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May 17, 2004 // UPDATED 1:37 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Find out the happenings of local businesses

Chicago hot dog spot opens on Mall

A new hot dog spot, Rubylicious, has opened near Marshall Field's on Nicollet Mall.

"Basically, we do the Chicago-style hot dog a lot bigger than those on the street," said owner Ruby Billingsley, pausing to answer a few questions as customers lined up for breakfast.

Besides hotdogs, Rubylicious, 27 S. 7th St., serves up continental breakfasts, including coffee, muffins and doughnuts.

Billingsley, a retired entrepreneur who used to run a beauty salon and a construction company, said she started the business to provide her daughter Felicia, 33, and foster daughters Catie and Khahn with job opportunities they might not otherwise find. The women have learning disabilities, she said.

They help with opening and closing the shop and special events.

Before launching the business, Billingsley raised $6,000 in seven months, selling doughnuts and silk flower pins at the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. 6th St. and City Center, 615 Hennepin Ave. S.

Rubylicious hours are Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; and noon-5 p.m., Saturday.

East Village's Indian Ocean finally opens

Indian Ocean, a new Mediterranean restaurant, has opened in Elliot Park in East Village at 11th Avenue and 14th Street.

The restaurant opened April 16. Two Somali entrepreneurs, Abdul Gaal and Ali Mohamud, worked for more than a year on renovations for the new eatery.

Gaal had initially hoped for an October 2003 opening, but delays pushed it back until April.

Besides the two owners, five other Somali community members have invested in the project, according to a Central Community Housing Trust (CCHT) update on the restaurant. The nonprofit developer built East Village.

The restaurant will offer Mediterranean dishes and some Somali dishes. Featured items include hummus, lamb shish kebobs, gyros and chicken curry.

Besides sit-down dining, the restaurant provides carry-out and delivery services.

Hours are 10 a.m-midnight, Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Friday-Saturday; and 11 a.m.-midnight, Sunday.

Massage business gets own space

Ooh Aaah, a drop-in chair massage business, has moved into a new space in the skyway level of the Highland Bank building, 811 LaSalle Ave.

Ooh Aaah massage therapists used to work in a hallway near their new space, which is near the Roly Poly sandwich shop by the Highland Bank skyway to Marshall Field's, 700 Nicollet Mall.

The massage business moved into the space May 1, which formerly held the long-time jewelry shop Le Ciel d-Or, said co-owner Greg Sivesind.

The new digs feature three chairs for people looking for a quick stress reliever during a work break or over lunch. There are also two private rooms for people looking for longer massages.

Rates vary depending on the length of the massage. Twenty minutes is $25 and an hour-long table massage is $60.

Hours are 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Harmon Quiznos gets sidewalk caf/

The new Quiznos Sub shop at 1122

Harmon Place has received approval from a City Council committee for a sidewalk caf/.

The Council's Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee approved the permit request at its May 5 meeting. The City Council was expected to sign off on the permit at its May 14 meeting, after this edition of Skyway News went to press.

The sandwich shop is in a street-level retail space of a parking ramp near the University of St. Thomas. The Harmon Quiznos is scheduled to open Thursday, May 20.

Target Center will get new restaurant

A new 220-seat restaurant called NBA City is set to open October in Target Center, 600 1st Ave. N.

The restaurant will be located on the arena's North 6th Street and 1st Avenue corner and feature interactive skill games where patrons can practice shooting baskets.

NBA City Chairman Ralph Burnet, who heads Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty, said the Target Center has needed a larger restaurant that does consistent business beyond game nights.

"It's one of the only arenas that doesn't have a full-service restaurant," Burnet said.

Several previous sports bars have failed in the space.

Burnet recently met with city officials to review plans for his $4 million restaurant. The city of Minneapolis owns the arena, which is managed by Midwest Entertainment -- a joint venture between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Nederlander Concerts.

Burnet also oversees an NBA City restaurant in Orlando, Fla. That two-level, 375-seat restaurant has two large video screens that show NBA and WNBA programming and a 2,100-square-foot "interactive" area with basketball games.

The Target Center's NBA City will feature an outdoor patio and small retail store. The menu will range from pasta dishes to hamburgers with entrees from $7 to $30.

"This is not just a sports bar," Burnet said, adding the restaurant will cater to families.

It is Burnet's second recent investment in Downtown. Last month, he and partners announced a $14 million renovation of a former flophouse at 9th and Hennepin into a luxury hotel to be called the Chambers.

Burnet said if his restaurant is cleared by the city, it should open in time for the Wolves' 2004 season opener.