BIZZ BUZZ // Businesses form The Foundry on 13th Avenue NE

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August 29, 2011
By: Jeremy Zoss
Jeremy Zoss
SHERIDAN — On June 1, Kelly Sharp reopened her business The Barber Sharp at 349 13th Ave. NE, two blocks away from its former location on 2nd Avenue. The new space was only available if she leased the entire building, and Sharp said back then that she would find other tenants to take up the space she didn’t need.

Only a few months later, several new tenants have moved into the building, and the eclectic pieces have come together in the 3,000-square-foot building now informally known as The Foundry.

“We’re all separate businesses, yet we’re working together with the same goal — to bring people together,” says Sharp. “You can come to this building for one reason and experience so much more.”

Sharp will soon share the first floor with a massage business called Studio 3, which is scheduled to open in early October. Both of the lower-floor business are petite, each taking up less than 200 square feet. The remaining space is still available for the right tenant.

Alongside the building is an outdoor patio that Sharp plans to use for community events, and an area behind the back parking lot will soon be converted to an organic garden.

The building’s second floor brings more diversity. While its opening is still a ways off, the other upstairs tenant will be familiar to many in Northeast. A former 700-square-foot apartment will become the new home of the Tarnish & Gold gallery, which has been looking for a new home after moving out of its original space on Marshall Street.

“It was a great run and really hard work,” said Tarnish & Gold co-founder Caitlin LaFlash. “We wanted to downsize and focus on quality and not quantity.”

LaFlash and Sharp began talking about the gallery moving into the space in June, and LaFlash hopes to have the gallery opening in early fall.

Also on the second floor, Tattoo artists Kyle Skyer and “Metal Mike” have opened Tiger Rose Tattoos, a 800-square-foot tattoo shop that focuses on some of the traditional elements of the art. “We wanted to be a traditional walk-in street shop,” said Skyer. “A lot of shops now mainly do custom work. We’re all about hand-painted flash.”

Skyer looked at several other locations in Northeast, but it wasn’t until he talked to Kelly Sharp that he knew he’d found the right place. “Kelly was really receptive,” said Skyer. “It was the first really positive response I got when I said I planned to open a tattoo shop.”

Tarnish & Gold’s LaFlash is thrilled to be a part of a building with such unique tenants, especially one that encourages tight relationships between them. A second-floor deck will be available to all tenants, even though the door to it is in Tarnish & Gold’s space. The gallery will oversee the community garden below it, and the unoccupied space on the first floor will host art shows, such as an exhibition of Risen Phoenix Photography on Sept. 16 from 5 p.m.–9 p.m.

This close relationship of the tenants was the plan all along, according to Sharp.

“I’ve had the idea for The Foundry for a while,” she said. “It’s broken pieces and then it becomes whole again. It sounds cheesy, but I said to the universe, ‘Send me who is supposed to be here.” And one by one, they showed up.”

Zen Box opens in Mill District City Apartments

MILL DISTRICT — John Ng and Lina Goh want to change the way you think about Japanese food.

After running the Zen Box Japanese Eatery in the skyways for more than seven years, the couple’s latest restaurant has opened the Mill District City Apartments, 225 Portland Ave. S.

Zen Box Izakaya is a restaurant based on Japanese comfort foods — which doesn’t include the most iconic Japanese menu offering, sushi.

“No sushi,” says John Ng. “That’s just one part of Japanese cuisine. There’s so much more. People think of Japanese as light and mild, but there are so many different flavors.”

The Zen Box Izakaya menu features variety of Japanese comfort foods, including stews, breaded pork cutlets, noodle dishes and more. The bar includes a split of Japanese beers and local microbrews, as well as “big bottle” sake. According to Ng, alcohol is an important part of the Izakaya concept.

“We’re trying to make this a neighborhood hangout spot,” says Ng. “The idea of Izakaya is bringing together neighbors, food and drinks. It’s more a neighborhood place than a destination.”

Lunds to break ground on Sept. 1

HENNEPIN  — The groundbreaking of the highly anticipated Lunds grocery store at 12th & Hennepin is set for Sept. 1.

City Council Member Lisa Goodman (7th Ward) and Tres Lund, CEO of Lund Food Holdings, will make remarks at the ceremony planned for 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m. There will be a complimentary lunch of brats, hotdogs, chips and watermelon. 

