After thriving momentarily in the '90s as the outsider-hipster haven Rogue, the stonewalled basement of downtown Minneapolis's Lumber Exchange Building reopened as Level in 2005, only to capsize a year later. The tumultuous history of the place is emblematic of the whole shaky structure that is the Twin Cities nightclub scene. And that's good news for local clubbers, because this year the place finally settled, and Foundation doesn't look like it's going anywhere. Retooled into a classy joint that isn't prohibitively hip, Foundation immediately filled a void in Minneapolis club culture that was previously—and half-heartedly—occupied by rock clubs. As crowds began to line up, the club's owners—promoter Beecher Vallaincourt and DJ Zak Khutoretsky—responded by bringing in national heavyweight talent: Afrika Bambaataa, DJ QBert, Mix Master Mike, ?uestlove, Dieselboy, and John Acquaviva have all rocked the club's hardwood dance floor this year. Predictably, weekends are the most popular nights, with throngs of beautiful people filling the main room and the cozy Deep Lounge to groove to deep house and techno (during Release on Fridays) or hip hop (Party & Bull$h!t on Saturdays). Other nights bring the best deals, with no cover for 21+ on Mondays ($5 for 18+).


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