Biz buzz // Maya Cuisine now open on Central Avenue

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September 24, 2012 // UPDATED 5:48 pm - December 27, 2012
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss

LOGAN PARK — The 1800 block of Central Avenue has seen its share of closures lately, as businesses like Falafel King have shut down. Fortunately, a bright new Mexican restaurant has popped up on the block to return some energy to the area. Maya Cuisine opened its doors at 1840 Central Ave. NE on Aug. 17, and owner Isela Perez Pacheco said it brings a different kind of Mexican food to the area.

Central Avenue has many Mexican restaurants already, but Pacheco said Maya Cuisine does many things different. Unlike most other Mexican restaurants, the tortillas are made fresh daily in the restaurant. Most items are made in the restaurant from scratch. The prep area is visible so customers can see the food being prepared.

Maya Cuisine also features a salsa bar so customers can add as much salsa, sour cream or other toppings to their food without having to ask for a special preparation. Pancheco said tamales are one of the restaurant’s specialties, and they offer a far wider and more creative selection than many other restaurants.

Maya Cuisine is the first restaurant for Pacheco and her husband Victor Martinez, who has worked in restaurants for years. She said they decided to open their own restaurant because they were dissatisfied by the Mexican offerings in Northeast. 

“Every time we wanted to eat good Mexican food, we had to go to South Minneapolis,” she said.  

The food is priced in quite a simple way. All individual items like tacos are priced at $1.75 each, regardless of fillings. Entrees are priced at $6.75. 

“We want to keep it easy,” said Pancheco.

Maya Cuisine is open from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 

The Barber Sharp transforms to The Barber Sharp and Salon

SHERIDAN — A few months after celebrating the one-year anniversary of its current home in The Foundry Building, 349 13th Ave. NE, The Barber Sharp is ready to grow. Owner Kelly Sharp said the men’s barbershop will soon start taking female clients after it relaunches as The Barber Sharp and Salon on Oct. 2.

“Basically, the girls are coming in with their guys and like the vibe of the shop,” said Sharp. 

Sharp owns The Foundry building, which is also home to a massage studio and an acupuncture practice. Art gallery Tarnish & Gold has moved out of the space, giving Sharp room to expand the barbershop on the first floor. She has hired four employees for her expanded business, including a waxing specialist.

Like its current men’s service offerings, Sharp plans to keep things simple for her new female clients. “Haircuts are $28, no muss no fuss,” said Sharp. “They’re $35 if they want it styled and blow-dried.”

The expanded Barber Sharp isn’t the only change at The Foundry Building. Poet and journal coach Tara McDaniel is moving her Wholehearted Journal Coaching business into the space. Her first offering is a six-week course on writing for health and self-expression in mid-October. Participants will learn about the health benefits of expressive writing and creative expression. The classes are available on a sliding scale of $5–$15 per class based on income or a flat fee of $50 for the complete course.

The Barber Sharp and Salon will celebrate the grand opening of the expanded business on Oct. 2 from 4 to 9 p.m. 

T Lee relaunching jewelry business in new location

1ST AVENUE NE — After 10 years at 18 University Ave. NE, custom jewelry shop T Lee has found a new home. It won’t be moving far — the shop is just moving around the corner to a 1st Ave. NE storefront between the Red Stag Supper Club and women’s clothing store Key North Boutique. While the distance may be small, owner T Lee said the change to her store will be quite large. 

“It’s a complete and total reinvention,” said Lee. “We’re bringing the showroom where all of my talented jewelers work out onto the showroom floor. We’ll really feature them more and show off the work they do.”

The current retail space features a 1,000 square foot showroom with a smaller workshop and design studio in the back. As much of her jewelry is custom, Lee said customers frequently ask about how it is made. At the new location, Lee and her three additional jewelers will work right out on the showroom floor so visitors can see the jewelry being created first-hand. 

“This will be like a full immersion experience,” said Lee.

T Lee’s University Avenue store will close in late October with a three-day sale and Halloween party. On Thursday, Oct. 25, all jewelry will be 30 percent off. On the 26th, the inventory will be 40 percent off. On Saturday, Oct. 27, all jewelry will be 50 percent off, or 60 percent off for anyone wearing a Halloween costume. From 6 to 9 p.m. on the 27th, the store will also host a Halloween party with a tarot card reader, crystal ball reader and other themed attractions.

The store will reopen on 1st Avenue NE on or around Nov. 15. While Lee thinks that date could change slightly, she has her grand opening date locked in for Nov. 17. For the last 10 years, the store has hosted a holiday party the Saturday before Thanksgiving, and this year will be no different. In addition to featuring food, wine and music, the party will also function as the debut of both the new location and Lee’s 2013 jewelry line. 

Butcher & The Boar tweaking patio

HENNEPIN — Next time you visit Butcher & The Boar’s patio, you may notice something different. The restaurant has added a partial roof to the patio to shield patrons from rain. According to manager Andrea Karsjens, the roof is the first step in a plan to maximize use of the patio during bad weather.

“We’re in the planning stages for figuring out how to have a year-round beer garden,” said Karsjens. “Nothing’s locked in except for that roof.”

The roof structure will cover the bar area of the beer garden with a glass-like material that will allow light through while blocking rain. At minimum, the new roof will cover the bar’s 10  stools, but Karsjens said tables could be moved under the roof if there is enough demand.

“But I really don’t know what the demand is to sit outside when it rains,” said Karsjens.

Block E movie theater closes

HENNEPIN — The AMC Theater inside Block E closed on Sunday, Sept. 23 after losing a legal battle to extend its lease. The closure leaves only one remaining tenant inside the complex, piano bar the Shout House. Block E’s other remaining tenants, Kieran’s Irish Pub, Jimmy John’s and Starbucks all have exterior spaces. 

The theater’s closure leaves downtown without a movie theater for the first time since 2002. 

Block E owners Alatus LLC are moving forward with a plan to transform the complex into office space after its plans to build a casino on the site failed to gain traction with the state. 


The Millenium Hotel, 1313 Nicollet Mall, will close on Dec. 11 for a $20 million renovation that will upgrade its guest rooms and meeting rooms and add a new restaurant. It will reopen on April 1, 2013, just before the hotel’s 50th anniversary. The upgrades will add many amenities common in luxury-class hotels, such as high-speed internet and plasma televisions. The current restaurant and bar will be replaced with an unannounced new dining concept.  

Anna Hillegass has opened new home furnishing store The Foundry Home Goods in the North Loop. Located in the Commutator Building, 125 N. 1st St., the shop carries many classic wooden utensils, glassware, linens and more.

The Grand Hotel Minneapolis’ restaurant The SIX15 Room will host a new monthly wine tasting series hosted by wine education company Vintage U owner Bill Coy starting on Oct. 18. Each entry in the series costs $10 and runs from 6 to 7 p.m. The first class will focus on Syrah from around the world. Future classes will cover wines for Thanksgiving and wines for holiday entertaining. Reservations are encouraged. To sign up, call 312-0162. 

Murray’s Restaurant has reopened after completing a renovation project that closed the business from July 30 to Sept. 4. One of the oldest restaurants in the Twin Cities, the business was founded by Art and Marie Murray in 1946. The renovations, designed by Shea Inc., upgraded the bar, seating and décor. 

The Yogurt Lab location in the IDS Center is now open. It is the second location for the chain, which plans to add two additional locations in Minneapolis this fall. The IDS shop features a rotating selection of 12 yogurt flavors with over 60 toppings. 

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