New space, familiar face


The little storefront next to the Capital View Cafe has gone through a succession of businesses over the past few years, but the latest tenant is likely to stick around for a while.

Artitude, a framing shop formerly located at 674 Smith, is moving across the street and one block down to the space wedged between the cafe and the old Mohawk Theater.

David Potratz, owner of Artitude, has been in business for 18 years, we’re hopeful the streak continues for a long time.

Artitude is planning to open for business in its new location tomorrow (just in time for Art on the Avenue, which we’ll tell you more about soon). Look for special grand re-opening deals for the next couple of weeks.

Coffin shop is moving to Midway

You may recall that Mike Zoff, owner of Affordable Coffins and Artery (formerly at Smith and Curtice) had outgrown his space and was looking for a new location.

The good news is that he’s found a space. The bad news, for us anyway, is that it’s in the Midway neighborhood, at 595 N. Snelling (former home of Mosaic on a Stick, which moved one block north).

Mike’s former spot on Smith will be the new location for the St. Paul Classic Cookie Company (which, incidentally, is relocating from Midway). Last we heard they’re still planning to open sometime this summer.

Art on the Avenue update

The volunteers organizing Art on the Avenue met at Amore Coffee this morning, and things are starting to come together. We have great exhibits and bands lined up, and we’re working on some children’s activities and finalizing other details for the event. It’s really happening, folks.

Most of the activity will be on Saturday, August 3, with some of the exhibits having a preview the night before. All of the info is posted on the West Side Community Organization website, and will be updated as we get closer.

Christine Shyne at WSCO is working tirelessly to make this event a reality. She’s even offering up her van to be decorated as an art car for one of the exhibits. Heidi Gesell from Bank Cherokee and Tom Alvarado from High Bridge Tattoo (who designed the poster above) were also present this morning and have been major contributors to the team. The Pizza Shop, Nomadic Press, Capital Deals, the Capital View Cafe, Cherokee Tavern, Amore Coffee and Eclectic 887 are also providing invaluable support.

It’s not too late to help out. WE NEED VOLUNTEERS. We’ll need folks to work in short shifts throughout the weekend to distribute flyers, run concession stands and info booths, and other tasks (for what it’s worth, I’ll be working the event from beginning to end). Please contact Christine at 651-293-1708 or if you’re able to help in any way (donations, cough cough, are also welcome, cough cough cough).

And if not, plan to take some time on August 3 to come out and celebrate your neighborhood!

Pole patrol

Someone's been tagging the light posts up and down Smith Avenue.

Someone’s been tagging the light posts up and down Smith Avenue.

If you see a guy in a dark hat with a spray can wandering up and down Smith Avenue, you might want to look twice before calling the police.

Yesterday, I spotted a neighbor walking down the street scrubbing graffiti off the light posts at Smith and Baker. Someone’s been tagging them on a regular basis with spray paint, he’s been diligently following up removing the tags. The idea, hopefully, is to convince the vandals that they’re engaged in a futile exercise.

Chemical warfare.

Chemical warfare.

His weapon of choice? Carburetor cleaner. Apparently that and a little elbow grease takes the paint right off.

I’m not going to identify our one-man anti-graffiti squad, lest the city or the vandals take issue with his work. But if you see him out there, you’re welcome to grab a rag and chip in. Or bring him a beer or something.

Volunteers needed for Art on the Avenue

Art on the Avenue is coming together, but we’re not going to be able to pull off this event without your help.

We’ll need volunteers to help distribute event programs, set up exhibits, clean up afterwards, and a bunch of other tasks that we haven’t thought of yet.

Art on the Avenue will take place the first weekend of August. If you’re interested in participating in any way, please email stubbornlylocal (at) gmail (dot) com.