Biz buzz :: Rock shows at Stanleys take a hiatus

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November 19, 2010
By: Gregory J. Scott
Gregory J. Scott
Rock shows at Stanley’s take a hiatus

HOLLAND — In the latest kink to emerge in a rocky first month of operation, Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room has announced that it’s halting live rock shows until spring.

The problem? Poor stage placement.

Band booker Christy Hunt told reporters that the current stage location — crammed into a corner directly adjacent to the drafty and overly trafficked patio exit — wasn’t working out for bands or patrons. The tight confines left little room for gear, she said. And diners on the other side of the bar complained about the volume.

Over the next three months, Hunt will help the owners transport the stage upstairs, into an as yet unopened area of the new bar.

Stanley’s predecessor, Stasiu’s, frequently hosted bands in the space, which also included a full bar.

Downstairs, some live music will continue, but it will be more subdued. The owners have put Matt Johnson and Joe Winterer in charge of booking the new acts. Hunt’s shows will be confined to the upstairs.

The move reflects a rift many have observed between the squeaky clean dining scene envisioned by owners Steven and David Benowitz and the brash music that both Hunt and Stasiu’s have been known for.

All current shows booked at Stanley’s are being canceled or relocated, and Hunt is aiming to have the new upstairs venue open by March 2011.

— Gregory J. Scott


Hines acquires Downtown office tower

DOWNTOWN CORE — The Minneapolis office of Hines, the international real estate firm, announced on Nov. 10 that it had acquired Fifty South Sixth, a 29-story office building located on Nicollet Mall.

Hines developed the building in 2001 and his been involved in its management ever since, helping push occupancy to 94 percent. Notable tenants include law firm Dorsey & Whitney, accounting and consulting firm Deloitte
and M&I Bank.

The acquisition is the fifth for Hines’ recently established real estate investment trust, the Houston-based Hines Global REIT. The REIT commenced its $3.5 billion initial public offering in August 2009 and has raised over $300 million, which it invests in commercial real estate properties located in the United States and internationally.

— Gregory J. Scott


Turkey to Go moves indoors

DOWNTOWN CORE — The Turkey to Go food truck, stationed over the summer at 8th and Nicollet, has announced that it will transition to an indoor location just off the Mall for the winter months.

Chef Tim Malloy said that summer business had been so robust that owners Danny Perkins and Drew Levin wanted to keep momentum rolling. The crew has arranged to move their truck into the food court on the first floor of the Northstar Building at 7th and Marquette.

“It’s gonna be a kiosk inside the building,” said Malloy. “We wanted to run this cart inside, but it’s too tall.”

So the turkey crew is having a new, smaller truck built. And as soon as it’s finished — possibly even by the end of November — Turkey to Go will start operating inside.

Malloy said they will keep the original truck, which will reemerge on Nicollet Mall next spring when the weather gets warm. With two trucks, Turkey to Go could keep both locations, operating year-round inside while still selling sandwiches on the Mall during the warmer months.

In addition, the company is selling whole birds for Thanksgiving, with proceeds going to help feed the homeless. For more information, visit

— Gregory J. Scott


Frank Stone Gallery slows down

SHERIDAN — Frank Stone is stepping back from his namesake gallery after nearly 14 years on 2nd Street Northeast.  

Director Laura Drabant explained that owners Stone and Lynn Olson are cutting down the shows to about three or four a year. After the holiday show this year, nothing is on the schedule yet for 2011.

“It’s really hard to make a go of selling art these days, but the economy wasn’t the primary reason for scaling back,” Drabant said. “They have been in business for a long time, and it was a good long run for the gallery.”

The Frank Stone Gallery has kept a crowded calendar in recent years, with artists often rotating every weekend. The owners are looking to slow down the busy gallery business.

But they aren’t exactly retired.

Olson is moonlighting as a substitute Hennepin County Judge, revisiting her former career.

Stone, a stained-glass artist and metal sculptor, just finished a project for Tucci Benucch at the Mall of America, and he’s working on other projects commissioned by Surdyk’s and the Como Zoo.

“A lot of projects in the hopper aren’t readily usable at the gallery,” Drabant said. “They are scaling back definitely, but they love Northeast and want to stay active [in the community].”

The corner won’t go quiet, either. They have leased Frank Stone’s large gallery space to Chowgirls Killer Catering, and leased the adjacent space to Rosalux Gallery. Rosalux is open Thursday and Friday from 4–8 p.m., and Saturday from 2–6 p.m.

— Michelle Bruch


Moss Optical celebrates 75 years Downtown

DOWNTOWN CORE — Technically, 2010 marks the 75-year anniversary for Moss Optical, the eyewear experts in the skyway of LaSalle Plaza.

But the Mosses have actually been working Downtown since 1918, when company founder Dr. George Moss took a job at State Jewelers, located on the same block as the current shop.

George struck out on his own in 1935, opening the first Moss Optical on 7th Street between Hennepin and Nicollet Avenues. The store anchored that block for more than six decades, finally moving into LaSalle Plaza in 2004, then up to the skyway level in 2008.

These days, George’s grandson Kevin Moss runs the show. He’s been fitting people for frames since he graduated college 27 years ago. And before that, he says, “I used to come down on Saturday and mop the floors and clean up frames when I was a kid. My sisters all worked here. Of the seven kids, six of us in one form or another worked at the family biz. Now it’s my niece and then her son, my great-nephew.”

Kevin Beck Moss, the 22-year-old great-nephew, is the newest optician. He represents the fifth generation in the business.  

He’ll be at the big anniversary event on Nov. 30, at the store from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., along with a good deal of other Mosses.

“It’s a bit of a reunion, and we’ve invited our closest customers,” said Kevin Moss. “Being in business this long, you get some pretty loyal customers.”

The open house event includes a trunk show, as well as food and drinks.

Asked about life in the skyways, Moss said he couldn’t ask for a better location.

“It’s a very different demographic down on the street than it is in the skyway,” he said. “And our demographic is the people in the skyway. People who work Downtown. We’re convenient for people because they don’t want to deal with this stuff on the weekend, They just take care of it on their lunch hour. That’s a great niche for us. And then we don’t have to work weekends.”

Moss pointed out that he does have a 14-year-old daughter. But she isn’t sure she wants to continue the business.

“I’ve been using some reverse psychology,” he said. “If I told her she’s working at Moss Optical, she’d rebel. So I’m telling her she shouldn’t, so maybe she’ll want to.”

— Gregory J. Scott


New pizza joint coming to Broadway St. NE

ST. ANTHONY WEST — A Turkish pizza chef who learned his craft working in Italian restaurants in Germany is about to open a new restaurant on Broadway.

And it’s taking over a former dentist office.

Restaurateur Ismail Karagoez has designs on the squat, beige-siding-covered former offices of Dr. Stephen Efton, at 96 Broadway St. NE. His plan? Element Pizza, a “cozy place” specializing in woodfired pizza and handmade appetizers. Karagoez breezed through a public hearing on Nov. 18 for an on-sale wine with strong beer liquor license. He’ll spend the winter remodeling the place and says he plans to open by spring of next year.

Karagoez met his American wife in Germany, and the two settled in Northeast 26 years ago. Since then, they’ve operated a handful of restaurants, including most recently the Istanbul Bistro in Minnetonka.

— Gregory J. Scott

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