The Loews Minneapolis Hotel, one of the most recognized hospitality spots in the Twin Cities, unveiled this week its $10-million renovation and new lobby bar concept, the Apothecary Bar & Lounge.
New York-based Loews Hotels & Resorts bought the 22-story building, across the street from Target Center, last summer from local hotelier Graves Hospitality.
John Power, the hotel's general manager, said Loews wanted to update the 11-year-old space by putting its own touch on it.
"It was very dark with lots of browns. We really wanted to brighten it up," Power said.
One of the most noticeable changes is the lobby. Loews, along with its design team from Chicago-based Simeone Deary, knocked out a large wall at the entrance so that when guests walk through the front door, they walk into the new Apothecary Bar.
"We inherited all of this great volume, with high ceilings, but it was very compartmentalized and felt oppressive," said Kate Poole Cropsey, an associate at Simeone Deary.
The Apothecary replaces the beloved Bradstreet Craftshouse (which is slated to reincarnate "very soon" at its new location in the Lowry Hill neighborhood). While maintaining an emphasis on craft cocktails and small plates, the interior design is completely different.
Power said the goal was to create a hotel experience that would be welcoming to both locals and visitors.
The intense colors and were replaced with cool neutrals, while the blonde maple wood was exchanged for walnut throughout the hotel. The design inspirations were two key aspects of Minneapolis' identity: the flour mills and water power.
"It's not trendy, it's local. We feel it has a lot of strength," Cropsey said.
As for artwork, it's a mix of local paintings and mixed-media plaster moldings. These, along with carpets, cabinets and other elements are meant to emulate Minnesota's topographic features, like the riverbeds.
The renovation highlight that, despite award-winning status as a favorite Minneapolis accommodation option, all hotels face constant pressure to update its space if it is to maintain its market position.
It also comes at a time of increased activity of new hotel construction downtown Minneapolis. The
"I think it's the best location in the city," Power said. "This renovation will just reinforce our position in the city."
Sunday was the hotel's soft launch. The grand opening is set for May 21.