Loring Park is getting a new restaurant. Well, sort of.
Starting in early June, the landmark Woman’s Club of Minneapolis will be opening its swank dining room to the general public, serving lunch Tuesday through Saturday, and dinner Wednesday through Saturday.
“The fact of the matter is that we need to find sources of revenue other than members’ dues,” said Belia Jimenez-Lorente, the club’s operations/general manager. “Ten or 12 years ago, we had more than 900 members. Today it’s around 300.”
The lunch and dinner initiative is an outgrowth of the club’s open-to-the-public buffet Sunday brunch (it’s not too late to reserve a spot for the club’s Mother’s Day brunch), and its longtime role as an events venue. The club’s rooftop patio, with its sweeping downtown views, may also be in play.
“We have a beautiful rooftop, and I’m trying to convince the board to open it for lunch,” said Jimenez-Lorente. “It’s a private club, and the members are very protective. But everyone also understands the importance of sustaining the club, and its mission.”
Perched on the south side of Loring Park, the club’s gem-like home (pictured, above, in Star Tribune photo archive photos from the early 1930s) dates to 1927 and was designed by Leon Arnal of the Minneapolis firm of Magney & Tusler, a French architect responsible for the Foshay Tower and the Mineapolis Post Office.
“We think there’s a crowd we can cater to who will enjoy our beautiful building and chef Mike Abelson’s beautiful food,” said Jimenez-Lorente. “Whatever proceeds come out of our dining room will be repurposed back into our mission of empowering women. We just celebrated our 110th anniversary, and we want to be around for another 110 years.”