"Wait till you see this," Deepak Nath told me.
The bar owner's new big-deal project -- in the former Spin nightclub space -- is still a construction zone. But as he gave me a tour last week, it wasn't hard to get a sense for this super-sized, Prohibition-themed restaurant and party bar. It'll be called the Pourhouse. An opening date is tentatively planned for June 1.
The swanky multilevel interior of Spin, once the envy of all downtown Minneapolis clubs, has been totally gutted to make way for a casual, throwback concept. Nath envisions walls of moonshine barrels and bathrooms that look like mini jail cells. The old VIP lounge is now the Hooch Room. He couldn't contain his excitement for a fake bookcase. Once completed, it'll open to a secret passage leading to a small bar hidden in the recesses of the Lumber Exchange building.
Nath is working on the 12,000-square-foot behemoth with Jay Ettinger (his partner at nearby Bootleggers), plus Brent Frederick and Jacob Toledo (owners of the Maple Tavern in Maple Grove).
While the Pourhouse has an old-school theme, don't come here looking for Prohibition-era, handcrafted cocktails (Bradstreet, it is not). Nath was very upfront about his ambitions. This is a party bar with food. The Maple Tavern duo are handling the restaurant portion, which will feature twists on classic American cuisine. Diners will be able to build their own nachos. There will also be a buffalo wing hotness challenge that requires a waiver. The kitchen will close during the late-night party hours, but then reopen at bar close for walking tacos (taco-in-a-bag). And there will be a big appetizer list for sports fans.
That's right: It's also a sports bar. Nath is putting plasma TVs everywhere. His crown jewel is a 24-foot HD projection screen. "We will have the best viewing experience for sports in the Upper Midwest," he said.
And that's not all. They've also built a large stage on the main level for bands, DJs, comedians and other live acts. He hopes to have entertainment most nights.
At the end of our tour, Nath took me out into an alleyway that's wedged between the Lumber Exchange and a parking garage. He plans to transform this secluded space into an adult playground with outdoor seating, bean bag courts, Hammerschlagen and other games.
I called it a "secret back alley patio."
Nath corrected me: "Double-secret back alley patio."
- Where: 10 S. 5th St., Mpls
- Opening: June 1