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Open Book, Gracie's Clothing join Harvest Thyme Bistro

Downtown Wadena has three new retail operations all housed in the former J.C. Penney building:

An Open Book is the name of the expanded and transformed former Borealis Bookstore. This bigger and more broad-based book and related information center for the Wadena region now fills the first floor and mezzanine of the former Village Emporium.

Gracie's Clothing Boutique fills the ground level with name brand fashions and like-new affordable clothing for the entire family.

Harvest Thyme Bistro, which opened here in November, offers organic and local food fare of exceptional quality.

The Village Emporium, which opened in 2003, ceased its small business incubator operation in March 2010 to make room for these larger and improved anchor stores in downtown Wadena. More than 100 individual merchants have operated small stores during the past seven years in this building. Seven of those merchants went on to fill other empty storefronts in the region.

The founders of the Emporium announced that in the coming months, this building will be renamed the Bernauer Building in honor of the Bernauer family, whose father managed the J.C. Penney store here from 1940 to 1964.