A building that has sat largely vacant since 2014 in the Lowertown neighborhood will soon see new life.

Local developer Mike Sowers will renovate, restore and transform the existing building located at 201 Fourth Street E into new retail and residential space. When complete the building will house 23 apartments on the upper two floors along with 9,000 square feet of retail space located on the ground floor and basement level.

The retail space has already been leased and will become home to three new businesses. 

Dariush and Sara Moslemi will be opening a new restaurant called “Barchalla” on the ground floor. They’re no strangers to the restaurant/bar industry as they already own and operate the Velveteen Speakeasy in Downtown Stillwater. Barchalla will be open for lunch, dinner, and happy hour with a menu that will focus on Mediterranean cuisine with a bit of Moroccan influence.

On the lower level the Moslemi’s will also be opening a craft cocktail speakeasy called “Vaudeville.” It’ll focus on drinks and live entertainment with the front room having jazz bands and the back room having an entirely separate space with a DJ playing modern electronic music.

Last but not least, the Moslemi’s will also open Studio 1 Yoga. The couple owns the chain of yoga studios which currently has three other locations in the metro. The St. Paul location will be 3,000 square feet and be located on the ground floor next to Barchalla.

The restaurant and speakeasy are expected to open in September with the yoga studio and apartments opening later this fall.