Biz buzz // Steele Fitness opens new downtown location

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October 22, 2012 // UPDATED 5:48 pm - December 27, 2012
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss

LORING PARK — Upscale fitness and personal training company Steele Fitness has opened its newest location above Lunds Wine and Spirits, returning the company to its downtown roots.

Founded in 2005 as an in-home training service, Steele Fitness opened its first retail location in Butler Square. The original store was open for a year before expanding to locations in St. Paul, Edina, Wayzata and Excelsior. Now back downtown, the newest Steele Fitness location encompasses the entire second floor of the historic auto showroom building at the corner of 12th and Harmon Place that also houses Lunds’ liquor store.

The 8,000-square-foot fitness center features a retail area with athletic wear and active fashion clothing, group and one-on-one training areas and spa-quality locker rooms. In the spring, the fitness center’s workout space will double when the rooftop workout area opens. Like all Steele Fitness locations, the downtown center features a concierge to help schedule appointments with trainers, high-end bath and body projects and “Four Seasons-grade” bath fixtures. Workout options include personal and group training, 25 fitness classes per week and a variety of proprietary workout programs. 

Steele Fitness founder Steele Smiley said he expects the new downtown location will quickly become the chain’s busiest location.

“I think people in downtown have been really underserved for a fitness option that is like ours,” said Smiley. “We’re not necessarily a product for everybody, but for those people looking for an exceptional experience, you’re going to choose us. There’s a lot of places to work out, but for those clients that are looking for that extra special something, we provide that.”

New Bohemia Wurst+BierHaus now open

EAST HENNEPIN — Sausage and craft beer restaurant New Bohemia Wurst+BierHaus is now open in the former home of Panera Bread at 233 E. Hennepin. 

The restaurant features 18 different sausages, Belgian fries, German potato salad, cole slaw, a selection of dipping sauces, a wide selection of beers, a few wines and that’s about it. It may sound like a somewhat limited menu, but co-owner Jeff Bornmann said that’s the point. 

“We kept it really basic,” he said. “Although one of our smart young servers informed me that with our 18 different sausages and our different toppings, the permutations are 324,000 different choices. So even though we have a very limited menu, there are still a lot of ways to go with it.”

Those choices include three different categories of sausage. Standard sausages, all priced at $5.50, include standard offerings like andouille. Premium sausages, priced at $6.50, include offerings like chicken with spiced apple. Finally, the $7.50 “adventure sausages” include alligator, wild boar Italian, and even a rattlesnake rabbit jalapeño sausage. 

Bornmann said New Bohemia chef Dan Parrot tried over 240 different sausages from around the country before choosing the 18 on the menu. In addition to the sausages, the Belgian fries, potato salad, cole slaw and dipping sauces are all made in-house.

“It’s actually a seven-step process to make our fries, so a lot of care and love is put into those,” said Bornmann.

New Bohemia also features 32 craft beers on tap and 60 bottled beers, including local, regional and national craft beers and several from Germany and Belgium. There is also a small selection of wine, but no other alcohol. 

“That’s very important for our groove,” said Bornmann. “Nothing compliments sausages better than a good quality beer.”

Ruff Love hosting charitable Halloween party

SHERIDAN — Ruff Love Dogs, 1528 Marshall St. NE, will host its second annual Halloween party on Sunday, Oct. 28. Proceeds from the event will benefit two local pet rescue organizations, Pet Project Rescue and Save-A-Bull Rescue. Each of the two rescue organizations will bring several adoptable dogs to the event.

Ruff Love Dogs owner Jessen Como said he expects 20 to 25 adoptable dogs will be at the event. There’s also plenty to do even if you’re not looking for a new pet. A silent auction will feature around 75 items from local artists, restaurants and vendors. Participating local artists include Amy Rice, Doug Padilla, Michelle Hogan and more. Participating vendors include Red Stag Supper Club, UrbAnimal, Ollu Dog Wash and ChutzPaws. 

“We get people who come just to bid on silent auction items,” said Como. “I personally bought really nice pieces of art that would sell for $500, $600 dollars for $50.”

Northeast-based Gastrotruck will cater the event, which will also feature costume contests for both people and their dogs (all dogs are welcome, but must be leashed). Live music will be provided by Brian Laidlaw and the Family Trade.

