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July 12, 2004 // UPDATED 2:29 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

North Loop restaurateur puts tops back on

The entrepreneur behind Trocadores, a restaurant planned for the former Nikki's Caf/ space in the North Loop, said he would withdraw his application for an adult-entertainment license in face of intense neighborhood opposition.

His restaurant will open without topless dancing, Shane Segal said.

A big neighborhood fight had brewed over Segal's proposal for adult entertainment at 107 3rd Ave. N.

The North Loop Neighborhood Association passed a motion June 30 opposing a Class "A" adult entertainment license for the new restaurant after more than 80 vocal residents protested.

The neighbors were critical of his plans and urged Segal to ditch plans for topless dancers and stick to his steak and seafood menu.

The neighborhood group represents property owners and residents Downtown west of 3rd Avenue North and the riverfront west of Hennepin Avenue south to Washington Avenue. The affluent neighborhood is one of Downtown's fastest-growing areas.

Ken Ziegler, a city liquor license inspector, said the city's zoning code bans Trocadores from obtaining an adult-entertainment license because it falls within 500 feet of a residential area.

Ziegler sent Segal, owner of Minneapolis-based Tobacco Warehouse, and Ted Saxon, the building owner, a letter June 1 indicating they weren't eligible for the adult entertainment license.

Segal said he had considered hiring a lawyer to fight for the license.

"I'm not infringing on anybody," Segal said, before he decided to drop plans for topless dancing. "They moved into an urban environment."

Hip-hop clothier opens on Hennepin

A new hip-hop clothing store called

Balance, 1111 Hennepin Ave. S., is slated to open Wednesday, July 14 with a grand opening planned for Aug. 6-8.

The store features more than a dozen independent clothing labels, including two local lines, Underground Music and Fashion and Blame it on Hip Hop (BIOHH), a label founded by North Loop entrepreneur Marcus Manning.

Balance replaces Sun's Rock 'N' Roll Items, a T-shirt and poster store that closed in March.

Ryan Kilkelly, a 24-year-old entrepreneur who has worked on Balance's concept for four years, said he wants to cater to customers looking to make a statement with their fashion.

"Our style is individualistic," Kilkelly said, while working in a small makeshift office in the back of the 2,700-square-foot store.

Balance will feature men and women's clothing inspired by the hip-hop, underground independent music scene. Prices will range from $50 to $85 for jeans with a few higher-priced lines. T-shirts will go for $20 to $35.

The store will sell a variety of accessories: bags, hats, sunglasses, watches and belts.

Kilkelly has enlisted help from a few artistic friends to furnish and decorate the store's interior. A friend painted six black murals on the store's walls, featuring eyes dripping with tears and others outlined with elaborate brick lattices. A couple of modernistic yellow chairs from the Uptown high-end furniture store, Red Lure Red, 3045 Hennepin Ave. S., will be on display.

A DJ turntable and video monitor will sit in the back of the store.

Kilkelly also plans to adorn the store's exterior alley wall with a graffiti mural.

The store was set to open in May, but there have been delays on furniture orders, he said.

Store hours are tentatively set for 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday; and 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday.

Kilts displace Eat Street Caf/

A new Celtic-themed coffee shop, Kilted Coffee, will replace the Eat Street Caf/ in Loring Park.

The caf/ closed June 30 after a short stint at 1410 Nicollet Ave. S. Caf/ owner Lynn Smith opened Eat Street in September 2003 with intentions to cater to the theater crowd.

"I had a really great time there. It's a good location, but it's time to move on," Smith said.

She said she had had no intentions of closing her business, but the entrepreneurs behind Kilted Coffee came in and sold her on their idea. She assigned them her lease after receiving approval from her landlord, Kam Talebi, an investor with 14th Street Ventures.

The 3,000-square-foot space is near the neighborhood's Red Eye Theater, 15 W. 14th St. and Triple Espresso Company, 1410 Nicollet Ave.

Kilted Coffee will feature kilt-clad employees who will wear the Scottish skirts the "nontraditional way" -- with undergarments, said George Heim, president of Kilted Coffee.

The d/cor will include a thistle mosaic on the floor in the coffee shop's backroom lounge (The thistle is the traditional emblem of Scotland). Tartans will adorn the walls.

Heim and caf/ owner Dan Friedman-Shedlov plan to open Kilted Coffee Monday, July 19. Hours are tentatively set for 6 a.m.-10 p.m.

Burlesque switcheroo in Warehouse District

Lili's Burlesque Revue has replaced Le Cirque Rouge in a space next to the Urban Wildlife, 327 2nd Ave. N.

The new burlesque lineup features some former Le Cirque Rouge performers; the core cast has taken its show on the road,

performing recently at the Loring Pasta Bar in Dinkytown.

At Lili's, performances include classic stripteases, magic acts, juggling and fire-eaters. The burlesque revival evokes the Warehouse District's entertainment scene of the 1920s and 1930s.

Shows are 9 p.m.-10 p.m., Thursday-Saturday. Admission is $15.

Le Cirque Rouge's core cast includes burlesque diva and group founder Amy Buchanan, Corinne Cauoette, Katherine Otis, "Garron the Houseboy," "The Tin Star Sisters," Jordan, Sheena and "Stan the 3-D Man," among others.

For more information on the two burlesque productions, visit www.lilisburlesque.com and www.lecirquerouge.com.