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March 14, 2005 // UPDATED 1:52 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Jeremy Stratton
Jeremy Stratton

Central Business District

After more than a year's absence, a pharmacy has returned to the Medical Arts building.

Medical Arts Pharmacy, 825 Nicollet Mall, Suite 150, offers prescription services to complement the Allina clinic upstairs and other doctors' offices in the building.

Anyone with a prescription can have it filled at the ground-level pharmacy, said media relations spokeswoman Karen Gilseth; however, Allina's 600 information technology employees, who work nearby, are also likely to be potential customers.

The new Allina pharmacy offers generic and name-brand medications, ranging from common antibiotics, birth control and pain medication to "complex medical formulations," according to a press release. Prescriptions ordered through www.allina.com/pharmacy can be picked up or mailed for free to customers' homes; fee-based delivery is another option. The new pharmacy also sells over-the-counter items, such as cold medication, bandages, feminine hygiene products and greeting cards.

Until the end of 2003, Fairview had a pharmacy on the site. Years ago, Danielson's Pharmacy occupied the space.

The Medical Arts Pharmacy is part of an Allina network that fills more than 500,000 prescriptions each year. "We have a wide array of medications that some pharmacies simply don't have on hand," the press release stated.

The pharmacy will be able to fill prescriptions for Allina patients much more quickly when Allina converts to electronic medical records in July, said Regional Pharmacy Manager Gary Clauson.

Allina Hospitals and Clinics is a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization operating hospitals, clinics and other health care services in Minnesota and

western Wisconsin.

The pharmacy is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Central Business District

The Popcorn Box is popping again after an eight-month hiatus. Owner Alka Patel is happy with the store's new location in the skyway at 250 2nd Ave. S., Suite 240, which is larger than the business' former digs in the Towle building. That lease was not renewed last year, Patel said.

"People were so mad!" she noted. "They went to the [Towle building] manager and told them to renew our lease."

Many of those loyal customers have been hoofing it to the Patel family's other skyway location at 200 S. 5th St, she said.

Now that the store is again open just a block from the former spot, customers will find more fare to choose from. The new store has added ice cream, chips and possibly candy to the menu, which still includes nonfat frozen yogurt, soda and, of course, lots of popcorn: white and yellow cheddar; caramel; salted or not; or a mix of cheesy, sweet and salty.

The Patel family has been popping corn Downtown for nine years. Tins of their specialty fare are delivered to the Metrodome, where they are sold during games.

Central Business District

March will mark the last chapter of Magers & Quinn Booksellers' Downtown saga at 608 2nd Ave. S. Owner Denny Magers said the outlet will close at the end of this month, "or when all the books are gone, whichever comes first."

The decision not to renew the bookstore's lease was made with Northstar Center management Trizec Properties, Inc., Magers said. "The landlord was fair," he said. "It just got to the end of the time ...."

Magers said the location was "marginal" for the type of evening and weekend business that keeps his Uptown store running. Magers said there is the possibility of another store, but it might not be Downtown.

With prices discounted an additional 25 percent off the regular 60 percent, Magers expects his inventory to deplete quickly.

Magers & Quinn moved into the 11,126-square-foot space in 1998, after Baxter's Books vacated the spot.

The next tenant might fare better in the retail-challenged space: advertising agency Gabriel deGrood Bendt, whose accounts include General Mills and Target. Trizec spokesman Terry Randolph said the agency was formerly in the International Center, 900 2nd Ave. S. The move-in date is not certain.