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November 15, 2004 // UPDATED 4:41 pm - April 25, 2007
By: North Loop
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A sign of the times: Edina Realty is opening a Downtown office in the North Loop's renovated Pacific Hotel Building, 224 Washington Ave. N.

The Edina Realty office will open Feb. 1, 2005. More than 25 agents will be stationed there.

In a prepared statement, Barb Jandric, senior vice president and regional manager for the real estate firm, said the office will offer in-house mortgage and title services.

"While we have been serving the Downtown area for years and have a number of Downtown projects and developments, we are excited to make a commitment to an official location that we feel will allow us to better serve the needs of our clients," Jandric said.

By Sarah McKenzie

North Loop

Nordic-Home, a high-end Norwegian furniture and Tibetan rug dealer, is moving into the 219 N. 2nd St. space formerly occupied by the furnishings store P.O.S.H.

The business is expected to open Friday, Nov. 12, said Orlyn Kringstad, who is partnering with his wife Marit Kringstad on the venture.

The couple's company, Nordic Textile and Furnishings is a manufacturer, importer, retailer and wholesaler of furniture handcrafted in Norway.

Nordic-Home will feature two major lines of furniture -- rustic pieces made from Norwegian mountain pine (a hardwood) and classic pieces made from flaming birch and bird's eye maple.

The store will also sell Tibetan wool rugs made in Nepal certified by Rugmark, a global nonprofit that verifies factories don't use child labor.

Kringstad said the store's prices are "high-end but competitive" and said Nordic-Home offers higher quality furniture than the popular Scandinavian furniture giant IKEA.

"These are heirloom pieces," he said.

For more, see www.nordic-home.com.

By Sarah McKenzie

North Loop

Homegrown Glass, 117 Washington Ave. N., has opened next to Finn Style.

The store carries locally made, high-end glassworks, such as goblets, paperweights and pipes.

Owner David Bradley also has a Dinkytown location. "I'm trying to support any good glass blower in Minnesota," he said.

The business has moved into a vacant space that previously housed a framing shop. The store's prices range from $15 for Christmas ornaments and beads to $1,400 for sculptures.

The store hours are Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m.-2 a.m.; Saturday, noon-2 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-8 p.m.

By Sarah McKenzie

Warehouse District

Spirell Bar, a New Orleans-themed bar and restaurant, has opened at 119 N. 4th St., next to Pizza Luc/.

The new nightspot fills space formerly occupied by Chez Banana's, a Caribbean restaurant that closed in March 2002.

The menu includes po-boy sandwiches, burgers, jerk chicken and red snapper. Entrees are $7 to $15, co-owner Mike Spicer said.

Spirell features a stainless steel bar and frosted-glass pillars illuminated with multicolored lights and will feature live entertainment Thursday-Saturday and a Sunday jazz brunch.

Hours are Monday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m.-2 a.m.

By Sarah McKenzie

Central Business District

Excel Bank Minnesota will open a branch in January in the One Financial Plaza building's skyway, 120 S. 6th St.

The bank has three other local branches, including one in the 50 South 6th Street tower.

Excel Bank Minnesota specializes in serving entrepreneurs and commercial developers.

For more, go to www.excelbankmn.com.

By Sarah McKenzie