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July 26, 2004 // UPDATED 2:43 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

Sushi bar super-sizes

Origami's sushi bar and first floor is now open.

The Warehouse District restaurant has undergone a $500,000, four-month renovation, said the restaurant's General Manager Jeffrey Fortson.

"It's fairly extensive. We have hardwood floors on both levels now. The sushi bar has tile on the floor and we have banquettes," he said.

Banquettes are small padded benches.

The 30 N. 1st St. sushi bar has been open in the old Market Hotel for 14 years. A lot of floors in the old building were uneven and required some structural changes, Fortson said.

The new bar area features bamboo wood and the dining room has new carpeting.

The smoke-free Origami has also added a happy hour, 5-6:30 p.m.

To promote the new changes, Origami staff will be out in the neighborhood passing out gift bags and drink recipes.

"We're going to have a fun guerilla marketing campaign," Fortson said.

African oil massages come to Loring Park

Spa O.N.E., a new upscale beauty salon, is opening mid-August in a vacant space next to Tiburon, 1201 Harmon Place.

Spa O.N.E. (which stands for Our National Essence) specializes in beauty treatments for black women. The salon is moving from downtown St. Paul, where it opened four years ago.

The spa's founder Anthony Taylor said there are only 17 salons in the country that specifically market to minority women.

"No one has really captured the imagination of women of color," he said. "The beauty business is segregated."

The spa will feature several services and packages, including treatments geared toward couples and corporate clients.

Prices range from $20 for a manicure on the low-end to $400 for a couples' spa package.

The salon features a variety of specialty treatments, including facials, organic African oil massages and other skin treatments.

Before founding Spa O.N.E., Taylor worked as director of Wellness Resources for Aveda. As for his new Downtown location, Taylor called it a "peaceful" and convenient spot for his clients.

"I love urban communities and the energy of Downtown is exciting for us," he said.

-- Sarah McKenzie

Drink and Spin

Club Spin, a new bar proposed for the Warehouse District, has been approved for a Class "A" liquor license by a City Council committee.

The Public Safety and Regulatory Services Committee approved the application for the license at a July 14 public hearing.

Sheila Godes, the owner of Drink, 26 N. 5th St., a bar next to the Warehouse District LRT station, is behind the proposal for the

new nightclub.

The dance club will cater to 25- to 45-year-olds -- the same crowd Drink draws, according to a business plan submitted to the City Council. Drink is billed as the "original fun bar."

Under a license agreement with the city, Topshelf Club, Inc. has agreed to several terms, including no nude or seminude dancing, revealing employee attire and mud wrestling, among other things.

The nightclub will feature a large dance floor on the first floor, live music and a D.J.

Hours are tentatively set at 8 p.m. to 2 a.m.

The club is expected to open early August.