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6 posts categorized "antique news"

March 30, 2015

Rochester's Kismet to open the door to 'Mad Men' style

Behind door #1 is a blast from the past plus a new name on Rochester's North Broadway block of consignment shopping.

KismetdoorPenny Bracken, known for her three Kismet stores on the 600 block of North Broadway, closed off the back third of the Kismet Home store with a sliding, barn-style door this winter. The mysterious door has spurred her loyal customers to speculate for months about what's behind it.

And now as spring slowly starts in Minnesota, Bracken is ready to unveil her winter project. The doors will officially open on Wednesday, though she isn't waiting until April 1 to discuss it.

"It's called Kismet Etc.," she said. "That's where we've been collecting hip, modern furniture and decor with that clean 'Mad Men,' Boho chic style."

Bracken says she and her staff have been watching the interest in this style grow over the past couple of years and they decided to create an area to spotlight it for shoppers.

"The trend right now is that people, especially young people, are really attracted to the clean lines of this mid-century style," said Bracken.

She also has changes planned for the exterior of the 611 North Broadway store. The name, Kismet Etc., will go up on the sign outside. That will make the lineup of stores on "Penny Lane" as Kismet Consignment Fashions at 601 N. Broadway, Kismet Central at 607 N. Broadway and Kismet Etc. at 611 North Broadway.

Besides opening the doors on Wednesday, a Kismet spring tradition also will happen on Wednesday. The new Kismet billboard will go up over the store. While "Chloe," the stylish woman in the hat, will still be part of it, a new circular wave design will make its appearance as Kismet's new logo. Look for Chloe to be holding it.

The long mural on the side of the 611 North Broadway building also will be updated to reflect the new look and style. Bracken is planning to take down about 16 feet of the current mural and have it replaced by new work by popular Rochester muralist Greg Wimmer. 

November 01, 2013

Karma Consignments closes Broadway shop to focus on 2nd St. shop

The owners of Karma Consignments are shifting their full attention to their huge, bright yellow store on Rochester's Second Street.

As part of that strategy, Dave Hatch and Janinne Casey, closed up their North Broadway shop for good this week.

"It's time to focus on our future rather than our past," says Hatch.  "We just don't have enough help to keep both open."

He and Casey originally opened Karma at 407 N. Broadway in fall 2011. Karma sells antiques, used furniture, collectibles and, as their name suggests, they also handle consignments.

"We were bursting at the seams there," he says.

That shouldn't be a problem in the 20,980-square-foot store at 1800 Second St. S.W. They also have a 6,000-square-foot building there. Both were used by Mackie's Home Furnishings until that long-time Rochester business closed earlier this year.

While Karma just opened at start of October, Hatch has already ratcheted up the Second Street store's curb appeal to the super nova level with a bright yellow and red paint job.

"I wanted something that grabbed your attention and slapped you in the face," he says.

Whether his exterior colors are actually slapping anyone around or not, Hatch says the new store is attracting between 80 to 300 shoppers a day.

Karma is looking to bring in even more people by adding vintage and consignment clothing to its mix of merchandise. That's only one of the big ideas that Hatch is cooking up.

"My ultimate goal is to be the Walmart of the antique and consignment world," he says.

October 29, 2013

Something new at The Old Rooster

After being in business for 28 years, something new will happen at a Rochester store that specializes in old things.

The Old Rooster Antique Mall at 106 N. Broadway will get a new owner on Friday, when Ron Ruport takes the reins of the business.

OldroosterRuport, who's a part owner of Mantorville Square Antiques in Mantorville, is buying The Old Rooster from Gordy and Virginia "Granny" Kranz.

The Kranzes opened the mall there in 1985. Prior to that, they owned antique malls in Mazeppa and other spots in Rochester's downtown. The Old Rooster name originated when the couple ran an antique mall in the former Richard's Roost restaurant building on First Street Southwest.

"I've known Gordy and Granny for a long time," says Ruport of how he came to buy the mall. "This mall gets good traffic, especially from Mayo Clinic patients."