The new Lunds, set to open next summer, will be about 20,000 square feet. A 5,600-square-foot Lunds Wine Market will open next to the store at 1208 Harmon Ave.

Photo studio moving above Erte

SHERIDAN — A photography studio called Lavish is moving above Erte at 13th & University, offering makeovers and photo shoots for women and bachelorette parties.

“You can sexy it up a little bit or keep it nice and clean,” said Lavish owner Carissa Nielsen, who relocated the business from Robbinsdale.

She said she chose the Northeast spot so that girls could jump in a cab and go out for the night after their photo sessions.

Nielsen has worked in photography for four years, and she partnered with friends last spring to provide hair styling and makeup for Lavish.

Metro Dogs opens in early fall

NORTH LOOP — Downtown dog owners will soon have a new option for doggie daycare when Metro Dogs opens in early fall at 506 11th Ave. N.

According to owner Amy Rosenthal, Metro Dogs will feature 9,000 square feet of space divided into various playgroups for dogs of various play styles, an outdoor patio space, and several unique features not found at other doggie daycare facilities, which she plans to reveal closer to opening.

Rosenthal has long been involved in cause of animal wellness, with four years of experience at the Animal Humane Society and nine years on the board of nonprofit service dog organization Helping Paws.

She and her dog Oliver also work as a pet therapy team, and she jokes that since leaving the corporate world to focus on animals that her “life has gone to the dogs.”

Metro Dogs will be open seven days a week and will announce its opening date soon.

Rare Steak and Sushi

DOWNTOWN CORE — David Fhima’s Zahtar in the Grand Hotel Minneapolis at 612 2nd Ave. S. has been replaced by Rare Steak & Sushi, owned by Lifetime Fitness CEO Bahram Akradi.

In June, the Grand Hotel Minneapolis held a grand re-opening party to show off the $6 million dollar renovation that upgraded the guest rooms, lobby and, in the words of General Manager Amanda Parsons, “just about everything.” Part of the redesign included rebranding the hotel bar as the Six15 Room, and in early August the hotel restaurant underwent a similar transformation to bring it in line with the other changes.

As the name suggests, the restaurant focuses on steak and sushi, although the menu also includes many other options, such as salads, soups and burgers.

“Rare Steak & Sushi’s focus is on well-executed, high-quality proteins,” said Rare Steak & Sushi general manager Jason Cooney in a statement. “We look forward to serving the
best steak and sushi available in downtown Minneapolis.”

The Firm relocates and expands

SUMNER-GLENWOOD — One of Minneapolis’ best-known gyms is about to enter a new phase. The Firm is celebrating its 25-year anniversary by moving into a larger space with more amenities, and the change should not be too disruptive for the gym’s 11,000 monthly visitors — the new facility is only one block away from the current location.

The new location will open on Sept. 10 at 1010 2nd Ave. N. with 28,000 square feet of floor space, an expansion of 8,000 square feet.

Amenities of the new location include more parking, a new hot yoga studio, better ventilation and a retail store operated by Sacha Martin, owner of Bluebird and Ladyslipper in the 50th & France area.

The Firm will also add new fitness classes in the near future, such as the popular Zumba program. The new amenities come at no extra cost to the clients — the prices of all membership options will remain unchanged.

“We are so thrilled to make this move and provide an even better facility for our staff and clients,” said founder and co-owner Kelly Miyamoto in a statement. “We pride ourselves on being the first to offer many cutting-edge programs. And we’re always restless and eager to challenge the industry, ourselves and our clients, which will never change.”


• A new Anytime Fitness location has opened at 111 Washington Ave. N.

• Jamie Malone has been named the new Chef de Cuisine at Sea Change in the Guthrie Theater. Malone has worked at several Tim McKee restaurants in the past, including at Sea Change under former head chef Erik Anderson.

• The Crooked Pint at 501 Washington Ave. S. is scheduled to open to the public on Sept. 6. The bar will feature live music and comfort food, but despite rumors, it will not be associated with the Town Hall Brewery.

• Another new food truck has taken to the streets. Messy Guiseppe is an Italian sandwich truck from the owners of Roseville’s Café Zia.

— Michelle Bruch and Sarah McKenzie contributed to this report