Ruff Love’s Halloween party runs from 4–7 p.m. on Oct. 28. There is a $5 donation at the door, which benefits the two animal rescue organizations. 

Nate’s Clothing building to become boutique hotel

WAREHOUSE  DISTRICT — The building best known as the former home of Nate’s Clothing is set to become a boutique hotel. The property at 401 1st Ave. N. has been purchased by South Dakota-based Regency Hotel Management, which also owns hotels in Plymouth and near the Mall of America. 

Regency Hotel Management’s Tom Biegler said he wouldn’t be able to announce a timeline for completion of the building’s conversion until historical assessments on the property are completed. He said plans for the property are still being refined. 

“Upscale boutique is what we’re after,” said Biegler. “That’s the thought process right now. It’s just something that sets us apart in downtown Minneapolis. We’ve wanted to be there for a long time.”

Indeed Brewing Company’s beer now available in cans

The first brewery to open in Northeast during the recent craft beer boom is bringing its product to a liquor store near you. Indeed Brewing Company, 711 15th Ave. NE., has announced that its two flagship beers are now available in stores. 

The first offerings are Midnight Ryder American Black Ale and Day Tripper Pale Ale. Both will be available in six-pack cans. 

“We just did our first canning run,” said Indeed co-owner Tom Whisenand. “It’s exciting because more beer ended up in the cans than on the floor. And you sit there canning beer and wondering who is going to drink it all.”

Indeed is the only Minnesota craft brewery to sell its beer in 12 ounce aluminum cans. The beer will initially be available in seven stores, including Stinson Wine, Beer and Spirits and Central Liquors. Indeed plans to add more accounts as possible within the next few weeks. 

Midwest Karate opens new location

NORTH LOOP — A brand new dojo sits at 1010 East Lyndale Ave. N. opened by Robert Fusaro, an eight-degree black belt known as Sensei Fusaro to his students at Midwest Karate. 

The site near the Minneapolis Farmers Market is the newest location for Midwest Karate. Its previous home at 1940 Hennepin Ave. S., the former Burch Pharmacy building, is undergoing renovations and will reopen with a restaurant and office and retail space.

The dojo offers classes for both adults and children age 5 and older.

“It’s a non-contact sport that teaches powerful and sharp techniques,” Fusaro explained. “Not only is it a great cardiovascular activity, but it improves flexibility, confidence, mental awareness and, of course, self defense.” 

Fusaro took up karate while stationed in Japan during the Korean War. After his return, he opened his first dojo in downtown Minneapolis in 1960 and has taught karate classes at the University of Minnesota since 1965.

Businesses celebrate Halloween with parties and sales

Halloween may fall on a Wednesday this year, but there are still plenty of Halloween events happening on or around the holiday. Both clubs and other businesses are holding special Halloween-themed events, including parties, sales and more. Here are a few spooky highlights.

The Bachelor Farmer, 50 2nd Ave. N., is holding a mysterious one-night-only event on the 31st. The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar will combine into a single entity for the night, which will feature a complete redesign of the menu and the space itself. All Bachelor Farmer employees will be in costume, and diners are encouraged to dress up as well. The restaurant isn’t offering many clues about what to expect from the event, but interested diners are encouraged to make reservations right away.

First Avenue, 701 1st Ave. N., will host its annual Halloween party on Oct. 31 at 8 p.m. The annual party takes over all three of the venue’s performance spaces: the Mainroom, 7th St. Entry and Record Room. The dance party features a costume contest with over $1,000 in cash prizes. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. 

Custom jewelry store T Lee is throwing a multi-day sale that doubles as a Halloween celebration and the closing of its current location. On Thursday, Oct. 25, all jewelry will be 30 percent off, with the discount growing to 40 percent on the 26th. 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 host a Halloween/closing party with a tarot card reader, crystal ball reader and other attractions. The shop will reopen at its new location on 1st Ave. NE in mid-November. 

The Pourhouse, 10 5th St. S., has several days of Halloween activities planned. On Sunday, Oct. 28, the club is hosting “Pour-a-Booza,” a full day of live music running from 1 p.m.–2 a.m. The event will feature 20 bands, a pig roast, Vikings cheerleaders and more. On Tuesday, Oct. 30, students from McNally Smith College of Music will perform “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” On Halloween, The Pourhouse will host a Halloween costume contest with prizes and music from local DJs. 

— Aaron Straka contributed to this report