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June 7, 2004 // UPDATED 1:52 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Various local business-related news stories

Topless bar a possibility for Nikki's space

A new multilevel restaurant and bar that could feature topless dancers is lined up for the old Nikki Caf/ space in the North Loop.

Shane Segal, who owns Tobacco Warehouse, the Minneapolis-based discount cigarette store chain, is behind Trocadores, 107 3rd Ave. N. He plans to apply for a Class "A" liquor license, which allows for partial nudity.

Segal said he isn't set on moving forward with a topless bar, but hasn't ruled it out.

"We're not going to have anything raunchy. We're going to make it classy. It's going to be very upscale and very nice," Segal said, who used to own Club Ash/, 322 1st Ave. N, which has since become the nightclub Fahrenheit.

Segal envisions a burlesque-themed nightspot with live music. The restaurant's menu will feature steak and seafood.

"It's going to be beautiful," he said, adding that it wouldn't have a "tacky neon" d/cor, referencing the neon-heavy strip club D/j Vu, 315 Washington Ave. N.

Building owner Ted Saxon is rehabbing the three-story building and a two-story addition. He plans to spiff up the exterior, adding red brick, Indiana limestone and a dark-green trim, he said.

Segal and Saxon plan to brief North Loop Neighborhood Association leaders about their plans in coming weeks. The city will also hold a public hearing on the liquor license; a date had not been scheduled when this issue of Skyway News went to press.

Nikki's closed June 2002 after a 15-year-long run.

'Prince building' quietly being rehabbed

Although its entrance still is boarded up and forlorn, a four-story building wedged between Sex World, 241 2nd Ave. N., and Caf/ Havana, 119 Washington Ave. N., is undergoing a makeover to make way for a new restaurant, bar or housing.

The 121 Washington Ave. N. warehouse has stood vacant for 20 years. Pop icon Prince owned the building for about four months in the mid-1990s before selling it to ILQ Investments, Inc., said Jerry Buchanan, an investor in the property. ILQ also owns Sex World's building.

The 121 Washington building's estimated market value is $495,000, according to Hennepin County property records. The warehouse, built in 1887, sits in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District.

Buchanan said the building was nearing condemnation when ILQ purchased it in 1994. It was in a general state of disrepair with a caved-in roof.

Buchanan, who owns several other Twin Cities buildings, said rehabbing the old warehouse isn't his highest priority, but he expects to secure tenants by year's end.

He gets called about once a month from people pitching new restaurants and bars. Developing the space for condos is also an option, he said.

"I'll listen to anybody's offer," he said.