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June 6, 2005 // UPDATED 1:55 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Jeremy Stratton
Jeremy Stratton

North Loop

Corazon, 204 Washington Ave. N., is part gallery, part retail store. The small renovated warehouse storefront is set with an eclectic array of gift items such as imported crafts and artwork, cards, books, candles and "small, practical items" such as paper clips and erasers. Stock is similar to Bibelot or Patina stores.

Susan Zdon has put her experience in merchandising behind the store, a business venture with husband Gary Zdon.

Corazon carries international imports, especially Latin items and art, as well as local consignment items, such as the newly arrived "DFL couple" rag dolls.

A gallery in back will feature art by local and national artist such as K.F Willington's oil paintings of flowers on wood and Sue Christensen's complementary "patchwork ceramics," which use actual flowers and leaves to imprint patterns on bowls and other sculpture.

Corazon also features a section of locally made organic bath and body products, such as soaps and essential oils.

Nicollet Mall

A men's spa on the second floor of Marshall Field's, 700 Nicollet Mall, has changed ownership. Schmidty's owners Tom Schmidt and Jeff Lillemore closed the location May 17. The spa reopened the next day as Premier Salon.

The Downtown Schmidty's closed after a judge ordered its owners to repay a $958,272 loan to Brooklyn 55 LLC for equipment at its 2901 Hennepin Ave. S. PAGODA space. The business partners own two other spas; the Uptown Schmidty's at 1422 W. Lake St. and Urban Retreat, 1608 W. Lake St.

Lillemoe did not return a call for comment on the closings or the remaining salons' futures. A Marshall Field's media release stated that bankruptcy is pending for the partners.

Jennifer McNamara of Marshall Field's, said that Premier Salon would offer many of the same services as Schmidty's. A Premier Salon contact was unavailable for comment.

According to the release, Premier Salons, based in Golden Valley and Canada, is the largest privately owned hair care chain in North America, with more than 400 salons and spas throughout Canada and the United States.

City Center

One of City Center's Hennepin Avenue restaurants has closed, and another is soon to follow. On May 25, Copeland's of New Orleans closed its doors on the corner of 7th & Hennepin. TGI Fridays, at 6th & Hennepin, will follow suit at the end of June, according to Betsy Buckley, a consultant for Brookfield Properties, which manages City Center.

Buckley said Copeland's, which still has lease obligations, might reopen with a different concept. However, she declined to say when or what that concept might be, nor did she comment on a new tenant for the Fridays space. Buckley did say that Fridays employees will be placed at other locations, and none will lose their jobs.

The closings come during what Buckley called a "renovation and remerchandising" of the Downtown shopping center, set for completion this fall.