Retail Rundown: Gray Gardens 2.0, Plus Store Openings + Closings


Grown Alchemist at Gray Gardens Home

Jahna Peloquin

Hot off the opening of hip women's clothing shop Buck + Fir late last year, Excelsior's Water Street is abloom with retail openings. Lifestyle store Gray Gardens Home recently reopened under new ownership with a new look and a freshly curated selection of goods, spanning clothing, home, and skincare. New owners Dee Dee Lappen and her daughter, Chloe, took inspiration from the store's 30-year heritage as a home-and-garden shop while mining Dee Dee's background in wholesale clothing and home design.

Gray Gardens' product selection is largely artisan-made, small-batch, and specialty-oriented. Highlights include skincare by cult brand Grown Alchemist, artisan-made bags from fair-trade label Manos Zapotecas, exclusive pieces by Minneapolis clothing brand Hackwith Design House, linen napkins and towels by Japanese textile brand Fog Linen, and candles from Austin Pressed and Australian brand SoH. "We're so crazy about candles that we literally have them shipped from Australia," she says. Dee Dee has also custom-designed the store's own selection of pillows, furniture made from salvaged barn wood, and Minnesota-themed t-shirts.

Now open, 366 Water St., Excelsior, 952-474-9150,

Gray Gardens Home

Jahna Peloquin

Gray Gardens Home

Jahna Peloquin

More store openings and moves:

Home design firm The Sitting Room has expanded its studio and relocated its boutique to a charming storefront around the corner on Excelsior's bustling Water Street—where it's taking advantage of the foot traffic. (206 Water St., Excelsior, 952-473-4440)

Home furnishings boutique and interior design studio Que Será has expanded into its basement, where it features a dozen-or-so furniture vignettes. Look for a grand opening event to be announced soon. (244 Water St., Excelsior, 952-924-6390)

In even more Excelsior news, longtime 50th & France men's clothier J. Novachis is making the move to Water Street after 45 years in Edina. The move comes one year after the death of founder John Novachis, who passed ownership to his son, Anthony. A press release says, "Anthony Novachis has been a Lake Minnetonka resident for sixteen years and has watched as Excelsior has continued to honor its historic past while also creating a future in the modern day a theme that resonates with Novachis." Expect the new location to open this March. (Coming soon to 218 Water St., Excelsior)

Minnesota-based office décor retailer Russell + Hazel has announced plans to move its flagship at Edina's Galleria to a much-larger storefront in the North Loop, next door to D.NOLO and across the street from Martin Patrick 3. An opening date has not been announced, but in the meantime, check out the store's moving sale through Wednesday, January 27 for 20 percent off store-wide. (3462 Galleria, Edina, 952-204-3138)

Known for its brightly colored knitwear and Scandinavian clogs, Poppy is expanding its Linden Hills presence when it moves into the space currently occupied by Twiggs Home & Garden for the past dozen years in March. In the meantime, take 30 to 60 percent off its current location in Twiggs' back room (plus discounts of 30 to 50 percent off at Twiggs) through February 12, at which time the store will be closed for renovation until its April 8 opening. (4301 Uptown Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-719-7636)

For 12 years, Pacifier has been the hip place to shop for baby. Store owners Jon and Wing Witthuhn moved its flagship location from Northeast to North Loop, where it recently opened in the Northwestern Building around the corner from D.NOLO. It hosts a grand opening bash on February 6. (219 N. 2nd St. #102, Minneapolis, 612-623-8123)

Isles Studio is the newest addition to the East Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis. It specializes in natural history collectibles and artifacts (think taxidermy and animal skulls), as well as gifts, garden, and home décor. (1311 W. 25th St., Minneapolis, 612-999-4680)

Recent store closings:

We hardly knew ya: Wayzata women's designer boutique House of 365 has closed after a little more than a year of business. Owner Kathleen Bryan attributes the closing to a mix of factors, including the slack in foot traffic during the winter months in Wayzata. The store's lease is up at the end of March; in the meantime, take advantage of the store's closing sale featuring discounts of 40 percent off store-wide. (750 Lake St. E., Wayzata, 952-473-2311)

Stacey Finnegan's women's boutique MINQ* has bounced around at various locations over the past couple of years, most recently settling at Southdale. Unfortunately, that location was shuttered last weekend, with no news on any forthcoming storefronts. However, its website states that it's in the process of developing an e-commerce site, so stayed tuned. (

The Sitting Room Boutique

Jahna Peloquin

Que Será basement

Jahna Peloquin

Que Será basement

Jahna Peloquin

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From boutiques to salons to your own closet, TC Style will bring you expertly curated tips and tricks from the local shopping, fashion, beauty, wellness, and design scene. Odds are if you put it on, take it off, hang it up, or cut it out, we’ll tell you how to get it. Most importantly, we know that when you look good and feel good, you do good—the beautiful life is about much more than the material world. (But that won’t stop us from loving it.)

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