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Thursday, July 24, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 77.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
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Artful cookware
A kitchen store and gallery will open on Willy Street

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The Willy Street Co-op has a small selection of kitchen supplies, and at Ace Hardware, down the block on Williamson Street, you can buy a can opener along with your new wheelbarrow. But devoted chefs in the Willy Street neighborhood lack a store dedicated to quality cookware, dinnerware and kitchen gadgets of all sorts.

Until about July 15, that is. That's when Roz Anderson hopes to open the Kitchen Gallery at 1354 Williamson St.

Along with cookware, the store will carry gourmet foods, says Anderson, who began construction on the space three weeks ago. "But we're not a restaurant or a deli," she says. "There will be lots of samples out, so people can taste before they buy."

The store also will carry "artworks that are kitchen and dining-room appropriate, which is why 'gallery' is in the name," she says.

Anderson will run the store along with husband Steven Lotharius. Both are longtime Madisonians who retired to Onancock, Va., and then, some three years ago, opened a store there called the North Street Market. The Kitchen Gallery will be similar to the North Street Market. "It turned out great," says Lotharius of the Virginia store.

So why a Madison store? "Our daughter's in Madison, and we'd like to stay connected," says Anderson.

And why Willy Street? "We owned the space there," says Lotharius. The couple restored the building three years ago and turned the second and third floors into condominiums.

"It's politically correct, from my point of view," says Anderson of the neighborhood. "It's funky, eclectic, nobody's putting on any pretensions."

Just in time for warm weather, McFarland denizens who crave the cold stuff have a new outlet in Michael's Frozen Custard, the homey, Madison-based chainlet that last week opened an operation at 6117 Highway 51 (838-1233).

"We haven't opened a new store in 12 years," says co-owner Perry McCourtney. "So we're not one of those explosive growth companies, to say the least."

The new Michael's is a former Dairy Queen near Lake Waubesa. Business already is booming, notes McCourtney. "We've had five record days," he says.

On May 21, the Missouri-based chain Panera Bread will open a fifth Madison-area restaurant at 6637 Mineral Point Rd. Like the others, the new Panera will feature soups, sandwiches, salads and wireless Internet access, not necessarily in that order.

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