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January 6, 2003 // UPDATED 4:11 pm - April 27, 2007
By: Ellen Nigon
Ellen Nigon

If you walk into Tommy Carver's Garden of Flowers and ask to speak with Tommy Carver, don't be surprised if you hear a laugh. Tommy and Carver are actually the two young sons of shop owners Tom and Nancy Christianson.

Nancy said when she and her husband were trying to come up with a name for the 950 Nicollet Mall store they opened Nov. 21, a friend suggested Tommy Carver's. "Once the kids knew, there was no turning back," she said.

Tommy Carver's is the couple's first retail venture. However, husband Tom has been in the floral business more than 20 years with his company, Interior Tropicals Inc., which specializes in interior landscaping for offices.

According to Tom Christianson, most of his company's plants come from Florida -- thus the tropical theme of their skyway-level retail outlet.

"The tropics have a warm feeling," Tom Christianson said. "When people come into the store, they just love to walk around and smell the flowers. It kind of takes them out of Minnesota or that winter feel."

Tommy Carver's also carries home items such as specialty soaps made by Tom Christianson's brother, and home decorations. The store also functions as a small garden center.

Tom Christianson said they hope to attract people who live in high-rise apartment buildings who enjoy gardening. "A lot of the products we sell are containers and trellises and unique garden items that are designed for small spaces," he said. "The type of store is something new to the area. It's not your run-of-the-mill flower shop."

Tommy Carver's Garden of Flowers is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday by appointment.

Nicollet Mall's Zinc closes

By Ellen Nigon

From now on, restaurateur Kieran Folliard and his partners will only be doing what they do best -- Irish pubs. Brasserie Zinc, Folliard's foray into French cuisine, has closed.

"Zinc closed because it wasn't doing the required amount of business. We thought the concept itself didn't have the legs," he said.

Folliard, who owns restaurants The Local, 931 Nicollet Mall, and Kieran's Pub and Restaurant, 330 2nd Ave. S., said: "You can take it from me that we will be sticking with opening Irish pubs."

According to Folliard, he will not be opening anything new in the Zinc space.