Posts Tagged ‘50th & France’
Longtime 50th & France retailer Spirit is closing its doors after nearly 20 years of business. “A passion for trends and eye for fashion have always been a core value of Spirit, but ultimately our greatest joy has come from the relationships we have built with our customers over the years,” reads a note posted in the store window. A retirement sale is on now through Jan. 15 with 50 to 80 percent off. 4944 France Ave. S., Edina
After 15 years at Gaviidae Common, JV & Company is closing (50 percent off storewide now!). Part-owner and operator Nancy Karason will open the Twin Cities’ first Oska Clothing boutique at 50th & France in the space currently occupied by Gather. Don’t despair—Gather is actually moving to a larger spot up the street under the Arthur Murray Dance Studio after the first of the year. Meanwhile, Oska, a high-end German brand known for quality and comfort, is scheduled to open in March, and will offer a selection of Karason’s other favorite lines as well. Wait, there’s more: Another locally owned women’s apparel and accessories boutique, Suzetra, has leased the spot next to Athleta. No opening date set yet, but Athleta will open in time for Black Friday.
Fitness over food! There’s been much speculation about what would take the place of Ann Taylor Loft at the coveted southwest corner of 50th & France. Several local boutiques looked at the space, but couldn’t afford it, and there was some talk about a restaurant. I’m happy to report that upscale fitness brand Athleta is taking the spot. Nothing against the food industry – I just think 50th already has a robust dining scene, and adding another store–especially one new to the Twin Cities–makes this shopping district even more desirable. It’s also nice to see a chain pick a neighborhood location over a mall.
Known primarily for its catalog/website, Athleta was purchased by Gap Inc. in 2008 and is now aggressively opening stores, with eight to 10 openings nationwide planned for this year. (Watch out, Lululemon–and at 50th, Title Nine.) Athleta offers chic active apparel for yoga, hiking, golf, triathlon, travel, and more. Coming soon to 5001 France Ave. S., Mpls.
Drama opens today at 50th & France. I got a sneak peek last night and was really impressed. Courtney Smallbeck has streamlined her store’s look – the apparel is more modern and sophisticated, but still at affordable prices. And still aimed at that young professional woman who wants to look cool at work, and after hours: over-dyed shirt dresses, patterned blouses, silk dresses – all less than $150. The on-trend accessories are $50 or less; I saw some studded leather cuff bracelets for $20 and intricate silver earrings for $40.
It seems like Drama moved into the former BluePeg space at 4946 France Ave. S. in Edina practically overnight, but the truth is, Smallbeck had been planning the relocation from Uptown for nearly a year. So she had time to drop lines sold by some of her new neighbors, and picked up new, lesser known lines like Bella Dahl and Funktional. She continues to support local accessories and fashion lines including Rox Minneapolis by Robyne Robinson, kjurek couture and Amanda Christine.
Drama looks to be a perfect compliment to the 50th boutique scene.
Stay tuned for the next 50th & France development: Lights were on at the former Ann Taylor Loft spot on the corner and while the lease signs are still up, the paper is down from the windows. Meanwhile, Athleta, the Gap Inc. fitness brand, tells me they’re coming to town, but has yet to confirm the exact location. I’ve heard it’s 50th & France. Just doing the math…
Uptown boutique Drama is taking over BluePeg’s space at 50th & France. Drama owner Courtney Smallbeck, who has defied odds and a prior move from Gaviidae Common to Lagoon Avenue, says many of her regular customers live in Edina and South Minneapolis, and appreciate both the energy of 50th, and the free parking. Drama offers trend-right fashions for both the office and a night on the town, from local and national designers – mostly priced between $60 and $110.
The move will happen in early August, after BluePeg’s planned Aug. 4 closing. I happened to walk in to BluePeg yesterday, just as owner Adam Tischler was getting set to go public with the news. He seemed genuinely broken up about it. The store had a cool, masculine look and hip merchandise for the casual guy who cares…trouble is, not enough do – especially at $100-plus for jeans or a shirt. I know my husband would sooner go naked than pay for premium brands, and while I complain that his Gap jeans are too baggy, I haven’t upgraded him. His savings are mine to spend. Especially at 50th & France, with so many great women’s boutiques. Sorry, Adam.
BluePeg’s going out of business sale starts this weekend at 4946 France Ave.
Room No. 3, now open at 50th & France, is no slapped together lingerie boutique. This is a Lifestyle Experience. A lifestyle I could definitely get used to – with whitewashed wood floors, fresh flowers and greens, bubble bath, effortlessly chic lounge wear and sexy – but elegant – underpinnings. One visit, and you’ll want to burn your baggy sweats and t-shirts. 4948 France Ave. S., Edina
Good news: The pace of store openings seems to be picking up. Here are just a few I’m excited to see in the coming weeks:
Paper Hat Co. plans to open before the end of June in the former Inizio space at 2309 W. 50th St., Minneapolis. The store will specialize in art, gifts and handmade objects.
Room No. 3, a new lingerie boutique, plans to open June 30 at 50th & France – 4948 France Ave. S., Edina.
Paperista is leaving the Semple Mansion and moving beyond custom invitations. The new flagship, also at 50th & France, will offer stationery and entertaining accessories as well as design services. A July 9 opening is planned at 5023 France Ave. S.
50th & France retailers are getting smarter about taking advantage of the Edina Art Fair crowd. (You’d think it would be a big weekend for stores, given the deluge of visitors, but actually, stores often suffer with all the commotion in front of their doors.) This year, they’re finding ways to entice us inside.
N’etc, for one, is hosting a k.h. designs trunk show featuring the two brand new lines by jewelry artist Karla Haugen including leather and crystal combinations as well as pearls, garnets and other materials strung and knotted on colored silk cord. Haugen is always a hit at Maiden Minnesota, but other than the Prior Lake Farmer’s Market, she rarely exhibits in the Twin Cities.
It also pays to stop in Grethen House for a big clearance sale. And check out Amore & Fede’s denim fashion show in the parking lot behind the store 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
More pretty underpinnings could be coming soon to 50th & France. Two former Hot Mama employees are in final negotiations to lease the vacant space at 4948 France Ave., between Bluepeg and Beaujos. The lingerie and loungewear boutique will be called Room No. 3. The owners are jetting to New York next week for a buying trip. They hope to open by June.
Meanwhile, there’s zero buzz about the gaping hole at the southeast corner of 50th & France. (Ann Taylor Loft abruptly – or at least it seemed – vacated the space a few months ago and moved to Southdale Center.) That’s got to be an expensive piece of real estate, so a local boutique is unlikely. I’d like to see something contemporary, complimentary to the upscale local retail, and not over-exposed in this market – like Club Monaco, which has just one store at Mall of America. Or wouldn’t you love to see Zara swoop in? (MOA would have a fit!) Or Intermix? Or a Barney’s Co-Op? A MN shopper can dream.
Just please – not another restaurant.
The Edina Art Fair takes over 50th & France June 4-6, but if you can scoot around the booths, you’ll be among the first to discover the new N’etc, opening Saturday in the former Stephanie’s space at 5005 France Ave. S. – standing alone after more than 20 years with Grethen House. Expect the same, refined assortment of high end shoes and accessories. New partner Veronica Clark, a stylist who has put in time at some of the best boutiques in town, including Grethen House, Bumbershute and Len Druskin, says there’s room to add more to the mix, including select apparel.