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May 19, 2003 // UPDATED 10:50 am - April 30, 2007
By: al business news
al business news

Enigmatic club will start Downtown

The Twin Cities are getting a new club, but we can't share its address -- because it won't have a permanent one.

Club Nine will rent various Minneapolis and St. Paul venues where members will be able to eat, drink, socialize, watch some kind of entertainment, and dance. Members pay $75 per year and $39 per event.

Club Nine founder Jim Cohen said the concept evolved from conversations about a club that offers "total entertainment, where it was upscale, but casual, where you had the opportunity to really engage people in conversation and also have an evening that would represent sort of a fixed and reasonable price."

Ambiguity surrounds Club Nine. The only concrete information Cohen offers about its grand opening is that it will be in Downtown Minneapolis. Cohen does not say exactly where, when or how the club will open. "I want to tease you," he said.

"Club Nine is an opportunity to bring together people on an occasional basis. This will only be held once every few months or once a month," Cohen said.

He said the club would focus on emerging artists and support Children's Cancer Research, which gets 10 percent of Club Nine's profits.

Cohen adds, "It has the opportunity for people to build relationships and build community at the same time. It's to have an evening that's upbeat, upscale, that's based on reservations and memberships."

People can become members by visiting the Web site at Cohen said the price of membership currently listed on the Web site is subject to change. Members pay $39 per event plus a memberhsip fee. Nonmembers pay $49 for monthly events.

Cohen said he chose the number nine for his club for its many meanings. "It's a fun name that has a lot of meaning to it and about which there has been much written. Do something to the 'nine's' or be on "cloud nine." Why does a cat have nine lives? It's considered to be something that's lucky and yet meaningful."

--Ellen Nigon

Pizza place changes name, will add delivery

Ginelli's Pizza in the Pillsbury Center, 200 S. 6th St., has become MILL CITY Pizza Company and will expand delivery service throughout most of Downtown June 1.

According to owner Sam Broberg, the pizza restaurant won't change dramatically. The name change happened because he wanted to separate his restaurant from the other two Ginelli's Pizza locations (which have a different owner).

Broberg said he and his staff chose the name MILL CITY to reflect Minneapolis' heritage as a milling city. "We were founded in Minneapolis and are located in Minneapolis," Broberg said. "Our dcor has many old photos of Minneapolis. In addition we are located in the Pillsbury of the oldest milling companies in Minneapolis."

Broberg said the owners, recipes, location and phone number of the pizza restaurant would not change. It does have a new Web site at

--Ellen Nigon

Hurried Chef feeds busy families

When Linda Bendt decided to open her business, The Hurried Chef, she wanted to provide an easy dinner solution for busy, working mothers. Ironically, she opened her business at the same time she became a working mother herself.

"I opened it because I am a new mom," Bendt said. "The original intention was for all those working moms out there who have a hard time putting a really good meal on the table because your schedule is crazy," Bendt said.

The Hurried Chef, on the skyway level of the Investors Building at Marquette Avenue and South 8th Street, provides take-and-make meals for busy professionals. It opened about a month ago, a few months after her son was born.

"'Take and make' means that we assemble and prepare and dice, slice everything [for the meal] and put it together for you. You just finish it off at home," Bendt said. "Any meal you get from us takes no more than 15 minutes once you get home. We hope we do the hard work and the time-consuming stuff for you, and your part is pretty easy."

Meals at the Hurried Chef include pizzas, pastas with their accompanying sauces and toppings, stir frys, skillets, salads, breads and chicken sticks and corn dogs for the kids. Pasta for four runs $18.99, a 16-inch pizza is $9.99 and two corn dogs are $1.99.

"It's a meal you can feel really good about. It's fresh vegetables. It's pastas with an artichoke garlic pesto. The skillets have diced potatoes, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions and fresh vegetables," Bendt said. "It was meant to be a little bit nicer of a meal that you could feel good about putting on the table."

The Hurried Chef also offers a limited lunch menu, which includes a featured pasta selection and salads.

To get a take-and-make meal from the Hurried Chef, customers can stop by and order during business hours, Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Customers can also order by phone (332-9611), fax (332-3808) or via the Web at Customers can pick up the meal or have it delivered.

--Ellen Nigon

Medical Arts gets medical clinic

The Medical Arts Building will soon get an urgent care clinic. Contrary to most people's assumption -- that a building with the word "medical" in the name must have some type of clinic -- the 825 Nicollet Mall tower has no clinic where one could be treated for strep throat or an ear infection. In early June, that will change.

QuickMedx, a Minneapolis-based healthcare company, will open June 2 on the building's first floor. Currently operating in eight Twin Cities Cub Food locations, QuickMedx specializes in common illnesses such as pink eye, allergies, flu, sinus infection or eczema. QuickMedx also offers screenings for cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure and pregnancy, and vaccines for tetanus, hepatitis B, flu and MMR.

Because QuickMedx concentrates on a limited number of illnesses, appointments typically last 15 minutes. "The things that we treat are things you have quick tests for. We don't treat broken bones, for example," said Tom Charland, the company's vice president of business development. "Everything that we choose to treat has to be something that we can treat within 15 minutes."

By treating these illnesses, Charland says QuickMedx also keeps costs down for patients. "We don't have expensive equipment in the clinic (like x-ray equipment) -- and the clinic's footprint tends to be very small, so we don't pay a lot of rent. We're able to keep the costs low," he said.

QuickMedx patients do not need an appointment for treatments. Patients sign up for a clinic visit and fill out a consent form. Then, the attending nurse practitioner or physician's assistant can diagnose and treat illnesses, and write appropriate prescriptions when necessary.

Most treatments at QuickMedx cost $38.

No insurance is needed for treatment, but many insurers reimburse patients the co-pay difference.

After June 2, the Medical Arts QuickMedx clinic will be open 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

--Ellen Nigon

Solera rises in Theater District

Solera opened April 7 in the space formerly occupied by Backstage at Bravo on 900 Hennepin Ave. The restaurant with a Northern Spanish influence comes from Tim McKee and Josh Thoma, owners of the Stillwater-based restaurant La Belle Vie.

The restaurant has a tapas bar and lounge, a restaurant and private event facilities that can accommodate groups as large as 600.

Food includes dishes such as scallops with ham and saffron or roasted rabbit with garlic, rosemary and coriander, as well as grilled bread with tomato and garlic or fried anchovies with lemon aioli.

Solera is open for both dinner and lunch. Lunch hours are Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Dinner is served Sunday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. The tapas bar and lounge are open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Saturdays 5 p.m.-2 a.m., Sundays 5 p.m.-1 a.m.

--Ellen Nigon