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Drink up: Sphere to debut a skyway-level bar at Fifth Street Towers

A new bar in the skyway... but will it last?

A new bar in the skyway... but will it last? Hemisphere Restaurant Partners

Your after-work drinks are about to get a lift.

Nestled among the offices in the newly renovated Fifth Street Towers, Sphere Kitchen and Bar is bringing small plates and cocktails to the skyway sometime very soon -- “in the coming weeks,” according to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

The bar will pour locally sourced beer and liquor and have a “simple and approachable” wine list, according to its website, and you can expect to snack on local meats, veggies, and breads as well. Daytime grab-and-go options (kebabs, salads, sides) are also on the menu.

Sphere is the latest from Hemisphere Restaurant Partners, which is behind Mission American Kitchen and Bar and Atlas Grill in downtown Minneapolis and three Tavern Grill locations in the burbs. And Hemisphere is no stranger to the sky; the group operates the skyway-level Good to Go gourmet deli in U.S. Bank Plaza.

Still, as the Business Journal notes, skyway bars are something of a rarity, a fact echoed by board chair of the land use and transportation news site streets.mn Bill Lindeke. The self-proclaimed “sidewalk blogger” was quick to predict that Sphere would shutter within six months, telling City Pages that the skyways are “dead” once 5 p.m. rolls around and are often closed not long after that.

That’s why, while Hemisphere likely has high hopes for its latest project, he’s far from convinced the aerial establishment will work.

“Skyways pose a problem for businesses in downtown Minneapolis, because they have to choose between the all-day [or] evening street customers or the 9-to-5 office customers on the skyway,” he says. “Businesses that might rely on street-level activity almost never work up in the skyway, and vice versa. That lack of synergy is one big problem with downtown retail.”

But hey, with all those offices around, maybe they’re hoping to woo power-lunching, day-drinking neo-Mad Men types instead of the after-work crowd.

We’ve reached out to Hemisphere for more on the upcoming concept.

Sphere
100 S. Fifth St., Minneapolis
612-332-4200