Vinna Fitness opens in City Center

According to The Journal, Vinna Fitness, a rehabilitation and fitness center, has opened on the first floor of the City Center building. Founder Jason Green rebranded the store from CES Fitness after 10 years at another downtown location.

Green’s skyway-connected downtown location, at 40 S. 7th St., joins another St. Louis Park location at 3550 Dakota Ave. He named the Vinna brand after an Old Norse word that means, “work, accomplish and win,” a kind of mantra for the business that focuses on helping gymgoers asses their health goals.

Green started his first fitness center after years of working with athletes from the University of Minnesota, PGA and other professional sports organizations. Vinna’s calling card is its Functional Movement System, or FMS, a fitness model that athletes around the world use in their workouts and in physical therapy. Green is one of only a handful of certified FMS members in Minneapolis and Vinna is the city’s only licensed Functional Movement certification facility.

Vinna offers small group fitness classes, personal training, massage and physical therapy. Green’s staff of 10 trainers and therapists also have an array of certifications in exercises like kettlebells and CrossFit. The downtown fitness center is also home to a unique Queenax machine, a large multi-training tool that Popular Mechanics described as a “jungle gym for adults.”

Posted in Minneapolis

Restaurant, retailers sign leases at CityPlace

Woodbury Bulletin reports that three new retailers have been announced for the CityPlace development, and one of those tenants is brand new to Minnesota. A mixed-use corporate center that will be a blend of retail and office use when completed, Woodbury’s CityPlace will be home to new tenants Verizon Wireless and Wedding Day Jewelers, as well as the new-to-market restaurant, Café Zupas.

Located at the northeast corner of Radio Drive and Hudson Road at the former State Farm site, Woodbury CityPlace is a project to revitalize the site’s 100-acre parcel and attract a base of office space, restaurants and retail shopping businesses. The first phase of retail is set for the summer of 2015.

Posted in Woodbury

Dunkin’ Donuts heads to Brainerd

Brainerd Dispatch reports that Dunkin’ Donuts is continuing its Minnesota rollout with an outpost in Minnesota’s lake country.

The Brainerd City Council on Monday approved a zoning variance that will allow for a donut shop at 303 W. Washington Street.

The approval makes the bakery “pretty much a for-sure thing,” Dunkin’ Donuts Northern Minnesota franchisee Brian Swanson told the newspaper. He expects the store to open next summer.

The Canton, Mass.-based chain is aggressively expanding in Minnesota but has yet to crack the Twin Cities market. Its first shop in the recent Minnesota push was in Rochester, and Duluth is getting several stores.

Posted in Brainerd

Target’s St. Louis Park liquor store OK’d; two more planned in west metro

MSPBJ reports that Target Corp. got unanimous approval Monday night to add a liquor store to its St. Louis Park store.

The Knollwood SuperTarget is the Minneapolis-based retailer’s second store in Minnesota to secure a liquor license.

The Minneapolis-based retailer opened its first Minnesota liquor store last month in Otsego and has another application pending for a store in Midway St. Paul.

Target has two more liquor stores planned in the western suburbs, a company representative told the St. Louis Park City Council.

He didn’t identify the stores, but it’s safe to say that Target is past the ” testing” phase of its Minnesota liquor store experiment.

Posted in St. Louis Park

Now Open: Merriment in Woodbury

Allison Kaplan of Mpls + St. Paul Magazine reports that after years of working out of International Market Square, interior designer Sarah Olsen has brought her business home to Woodbury where she just opened Merriment, a home furnishings and adornments store. The store is located at Tamarack Hills, 803 Bielenberg Drive.

Merriment’s top lines include Century, Hubbardton Forge, and Visual Comfort. In the back of the store is a sunny, 600-square-foot design studio stocked with an extensive library of design catalogs, rug samples, fabrics, trims, and wall coverings.

Kaplan says this store is not just for big ticket purchases. To keep shoppers coming back in between remodeling projects, Olsen mixes in affordable accessories—pillows, throws, patterned dog pillows—as well as jewelry, soap, candles, and other fun impulse buys.

Posted in Woodbury

New speakeasy-style bar opening in Lyn-Lake

Southwest Journal reports that a new speakeasy-style bar and restaurant called Volstead’s Emporium is opening soon in Lyn-Lake.

The owners of the bar are trying to keep the business under-the-radar to generate a sense of secrecy in keeping with a Prohibition-era theme, said John Braun, co-owner of the Volstead’s Emporium.

There will be a “secret entrance door” in the alley for the bar at 711 W. Lake St., he said.

Live jazz performances are planned for one to two nights a week.

The City Council’s Community Development & Regulatory Services Committee approved a liquor license application for the business Tuesday afternoon. The full Council will vote on the application Dec. 5.

The bar/restaurant will occupy a 3,000-square-foot space and have seating for 123.

Posted in Minneapolis

Historic Downtown Forum Restaurant Space Will Be Reborn As Il Foro

Stephanie March at Mpls/St. Paul Magazine reports that a dazzling line-up of chefs and restaurateurs have signed on to revitalize The Forum in downtown Minneapolis.

Kevin Fitzgerald, Josh Thoma and Jack Riebel are already hard at work restoring the St. Paul landmark restaurant The Lexington (which is slated for a spring opening as major renovations plod ahead.) Because they are committed to that project as well as this new endeavor, they knew they needed another partner. Enter Lorin Zinter, co-owner and front-of-house hospitalitarian at Restaurant of the Year, Heyday.

All other projects will continue as planned, Zinter will continue to help guide the smoothly running Heyday and Riebel will remain in place as the executive chef at The Lexington. Riebel, who fondly remembers his days as the up-and-coming chef inside the kitchen at this address when it went by the name of Goodfellows, has brought on Troy Unruh to serve as executive chef. Unruh worked in the Goodfellows kitchen with Riebel. For the last three years he has been working behind the burners at Del Posto.

The restaurant will fill the gaping hole of great Italian eateries in downtown Minneapolis and will operate as Il Foro.

The team tells March they will ideally open Il Foro first and The Lexington will follow some time in the spring of 2015.

Posted in Minneapolis