Do they have Maple Nut?

Ah, the wonders of social media. Izzy's Ice Cream is tagging each flavor in its scoop case with radio frequency identification technology, which will automatically transmit data to the shop's website, Facebook page, Twitter account and to e-mail subscribers. Now, instead of dropping into the shop and hoping against hope for a crack at Salted Caramel or Hot Brown Sugar -- Izzy's is constantly rotating 90-plus flavors in and out of its 32-flavor cabinet -- customers can log on and get an up-to-the-minute tally of all available options. Pretty cool, right?

  • Rick Nelson

Current suggestions

Saturday is "Minnesota Music Day" on the Current (89.3 FM), featuring nothing but homegrown songs from midnight to midnight. The station has already been playing strong new songs by Communist Daughter, Peter Wolf Crier, Jeremy Messersmith and other recent favorites. Here are some friendly suggestions for 10 other great new songs it might try out for Saturday, or any day:

  • Birthday Suits, "Table Talk"
  • Dessa, "Dixon's Girl"
  • Dosh, "Number 41"
  • Kristoff Krane, "Inside Out"
  • James Buckley Trio, "What's Yours"
  • Off With Their Heads, "Drive"
  • Rogue Valley, "Red River of the North"
  • the Tisdales, "Scenester Bingo"
  • Trampled by Turtles, "Separate"
  • Vampire Hands, "Poor Bird"
  • Chris Riemenschneider

Coming soon: Ethiopian street food fare

That new Minneapolis ordinance permitting downtown street food is already yielding results -- starting with Duck, a 7-by-14-foot trailer run by SHE Royal Coffee owner Samson Benti and his sister Hana Benti.

The siblings, who learned to cook from their grandparents in their native Ethiopia, will focus on quick-service variations on Ethiopian and Somali fare -- lentils and cabbage rolled in injera or pita bread, chopped meats seasoned with spices and red pepper sauce -- that Samson Benti describes as, "spicy, but not crazy spicy." As soon as their trailer arrives from Florida, and they pass the necessary inspections, look for them "near the statue of the lady with the hat," Samson Benti said, referring to the bronze likeness of Mary Tyler Moore at 7th St. and Nicollet Mall.

  • Rick Nelson

Gluten-free happenings

Cooqi, St. Paul's exceptional gluten-free bakery, has closed its doors. But owner Judy Malmon isn't leaving the business entirely; look for her gluten-free baking mixes to appear soon at a retailer near you. In addition, the shop's popular gluten-free pizza crusts will continue to be available at Pizza Lucé and a few other pizzerias around town.

Speaking of Lucé, the downtown Minneapolis branch is hosting a gluten-free event on Wednesday (after 5 p.m.), with $2 off gluten-free pizzas and stuffed pasta shells, as well as $3 Bard's, a gluten-free sorghum malt beer from a Minneapolis-based producer. On May 26, Cafe Levain is offering a special three-course gluten-free dinner ($25 per person), also featuring Bard's.

  • Rick Nelson

Blackbird flies again

"We've picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and we're moving on." So says Gail Mollner, co-owner of Blackbird, which was destroyed, along with Heidi's Minneapolis and several retail shops, in a devastating fire on Feb. 18. Mollner and Chris Stevens, her spouse and co-owner, have just signed a lease at 3800 Nicollet Av. S. in Minneapolis, about a five-minute drive from their former location at 815 W. 50th St. The new address is about 50 percent larger than its predecessor, which translates into about 40 additional seats. "From the moment we walked in the door, we felt like it's the place we want to be," said Mollner. "It's kind of cool to have a blank slate."

  • Rick Nelson

Robinson leaving Fox 9 for jewelry design

Fox 9 news anchor Robyne Robinson's announcement Tuesday that she'll depart at the end of May was a shocker. Robinson, who will cap a 20-year career at KMSP, said she was leaving to focus on her creative pursuits, which include designing jewelry for her company, ROX Minneapolis.

"I'm so scared because it's so different from what I've done for 30 years, but I really feel good about it," said Robinson, who plans to split her time between Minneapolis and Santa Fe, N.M., where she recently bought property.

Robinson, 48, said she's been contemplating the move for some time, but made the final decision last month. "It's one of those things where I thought that if I didn't do this, I would kick myself forever." Her jewelry line is already in a number of boutiques nationwide and overseas. The most recognizable African-American on Twin Cities TV and the recipient of an Upper Midwest Emmy for best anchor in 2005, Robinson also has been heavily involved in the local arts scene, and owned a gallery in Minneapolis for several years.

"Robyne's influence goes well beyond the anchor desk because of her strong interest and involvement in the community and its issues," KMSP general manager Carol Rueppel said on the station's website. "She's truly been an integral part of the Twin Cities for the past 20 years."

Meanwhile Don Shelby, a fixture at WCCO-TV for more than 30 years, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that he'll retire in November, setting up a gradual handoff to his successor, Frank Vascellaro.

  • Neal Justin