Burlesque space opens with Thursday benefit
Le Cirque Rouge de Gus (Gus' Red Circus) opens in the old New French Bar and Caf space in late August, but a Thursday, Aug. 7 benefit gives a taste of acts to come at the feathers-and-all burlesque club.
The club's namesake is the late Gus Gustafson, the beloved Warehouse District photographer who was a New French regular. Jimmy Shadler, who owns the New French space and next door's Urban Wildlife Bar and Grill, 331 2nd Ave. N., suggested that local performer/composer Amy Buchanan create a club after a vaudeville block party fell through. Shadler, who'd already been calling the place "Gus," asked that the club be named after his old friend.
"It's a dream come true," said Buchanan, who's been a tap dancer since she was 6, and who started writing old-fashioned tunes last spring.
"I've always been interested in the bombshell image," she said, "but the burlesque club is about beauty, or just being sexy. The performers are interested in bombshell image, too; they just don't want to take their clothes off."
Buchanan found some inspiration after attending May's New York City Burlesque Festival and the burlesque fest at The Quest Club, 110 N. 5th St. She's got a long list of eager performers after scouring the city, even handing out fliers to women who looked the part at a recent Bastille Day party.
Dancers and Dykes Do Drag performers from the Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W. Lake St., will get their fishnets and very rosy lipstick for song and dance that harks back to 1920s barrelhouse-style music. Buchanan and Honeydogs band member Jeff Victor composed the piano, violin and accordian melodies.
Organizers hope the fundraiser can pay for a stage, piano, drapes, fans (for the fan dance) and other props. A $10 donation is requested, and Buchanan said the 8 p.m. benefit will last as long as the make-up does.
-- Anna Pratt
Curves switches buildings
Curves, a franchised national women's fitness center, is moving from the Foshay Tower to the Northstar Building.
According to Downtown Curves Co-owner Janie Westbrook, her business is moving because the Northstar Building, 7th Street and Marquette Avenue, offers more space than her current 9th-and-Marquette location.
"We needed a bigger space because we wanted to provide more machines for our members," Westbrook said. "We have 400 members, and we want to double our size."
Curves uses circuit training with tension resistance machines. Customers alternate among machines, using each machine for 30 seconds.
Westbrook said the expansion would allow Curves to have four new pieces of exercise equipment.
-- Ellen Nigon
International Market Square gets bathroom showplace
Waterworks, touting a new "bathroom experience," has opened in the International Market Square, 275 Market St.
"We do sell bathrooms," said Waterworks co-founder and senior vice president of design Barbara Sallick. "But more than bathrooms, we sell a bath experience. When you come to Waterworks you will find a highly edited, focused selection that makes a statement about the bath."
Waterworks has stores nationwide, but before this week the closest one to Minnesota was in Chicago. According to Sallick, she wanted to open her latest store in Minneapolis because "Minneapolis is an amazing hub. It's right in the middle of the country, and it feels like there is a population out here who will appreciate our product and will embrace the services we have to offer."
Sallick and her husband founded Waterworks 25 years ago as an outgrowth of their family business as a wholesale plumbing supplier.
"Twenty-five years ago, there was no such thing as a bath showroom," Sallick said. "We saw that there were beautiful bathrooms in Europe. We lived on the East Coast and it seemed like our metropolitan New York area might embrace the idea that the bath could be better and more interesting."
According to Sallick, the look of Waterworks products is "fresh, clean and extremely edited. There are no superfluous elements in the bath. Everything is clean, and everything is pared down."
Waterworks is open to the public Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. It may also be open Saturdays.
-- Ellen Nigon