood is pretty excited to have.”

 

Hazel’s Northeast opened in December 2010. Patio dining was discussed at the start of last summer, but Sieve and his co-owner, brother Andrew Sieve, decided against expansion at the time. But as the business grew, it became time to think about patio seating again. Sieve said the extra seating will be especially helpful on the weekends, when its popular brunch service often results in customers waiting outside.

 

“We’re ready for a little growth,” Sieve said.

 

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Metro Dogs adds new services

 

NORTH LOOP — Amy Rosenthal has added several new services at Metro Dogs, the doggie daycare and boarding service she owns at 506 11th Ave. N. The business now offers training classes and employs a full-time professional trainer. The dog bathing service has been expanded into full-service grooming, which includes haircuts and treatments. Metro Dogs has also introduced a new service called “Metro Maternity.” Those expecting the imminent birth of a child can call Metro Dog’s special hotline any time day or night, and the boarding service will take in the family’s dog so they can focus on their baby’s delivery. 

 

“Life is exciting and stressful enough when the baby’s on the way; you don’t need to worry about who’s going to take care of the dog,” said Rosenthal.  

 

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Dave’s Downtown coming to Accenture Tower

 

DOWNTOWN CORE — A second location is planned for Dave’s Downtown, the family-owned skyway restaurant at 900 2nd Ave. S. Owners Dave and Sue Barnier have signed a letter of intent on a space in Accenture Tower, a move Dave Barnier said was initiated by the property’s management. 

 

“They were looking to put our style of restaurant in the skyway and they said we really want you,” said Barnier. “They really came to the table and were really generous. It costs a lot of money to build a new location, but by their generosity we’re able to move forward.”

 

The first Dave’s Downtown location opened in 2008 and serves American breakfast and lunch food. Barnier said business is strong, and the new skyway between Accenture Towner and Ameriprise Financial has brought new customers to the store. The new location will allow the business to expand the range of its catering business and will feature a few new items like fresh juices and smoothies. 

 

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Maruso Street Food Bar opens on Hennepin

 

HENNEPIN AVENUE — Maruso Street Food Bar is now open at 715 Hennepin Ave. The restaurant focuses on affordable street food-inspired dishes from around the world, with most menu items available for under $10. The restaurant also features a selection of local craft beers and “globally inspired craft cocktails.”

 

Maruso’s menu is overseen by chef Andrew Garrison, who worked at restaurants like Fugaise and served as the executive chef for Cirque du Soleil’s 2011 “Dralion” tour. The restaurant takes its name from Maruso Soy Sauce, the Taiwanese company founded by Maruso partner Dr. Bill Chuang’s family over 100 years ago. 

 

 

-- Sarah McKenzie contributed to this report.