Time to Primp!

Michele Henry & Wesley Uthus will be opening two more of their successful Primp stores, adding to their current cache of 7 stores. Sioux Falls will open next in June on Phillips Avenue and Mankato will open in the next 60 days in the Tailwind building, located downtown. To the envy of most of their competitors, we’re sure, they do it 100% debt free!

Eat Mor Chikin

Chick-fil-A introduced this ad campaign in chick-fil-a1995 featuring a herd of “renegade self-serving cows” promoting the idea we should be eating more chicken and less beef.

Chick-fil-A began its expansion into the Twin Cities market in 2013 with restaurants opening in Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, Bloomington, Apple Valley, and three outlet locations (Minneapolis St. Paul Airport, University of Minnesota, and Minnesota State University, Mankato). Additional restaurants were recently opened in Burnsville and Blaine. Chick-fil-A is in the planning stages for restaurants in Maplewood, West St. Paul, Eagan, Chanhassen, and Eden Prairie.

Chick-fil-A, Inc. is a family owned and privately held Restaurant Company founded in 1946 by S. Truett Cathy. Dedicated in serving the local communities in which its franchised restaurants operate, and known for its original chicken sandwich, Chick-fil-A serves freshly prepared food in more than 2,000 restaurants in 42 states and Washington, D.C.

Chick-fil-A opened its first restaurant in Greenbriar Mall in 1967 and continued expansion with stand-alone, mall and licensed locations throughout the country. The majority of the chain’s 2,000 restaurants are locally owned and operated by independent franchisees, ensuring oversight of day-to-day activities at the restaurant and employment and community involvement decisions.

Known for its freshly prepared food and award-winning customer service, Chick-fil-A’s menu options include its signature hand-breaded, boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich along with hand-chopped salads, fresh-squeezed lemonade and hand-spun milkshakes. Chick-fil-A Founder S. Truett Cathy first served his boneless breast-of-chicken sandwich, pressured cooked and served on a buttered bun with two crucial pickles, at his Dwarf Grill restaurant that opened in 1946 in Hapeville, Ga. The sandwich was the signature menu item when the first Chick-fil-A restaurant opened in 1967 and continues to be the most popular menu item today.

With a long-standing tradition in the restaurant industry for setting the highest standards in customer service, Chick-fil-A ranked first for customer satisfaction in the Limited Service Restaurants Industry by the American Customer Satisfaction Index for 2015. The company has also earned recognition as one of America’s “Most Inspiring Companies” by Forbes Magazine, one of America’s “Top 20 Most Admired Brands” by The Harris Poll and “Top Fast Food Chicken Chain” – for best chicken sandwich, customer service and cleanliness – by Consumer Reports, among other honors.

New Bohemia adding more locations to the Twin Cities Market

Since its first location in Minneapolis in 2012, New Bohemia Wurst & Bier Haus wurstphothas been on a tear to take over the wurst and sausage restaurant niche here.   They have opened locations in the Uptown area of Minneapolis, Eagan and Mankato, and now have a deal signed for a location in Roseville at Snelling Avenue and County Road C.      And that isn’t enough for this interesting and innovative restaurant group – the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports they are also looking for locations in the Southwest metro in Eden Prairie and Bloomington, the East metro in St Paul and Woodbury, and Northeast metro in Blaine and Lino Lakes, as well as outstate Rochester, then onto other states.  Brian Ingram, COO, was quoted in the Pioneer Press back in February, stating “We’d like to get 12 stores by the end of the year.  We’ve been looking at places like Eden Prairie and Woodbury.   We’ll probably open one in Wisconsin as well.”

These are guys who like to think outside of the box.  Inside their restaurants, customers sit at long communal tables.  The menu includes craft beer and traditional brats, but also smoked Antelope is on their menu, along with alligator, wild boar and yak – ACK!

