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November 17, 2003 // UPDATED 11:07 am - April 30, 2007
By: Skyway News editorial staff
Skyway News editorial staff

Business news going on in the downtown area.

Elliot Park Dunn Bros won't change Plans to convert the Elliot Park Dunn Bros to an independent coffeehouse and wine bar have been scrapped.

Doug Hoskin, who owns the Armory, was on the verge of closing a sale of the coffee shop at 811 11th Ave. S. He had plans to call the place, Red Cup.

However, the Dunn Bros corporate office informed current owners they wanted to keep the coffee shop a Dunn Bros franchise, said the coffee shop's Manager, Christine Watt.

The neighborhood group Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc. backed plans to change the coffee shop to a wine bar in August. Watt also supported the change, predicting the new concept would attract a broader range of customers. -- Sarah McKenzie

Marshall, meet Schmidty Schmidty's, a new men's salon, has moved into Marshall Field's second floor, 700 Nicollet Mall, near the entrance to the City Center. The 1,600-square-foot space had been made over into a gentlemen's club (no, not THAT kind), featuring leather furniture, a pool table and television screens for sporting events and news.

The salon will employ up to eight stylists who will offer a range of services, including haircuts (from $15 to $25), color treatments ($45), waxing ($15 for brows to $125 for full body), aroma wraps ($30 to $65) and massages ($55 to $75), among other things.

Tom Schmidt, the man behind the salon, opened the first Schmidty's at 1608 W. Lake St. in September 2002. Last spring, Esquire magazine named it one of the nation's leaders in all-male spas.

"Everyone who works Downtown traverses the store for errands, lunch, gifts and personal shopping needs," he said, in a prepared statement. "The ability for gentleman to get his hair cut or relax during a massage while in the store ... is a big benefit." -- Sarah McKenzie

Train crash stops holiday chocolates Maud Borup Chocolates, located in Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall, was closed Nov. 2-10 for a bizarre reason. On Oct. 7, a train used to haul lumber derailed, tearing through the company's Perham, Minn. chocolate factory.

Co-owner Kim Kalan said, miraculously, none of the company's 21 employees was hurt in the accident. She said approximately 10,000 square feet of her 18,000-square-foot factory was destroyed, primarily the storage and packaging area.

"We're just glad no one was hurt," she said.

She thought they had enough product to stay open into November, but the derailment caused them to run out in early November, so they had to close all three of their Twin Cities stores for about a week just as the holiday season was starting.

Kalan said the company has been able to resume making the confections with some storage space donated by local businesses.

In addition to its Gaviidae location, Maud Borup Chocolates has a store in Uptown's Calhoun Square and on Grand Avenue in St. Paul.

Kalan said she and her partner Mark Kalan have decided not to sue the train company, and insurance should cover damages resulting from the fiasco. She said the city of Perham has helped ensure that they keep their business in town.

For more information about the company, visit www.maudborup.com. -- Robyn Repya

Un deux trois space goes Red When owners eyed the Foshay Tower's first-floor space, the elaborate marble columns reminded them of the metro stations in their native Russia.

So it seemed like a logical space for their new fine-dining spot, the Red Restaurant. Though a date hasn't been formally set, the eatery is slated to open by year's end at 114 S. 9th St., formerly occupied by Caf un deux trois.

Executive Chef Marianne Miller, who has attended culinary school in Europe, said the restaurant will provide a "directory of international cuisine." There will be a tasting menu, featuring small portions of more than 150 items. Most of the samples will be under $10.

Items will range from caviar to elegant mushrooms to mussels, she said.

The sample menu will cater to people uncertain about trying high-priced items they haven't eaten before. "I'm not sure I want to spend $20 on a gamble, but I might spend $5," she said.

The 120-seat restaurant will also have a bar with more than 200 different wines.

J.G. Everest, the restaurant's entertainment director, said the place will "be quite stylish" with a sophisticated list of martinis and vodkas.

The restaurant's dcor will have sculptures and art pieces with a Russian flair, and of course, the coloring will feature various shades of red.

The hours haven't been formally set, but staff said there will be a lunch, dinner and after-dinner menu. -- Sarah McKenzie