Shortcuts | Dec. 8, 2011

condensed local news about civic and cultural goings-on

V1 Staff

Phoenix Park Grocery Market Still in the Works

October came and went without the much-heralded opening of Charley’s Market, a 4,200 square foot retail space comprising two thirds of Phoenix Park’s newest building in downtown Eau Claire. Without so much as a construction worker spotted coming or going, many have wondered if the grocery store would actually happen. Since the market was to receive a $200,000 incentive package from the Redevelopment Authority, we’ve definitely had our eyes on the space. In a phone interview, Charly’s owner Carolyn Miller told us back surgery had put her out of commission this fall, accounting for the delays. She says the store is “financially set” and she’s making plans with developers to determine when interior work can begin. Miller says this could be as early as December. An opening date has yet to be set. Plans for the market remain largely unchanged, with the intention to sell high-quality deli meat, customized meals “for those on the go,” some baked goods, canned goods, dairy products, and items for “convenience shopping.” Watch the market’s Facebook page for updates.

Local Retail Sales Up About 7%

If you read our economic feature last month (titled Dodging the Down Economy) and still aren’t convinced the Valley has skirted a lot of the national woes, recently released data from Eau Claire County says the business are seeing an increase in sales for the first time since 2008. Sales are up 6.8% so far this year, and with this last month of frantic holiday shoppers, we are well are on our way to exceeding the sales record of 2008. If that were to happen, we would have generated $1.61 billion of income from taxed goods for Eau Claire county businesses. So as you bundle up and head out to buy holiday gifts for friends and family, shop local and continue helping support our community! 

Martha Stewart Totally Loves Local Glitter Queen Kari Tarr

There can never be enough glitter in the works of UW-Stout art instructor Kari Tarr ... or, it seems, The Martha Stewart Show for that matter. For the second time this year Tarr’s sparkling face and art made an appearance on Stewart. The show aired on Dec. 6, and Kari helped Martha make a sparkly ornament. Later, directions for the ornament will be available on Martha’s website and Kari was previously on in March after being a finalist in the “Simply Remarthable Contest” for ger glitter paintings. She’s also co-owner of Mike’s Art & Design Supply in Menomonie.