The mall currently has 12 dealers with two more on their way. Ruport says that will still leave room for a couple more dealers.

While he has no big changes on the way, the new owner plans to freshen up the mall with touches like new paint. The major innovation he is bringing in is the capability to accept credit cards.

One thing won't change much and that's the Kranzes. While they won't be the mall owners, they aren't retiring, says Gordy Kranz. He and his wife will remain on as dealers in the mall.

Kranz, a retired Rochester police officer, says the many years running The Old Rooster have been good ones.

"We've got good dealers that price items fairly. We don't have any hot shots," he says. "It's been interesting. People come in, look around and find something they are looking for. Then they're happy. If they don't find anything, they still had fun looking and it didn't cost them anything."

February 13, 2012

NASA unplugs last of IBM mainframes

Here's a blast from the past. Many folks in Rochester are familiar, some intimately, with IBM's System 360 mainframe.

It was the precursor to the wildly popular Rochester creation - the AS/400.

Here's some from a piece written by Stephen Shankman for CNET's news site about the end of an era.


There was a time when IBM's mainframes were cutting-edge machines for scientific and engineering calculations.

Us__en_us__ibm100__system_360__ttw_nasa__620x350Those days began in the 1960s, when IBM's System 360 rewrote the rules of computing and before humans walked on the moon. Big Blue long since has moved its high performance commupting effoprt toward its high-end Blue Gene systems and more conventional Linux servers using Intel and AMD x86 chips and Unix servers with its own Power processor. 


Now NASA has followed suit, switching off its last mainframe, Chief Information Officer Linda Cureton said in a blog post Saturday.

"This month marks the end of an era in NASA computing. Marshall Space Flight Center powered down NASA's last mainframe, the IBM Z9 Mainframe," Cureton said.


Cureton, who once programmed a System 360 mainframe in assembly language at the Goddard Space Flight Center, came to their defense:

They're really not so bad honestly, and they have their place. Things like virtual machines, hypervisors, thin clients, and swapping are all old hat to the mainframe generation though they are new to the current generation of cyber youths...

Today, they are the size of a refrigerator but in the old days, they were the size of a Cape Cod. Even though NASA has shut down its last one, there is still a requirement for mainframe capability in many other organizations.

More than four decades ago, when NASA acquired two "super-speed System 360 Model 95 machines in 1968, IBM touted the machines' mathematical abilities.

"Both of NASA's Model 95s are handling space exploration problems which require unusually high computation speeds," IBM said. "The Model 95s are capable of computing 14-digit multiplications at a rate of over 330 million in a minute."

March 22, 2010

Remember the Colonial Inn in downtown Roch.?

OK, this is a completely random subject, but one of my automatic Web searches triggered this nostalgic moment.

Dpchtlminn1 Colonial inn A 1917 postcard depicting Rochester's former Colonial Inn hotel at 114 Second St. S.W. is for sale right now on eBay.

Yeah, I know EVERYTHING is for on eBay right now, but this just caught my attention.

Mayo Clinic bought the Colonial Inn for $1.4 million in 2001. The Colonial Inn House Cafe, a sort of informal Mayo Clinic smokers lounge and good place for breakfast in the basement of the inn, closed Dec. 12, 2002.

Then the hotel was demolished in 2007. 122607colonialinn2jkIt is currently a Mayo parking lot.

Another notable point (to me personally) is that the postcard was mailed to Argus, Ind., a small town that was covered by a newspaper – The Sentinel – I worked for years ago.

The name of the Indiana city where The Sentinel newspaper is based?


OK, that ends Jeff's nostalgia session for the day and we return to our regularly scheduled business news and buzz.

March 18, 2010

Old name in antiques in a new city

Zumbrota A longtime Red Wing antique dealer recently move to a new home in Zumbrota.

Jeanne and Don Madtson, who have owned Memory Makers Antiques for the past six years, recently built a new almost 12,000-square-foot store and opened its doors in Zumbrota's industrial park in February.

Moving to Zumbrota from Red Wing meant loading an 18-foot trailer 22 times and a pickup 15 times to transport the furniture, Red Wing pottery and other other items.