Bar hoppers in downtown Minneapolis will likely have a new and more creative outlet beginning next summer.
Upstairs Circus, a Denver-based arts-and-crafts bar, is expected to sign papers soon to expand in the popular North Loop area, according to owners Matt and Kelly Johannsen.
At its two existing locations in Denver, Upstairs Circus offers guests the chance to sign up for “project socials” with friends or strangers. The events allow attendees to create projects while they imbibe. Individuals can choose from among a few dozen possibilities that range from making custom leather hip flasks or drink coolers to assembling tassel necklaces and devising urban silhouette art.
Staff members provide supplies, photo tutorials and personal assistance for the projects, which are ranked by degree of difficulty and can take from one to three hours to complete. Tickets to the events are typically $35 to $39 per person.
Those not interested in projects can also show up and choose from a full bar menu of beer, cocktails and wine.
The Johannsens said they hope to finalize details soon for a lease in the Washington building at the corner of Second Avenue and Washington Avenue N. The building is also the location of Bonobos, a men’s clothing retailer, and Sex World, right around the corner.
The couple is familiar with the Twin Cities because Kelly was born and raised in White Bear Lake, and Matt grew up in Madison, Wis.
The Johannsens opened their first Upstairs Circus four years ago, and if all goes well, they plan to launch the Minneapolis branch in May or June.