New tenants and familiar nightlife players hope to bring a taste of Chicago to the former Club New York space in the basement of the Lumber Exchange Building in downtown Minneapolis. The new nightspot will be called the Exchange and Alibi Lounge.
Inspired by the popular Windy City nightclub the Underground, the dual-concept club and lounge will occupy the 10,000-square-foot space beneath the Pourhouse.
Jacob "JT" Toledo of Borough/Parlour and Coup d'etat has partnered with nightclub vet Deepak Nath and landlord Ken Sherman for a place for revelers to go after graduating from the Pourhouse's party bar scene.
"We're not trying to eat our own lunch," said Nath, co-owner of the Pourhouse.
Toledo is a partner in Jester Concepts, which, since opening Borough and Parlour in 2013, has become one of the Twin Cities' fastest-growing restaurant and bar groups.
Nath is no stranger to the club world, as a former owner of Envy, Bootleggers and Fahrenheit. The nightlife impresario sold Envy in 2011, a year before both it and Bootleggers closed under pressure from the city.
The new project will be divided into two sides, the smaller Alibi Lounge — described as Parlour-meets-Oceanaire — and full-on nightclub the Exchange, Toledo said. Coup d'etat alum Tomas Iniguez will helm the bar program at martini-centric Alibi, which will also feature an oyster bar and small food menu.
The space has been completely gutted and both sides will feature DJ booths and white marble tile floors from its days as a Turkish bathhouse. The Chicago-based architect who worked on the Underground is handling the design.
Alibi takes its name from notorious Minneapolis gangster Isadore "Kid Cann" Blumenfeld, who reportedly frequented a barbershop in the building and famously used it as an alibi when accused of murdering muckraking Minneapolis newspaper editor Walter Liggett in 1935.
Look for an opening in mid to late June.
Latin theme for 400 Soundbar
The former 400 Soundbar space is getting a new tenant. According to city documents, first-time club owners James Carlson and Wilfrido Hernandez are planning the Latin-themed Azul Nightclub for the Minneapolis Warehouse District location at 400 3rd Av. N. The space was previously split into two rooms — Azul will occupy the larger 6,400-square-foot side once home to Visage. The new club will feature live bands, DJs and a small Latin American food menu, and will not have 18-plus nights. The 400 Soundbar voluntarily closed last summer following a shooting inside the club.
Craft Beer Fest downtown
As our beer scene swells, so does the number of festivals. On Saturday, the Twin Cities Craft Beer Fest will be staged in downtown Minneapolis by Hand Crafted Tasting Co., a group behind a few fests nationwide. The sampling bash at the Depot is split between two sessions and highlights the spring seasonals of about 75 global breweries. Compared with other local festivals, the lineup's light on big-name Minnesota and national breweries that RateBeer geeks hyperventilate over, though there should be no shortage of tasty springtime brews. VIP ticketholders get an extra hour of swilling.
2-4:30 p.m. and 7-9:30 p.m., April 18, $49-$75 ($15 designated driver), 21-plus, 225 S. 3rd St., Mpls., www.handcraftedtasting.com
Tamarack Tap Room
They don't actually make beer, but in the literal sense Woodbury's Tamarack Tap Room is a room full of taps. The new beer, bourbon and burger joint opened last week in a former Champps space with a sizable beer roster of craft on draft. Besides the three B's, Tamarack's sprawling menu features adult shakes, souped-up bar snacks and three house sodas.
8418 Tamarack Village, Woodbury, 651-330-2889,
Lakes & Legends brewery
Another Minneapolis brewery is destined for the LPM Apartments building near Loring Park. Lakes & Legends Brewing Co. hopes to start construction soon on its 12,000-square-foot space en route to a late-summer opening. Lakes & Legends is the project of brothers-in-law Derrick Taylor and Ethan Applen, who tapped brewer Andrew Dimery to create their lineup of Belgian and farmhouse ales. Servicing its 3,500- to 4,000-square-foot taproom (big by local standards) is first priority, but they hope to distribute soon after opening.
Michael Rietmulder, of Minneapolis, writes about nightlife.