A Hy-Vee holiday present


Ryan Companies has sold their Hy-Vee project in Brooklyn Park for $24.1 million on December 23rd.    They purchased the 16.3 acre site in 2015 for $3.38 million, and developed the 103,882 sf project for a 96,000 sf Hy-Vee supermarket and the adjacent gas station.  This store opened earlier in 2016, and is one of five existing stores that have opened in the Twin Cities.  It leases their newly opened store in Eagan at Central Park Commons, but owns their locations in New Hope, Oakdale and Lakeville.  Skip Melin of Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq was recently quoted in Finance and Commerce, stating “Hy-Vee typically likes to own as opposed to lease.   It’s great for the Twin Cities that grocery-anchored centers are still trading at a premium, and trading quickly.” 

 The buyer was Hurd Real Estate out of West Des Moines, IA, a company that specializes in retail across the country, including ownership of 19 Hy-Vee leased properties in the Midwest. 


Those HyVees . . . they just keep coming!


With Eagan now open, that brings the current count to five stores, including New Hope, Oakdale, Lakeville, and Brooklyn Park.  Six sites that are either in construction or in planning include Cottage Grove, Robbinsdale, Maple Grove – two sites including 101 & 10, and Maple Grove Parkway, Savage and now Farmington.   Whew!


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.

Just Ice – Think Twice

Rita’s Italian Ice, the world’s largest ritaiceItalian Ice brand with more than 600 stores, will welcome its newest Rita’s Café location in Bloomington in April. The company announced the testing and introduction of a new Rita’s Cafe concept earlier this spring as an exciting evolution of the brands’ beloved frozen treat offerings, which will now include fresh donuts, coffee and specialty drinks in addition to its signature Italian Ice and famous Frozen Custard. Edina locals and Minnesota area developers Angela and Adam Ailloni are proudly bringing the new cafe concept to the area — one of just five Rita’s Cafe locations in the U.S.

“Both Adam and myself are from the East Coast and have been lifelong Rita’s fans,” said Angela Ailloni. “After opening our first location in Eagan in 2014, we have seen a tremendous amount of growth in the area and we’re thrilled to continue that trend with this new and exciting Cafe offering. We can’t wait to introduce our local Rita’s fans to our expanded menu featuring fresh donuts and coffee!”

In addition to Rita’s signature Italian Ice and Frozen Custard, the Rita’s Cafe of Bloomington will feature organic, single-origin Dunn Brothers Coffee under its “Proudly Pouring” program, and its menu will include unique donut creations such as Maple Walnut and Cotton Candy Confetti, as well as create-your-own options — customizing a freshly made Vanilla Cake Donut with a variety of icings and toppings of choice. Rita’s Cafe of Bloomington will also offer new items that combine fresh donuts into frozen treats such as a Donut Blendini, and specialty beverages combining Rita’s award-winning Frozen Custard with Dunn Brothers Coffee.  Rita’s Café will also offer a full line of hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks.  The location is also planned to be Kosher through MSP Kosher supervision.

“Rita’s Cafes are an exciting new way for us to serve our guests from morning until night by offering delicious products that naturally fit within our fan-favorite frozen treats,” said Eric Taylor, chief development officer at Rita’s Italian Ice. “Angela and Adam have already done a fantastic job developing the state of Minnesota and we’re thrilled that they have chosen to bring the new cafe concept for locals to love and enjoy.”

The new Rita’s Cafe is located at the corner of France Ave. and Old Shakopee Road in the new Park Place Plaza and will feature indoor and plaza outdoor seating.

Rita’s locations in Minnesota are in Eagan, Valleyfair, Stillwater, and Maple Grove.  Others are opening soon in Apple Valley and a second store in Eagan.

With more than 30 years in business, Rita’s Italian Ice has been aggressively expanding across the United States and internationally, with locations now open in Canada, the Philippines, Middle East and Caribbean.

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!

Another Total Wine store opening in the Twin Cities

Total Wine came to the Minnesota market in 2014, totalwinephotoopening up four stores in Roseville, Burnsville, Bloomington and Woodbury.   Maple Grove followed last year in 2015.  Their sixth store is under construction in Chanhassen, and should open in this spring.  And now Eagan will see Total Wine coming to the Central Park Commons development.    This market has been very successful for Total Wine, despite a rocky start with getting the governmental approvals they needed to get some of their stores opened.  The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal quoted Ed Cooper, Total Wine’s Vice President of Public Affairs, saying “There are others (locations) out there.  I don’t know that we have finished building out our capacity in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area.   Minnesota stores are particularly well performing for us and they reinforce our decision to come to the state.”   So stay tuned!