iDO Bambini Creattivi outfits children with durable, well-made clothing by iDO and Sarabanda—two clothing lines by Miniconf, a socially responsible company founded in Tuscany. The company's tailors triple-stitch natural, nonsynthetic fabrics to create comfortable, durable garments in classic styles. They adhere to eco-friendly processes and eschew child labor, so parents can feel good about the clothing's origins as well as its quality.
At the corner of Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street stands a brick fortress of a building, topped by a cloud-tickling sign that heralds Calhoun Square and its signature blend: namely, the breadth of a suburban mall mixed with the accessibility of a neighborhood hub. Two floors hold nearly three dozen storefronts and kiosks, from Chiang Mai Thai's low-lit haven for famously fiery seafood and curries to the ComedySportz theater, which reverberates with laughter four nights a week during fast-paced, competitive improv shows. Elsewhere, shoppers can pick up mod home decor, stylish sunglasses, and rugged boots, among other adornments for the home and body.
Stocking shelves with new and recycled duds since 1971, Ragstock fortifies wardrobes with a storefront brimming with new and recycled men's and women's clothing and accessories. In addition to mainstream garments, stores sling eclectic outfit accouterments such as neon suspenders ($9.99) and thick-rimmed spectacles ($4.99+) that allow shoppers to evoke the air of literature professors without blithely quoting Joyce.
Betsey and Katie, the dynamic duo collectively known as the Cake Pop Ladies, accent their tasty cake confections with a convenient handle. Betsey and Katie can decorate each custom order to individual specifications—including a choice of cake, frosting, coating, and design—and can craft such confectionery creations as bee-shaped pops, a menagerie of barnyard animals, and miniature wedding cakes guaranteed to leave guests smiling, unlike the traditional matrimonial séance. Although every order is different, custom cake pops start at $3 each, and can be housed in an optional display ($12+, not included).
Wax Kitten has smoothed the skin of all kinds of clientele, including men, women, and stars of the WE show Bridezillas. Skilled technicians remove unwanted hair from the full body—from brows to back, nose to navel, and upper lip to derriere. To reduce pain along the bikini area, they use hard wax instead of strips and divulge aftercare instructions to reduce irritation. The business also hosts waxing parties, where five or more friends may lessen waxing inhibitions by sipping from a complimentary bottle of wine or nibbling on waxed fruit.
Inside its rustic Uptown dining room, Spill the Wine invites diners to pair local wines with tapas-style servings of new American cuisine. The menus—which readily accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets—rotate seasonally as the chefs scour local, sustainable farms for new ingredients. Shareable plates of wild-caught salmon with elote salad or house-made spaghetti with quinoa meatballs reflect the chefs' eclectic influences.
With more than 100 wines—including more than 30 by the glass—Spill the Wine provides plenty opportunities for pairing food and drink. The selection of Old and New World bottles is designed to complement the current menus, with everything from crisp French sauvignon blancs to bold Columbia Valley syrahs occupying the extensive list.
A Glance Inside
Edison bulbs, walls with patchy brickwork and mismatched wooden slats, and a bar supported by empty wine barrels provide a rustic ambiance. At the same time, the dining area features some elements that lend a modern, industrial vibe, such as the exposed ductwork, concrete floors, and the furnace where the staff smelts every piece of used silverware after service.