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October 17, 2005 // UPDATED 1:58 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Jeremy Stratton
Jeremy Stratton

Hennepin Avenue

A long-rumored CVS Pharmacy may soon come to the 1100 block of Hennepin Avenue. Kathi Prois, manager of the Davanni’s Pizza at 1138 Hennepin Ave. S., confirmed that CVS would pay for the pizzeria’s relocation to 1240 Hennepin, formerly home to City Market. Mike DeAngelis, corporate communications manager for CVS, said the company has no signed lease agreement and nothing to announce at this time.

There’s been much speculation that CVS would occupy the corner commercial space next to Davanni’s at 1100 Hennepin, once home to the Mpls Cafe. CVS had never confirmed those rumors, but the Davanni’s move seems like a clear signal that the pharmacy will add its national name to the blossoming retail area.

The retail boom — anchored by the spring 2006 opening of a Lunds Grocery at 1201 Hennepin — could include a Prairie Stone Pharmacy within one block of CVS.

As of July, CVS had 5,439 stores in 37 states — 11 in Minnesota. The Hennepin Avenue CVS store would be the first Downtown and second in the city. (Northeast Minneapolis was the first.)

Davanni’s new site is across the street from Lunds, and would include the long-vacant City Spirits frontage. Davanni’s current and future locations are both in the three-building Laurel Village complex.

North Loop

The “coming soon” sign has teased North Loop coffee fans for months — finally, Java J’s is open at 700 Washington Ave. N., beneath Tower Lofts. Java J’s plans grand opening parties the week of Oct. 17 after a “soft opening” Oct. 12, “to get the kinks out,” said Manager Christine Hiemenz.

Hiemenz hopes customers include residents of Tower Lofts and other condos, as well as area businesses, which she called “our biggest market.” Customers can grab coffee to go or settle in to enjoy the wireless Internet connection, two plasma screen televisions and DVD showings, Hiemenz said. She hopes to lure students with a discount.

The caf/ offers sandwiches, soups, cakes and bakery items. Hours are weekdays, 7 a.m.-midnight; Saturday, 8 a.m.-midnight; and Sunday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m.

Nicollet Mall

Walgreens has closed after 18 years at 413 Nicollet Mall. Business had steadily declined, Walgreens Corporate Spokesperson Carol Hively said shortly after the closing was announced in June.

Shelves were increasingly bare during the last week of sales, as Walgreens offered discounts of as much as 75 percent off its merchandise. Days before the closing, a store clerk said that she and other employees had been offered positions at other Walgreens stores — in one case, as far away as East St. Paul.

Hively said customers have been directed to the smaller Walgreens at 815 Nicollet Mall, which can fill prescriptions for customers of the closed store.

India Bazaar closed next door under the same address this spring. No tenant has replaced the imports store.