Restaurant Openings & Closings

Eater reports on the following happenings in the Twin Cities food scene:

  • Libertine, the concept from chef Tim McKee, owned by Parasole welcomed its first official guests this week. The restaurant replaces Uptown Cafeteria at Calhoun Square in Uptown, and the kitchen is primed with chef Steve Hesse leading the charge. Hesse and McKee have worked together previously on successful projects like Masu Sushi & Robata in Northeast and at the Mall of America.
  • Buffalo Wild Wings at 12 Civic Center Plaza in Mankato will shutter on August 14, at the end of a 20-year franchise agreement. The owner may have plans to open another location nearby, but nothing is definite yet.
  • Sushi restaurant Socal House has shuttered in Uptown. Apparently, the building’s landlord terminated the lease after nine years. Social House opened in 2012 but was preceded by Fusion and Zeno,; all were owned by the same management group.
  • The Eagle Street Grille team will open The Salt Cellar, an upscale steak-and-seafood restaurant with an emphasis on classic service and menu items— from cocktails to entree— on the corner of Western and Selby in St. Paul. Look for it to open in October.

Coldwater Creek closing 11 Minnesota stores

MSPBJ reports that Women’s clothing retailer Coldwater Creek is closing all of its stores as part of its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

The Sandpoint, Idaho-based company, a competitor of Plymouth-based Christopher & Banks, has 11 stores in Minnesota,  according to its website:

  • Albertville, Albertville Premium Outlets
  • Bloomington, Mall of America
  • Duluth, Miller Hill Mall
  • Eden Prairie, Eden Prairie Center
  • Mankato, River Hills Mall
  • Maple Grove, The Shoppes at Arbor Lakes
  • Minnetonka, Ridgedale Center
  • Rochester, Apache Mall
  • Roseville, Rosedale Center
  • St. Cloud, Crossroads Center
  • Woodbury, Woodbury Lakes

Coldwater Creek filed for Chapter 11 protection Friday “to facilitate an orderly wind-down of its operations,” the company said.

While the company’s origins are in catalog sales, Coldwater Creek had grown to more than 400 stores in 47 states. The company has yet to indicate when the stores will close.

California chain Pieology Pizzeria coming to St. Paul

MSPBJ reports that a California chain called Pieology Pizzeria plans to open its first Minnesota stores this year.

The chain’s first store will be in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood at the the corner of Ford Parkway and Finn Street. It’s also working on a couple of other deals on the Minneapolis side of the river and in Mankato.

Rancho Santo Margarita, Calif.-based Pieology currently has 15 California and one in Colorado. The company is working on development plans across the country.

Customers can choose from seven pizzas or create their own from a wide selection of sauces, cheeses, meats, vegetables and other toppings. The pizzas are cooked in a wood-fire oven in less than five minutes.

Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq represents Panda Express in 3 new deals

Panda Express was recently represented by Kim Meyer and Tom Martin of Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq in the lease of three new locations in Minnesota. The first of these new restaurants opened in Mankato at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Raintree Road in late November, while free-standing restaurants in Owatonna and Brooklyn Center are expected to open by the end of the year.

2013 marks Panda Express’ 30th Anniversary. Founded in 1983, with close to 1,600 locations in 42 states, Panda Express is part of Panda Restaurant Group, the world leader in Asian dining experiences. The successful chain of concepts includes Panda Express, Panda Inn and Hibachi-San. Panda Express is best known for its wide variety of original recipes including their famous Orange Chicken®, Beijing Beef™, SweetFire Chicken Breast®, Honey Walnut Shrimp™ and Shanghai Angus Steak™.

C&W/NorthMarq’s Compass Report: Neighborhood Centers

  • Vacancy: Increase to 12.5%
  • Absorption: Negative
  • Rental Rates: Slight increase to $15.34

The Twin Cities’ 306 neighborhood centers, which total nearly 20 msf, reported 33,254 sf of negative absorption. This activity caused the vacancy rate to increase slightly to 12.5% from 12.3%. This means 2.46 msf is vacant. Overall, the neighborhood centers have remained stable so far in 2012.

Fitness users Planet Fitness, LA Fitness, Orange Theory, Kosama, Snap Fitness and Farrell’s have been looking for space. Read more

Target remodeling 90 stores to expand food offerings, inlcuding 3 in Minnesota

Target Corp. said Tuesday it is remodeling 90 stores, including three in Minnesota, so it can expand its fresh food offerings.

Minneapolis-based Target (NYSE: TGT) said the construction will be completed by June 24.  Included in the remodels are stores in Alexandria, Mankato, Northfield and LaCrosse, Wis.

Target says about 1,000 of its stores now offer expanded food offerings, with about 10,000 square feet dedicated to groceries in each of the stores.  (Source: Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal)