Well, better late than never. Bradstreet Craftshouse, formerly in the Graves Hotel (now Loews) was set to open in its new Hennepin and Franklin space in the old Rye Deli location just after Christmas. Construction and inspection crews have been working furiously (and noisily, says cranky writer who lives very nearby) over the past few weeks to finally get the doors open.
But the pain should be worth the gain — the Lowry Hill neighborhood is getting a nice amenity in the new bar.
Bradstreet was an early introducer of pre-Prohibition-style cocktaildom to the Twin Cities, and possibly the first. The dimly lit speakeasy is my first recollection of barmen dressed way better than myself mixing tinctures I didn't know existed into Alice in Wonderland glassware and then spanking herbs over the top to release the essence or waving atomizers in the general vicinity.
As the decade wore on, everyone adopted these affectations, and some pulled it off better than others. As we reported recently, cocktaildom is potentially heading into a new age, with Apothecary (in the old Bradstreet space) and Constantine (opening soon in the Ivy Hotel) testing the waters of less speakeasy and more "futuristic," newly inventive cocktail styles.
The website declares: "We're changing up the programming a little, dropping the pretension that's become ingrained in the current cocktail scene. Inclusiveness, not exclusiveness, will prevail. Whatever your drink of choice, whether a classic Aviation, dirty vodka martini, craft brew or decadent wine, we'll get it to you quickly and promise it will be fantastic."
We will report back after doing some hard-hitting research to find out whether Bradstreet 2.0 is following suit, or if the barmen will be continuing the tradition of old-school drankin' in a new-school spot.
They're also promising a larger kitchen and a stronger focus on dining.
1930 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis bradstreetcraftshouse.com Open 3:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. daily, and down the line, weekend brunch
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