Little Wagon reopening under new ownership

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February 26, 2007 // UPDATED 11:03 am - April 26, 2007
By: Michelle Bruch
Michelle Bruch

Downtown East

The owner of Keegan’s Pub is hoping to take over the Little Wagon and reopen the restaurant after St. Patrick’s Day and before the Twins home opener in April.

“We’re going to keep it as much the way it was as possible,” said Terry Keegan. He said the menu will be similar, and the venue at 420 S. 4th St. is now being cleaned and fixed up.

Keegan Pubs Inc. would not take control of the site until the city approves a liquor license. The business would reopen by April 1 and retain the name Little Wagon.

The Little Wagon, also called Chewys Sports Bar & Grill, is included on a list of businesses who are at least 10 days late in paying taxes.

The delinquent taxpayers list is posted by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division.

A position on the delinquent taxpayers list means alcohol wholesalers and suppliers may not sell or deliver any product to the business, according to Rebecca Christenson, director of communications for the commissioner’s office at the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The Downtown Journal could not reach the business owners for comment.

East Bank

The closed Snyders Drug Store formerly located at 323 Central Ave. will not reopen at another location.

The drug store was originally slated to move into the Cobalt development next to Lunds, but Snyder Vice President Dave Leonard said last fall the company opted out of the deal when they learned PrairieStone Pharmacy would have a larger operation at the facility than they anticipated.

PrairieStone Pharmacy at Central and University avenues has taken on Snyders’ files, according to a store employee.

North Loop

Anytime Fitness will host a grand opening celebration on March 1 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

The new gym at 420 N. 5th St. will offer prize giveaways, free food, free health assessments and massages.

Co-owner Grant Olafson said new members will find the best rates of the year at Anytime during the grand opening day.

The fitness center is open 24 hours per day and houses free weights, cardio machines with personal televisions, tanning, free parking and shower facilities. The gym partners with Avatar Private Training Studio for personal training on-site, and the gym also offers discounts to the Avatar facility at 311 5th Ave. N.

C. McGee’s Deli is moving from its site at 800 Washington Ave. N. into the Bassett Creek building.

The deli is scheduled to close around March 30, and will reopen April 2 at 901 N. 3rd St.

“This will be a little bigger, and we’re putting in a kitchen,” said owner Jane Oyen. “We’ve been here 19 years, and we did not want to leave Downtown.”

The catering menu will expand in the new location, Oyen said. A former employee who has catered for institutions such as the Denver Arts Council is returning to expand C. McGee’s catering division.

The delivery menu initially will not change. An outdoor caf/ is another concept in the works for the new site, and Oyen said there is potential for breakfast service in the future, depending on demand.

The original C. McGee’s opened in 1987 in the Itasca building, and the deli opened on Washington Avenue in August 1996.

Central Business District

The art gallery on the ground floor of the 225 South Sixth building has a new owner.

The career of Nina Bliese has spanned from Chicago, where she headed the Textile Art Center and helped launch a public art program, to Zaire, where she helped run a prison feeding program, design a natal care and children’s nutritional program, and raise funds for a new clinic and prison courtyard. She is now trying her hand as owner of the renamed Nina Bliese Gallery, formerly called the Douglas-Baker gallery. She took over from Doug Koons on Jan. 2. Bliese said Koons is retiring from the gallery he has run for 24 years and he plans to travel to India.

“We’re switching lives,” she joked.

The ground floor gallery is a destination for high-end art collectors and Downtown corporations, Bliese said. Three gallery spaces offer a range of works that include landscapes, floral paintings, oils, monoprints and turned wood pieces. Artwork on display last week included large English landscapes by Kraig Rasmussen, wood carved into thin broken eggshells, and pen and ink drawings that used flowing text to discuss social issues.

This week, a new show on display features Mary Groth of South Dakota, who does prairie-style pastels.

Bliese plans to launch periodic “art talks” over lunch to educate interested Downtown workers, and she wants to offer small pieces of art over the holidays in a market-style show next year.

“This is the first time I’ve been a small business owner, and I’m having a great time,” she said.