Former Slave Raider guitarist opens Studio 2, a new Minneapolis coffee and wine bar

Former Slave Raider guitarist opens Studio 2, a new Minneapolis coffee and wine bar
Emily Eveland

A lot has changed for David Hussman since 1985. For starters, he got a haircut.

From 1985 until 1990, Hussman was known as Nicci Wikkid, the guitarist of Minneapolis-based hair metal band Slave Raider. Now, he's the owner of a brand new coffee and wine bar in south Minneapolis.

See also: Sex, Drugs, & Awesome Hair

"One year, I won City Pages' write-in vote for Best Hair," he says. "I was sponsored by Aveda. [They] wrapped my hair in tongue depressors so that it hung in squares, like cockroach legs or something. I'm pretty sure our fans just stuffed the box."

Slave Raider were dropped by their record label after the release of their third album and the band dissolved soon after. But Hussman's creative spark never died. He went on to form DevJam, a software development and coaching company located in the building that once housed Java Jack's. (Fun fact: all of DevJam's walls also function as dry erase boards.)

Former Slave Raider guitarist opens Studio 2, a new Minneapolis coffee and wine bar

Last weekend, Hussman and his wife, Andie Thomas, opened Studio 2, a new coffee and wine bar located on the ground level of the DevJam building.

Hussman crowd-sourced ideas for the name of the shop, finally settling on the name of the London studio where the Beatles recorded the majority of their songs. The idea came from a photo of Hussman's friend.

"The picture is of him sitting cross-legged on the main room at Studio 2 wearing a Twins shirt," he explains.

Former Slave Raider guitarist opens Studio 2, a new Minneapolis coffee and wine bar

Studio 2 centers on a long coffee and wine bar running parallel to a row of windows that open toward the street. Three art galleries are positioned in separate parts of the space, including two in each corner of the shop and one in the stairwell leading to the upstairs offices and the large basement space below. One of the galleries currently located in a nook on the side of the shop features paintings of various local alleyways. Hussman plans to offer limited quantities of whichever beer or wine the artists feel would pair best with their work.

Studio 2's basement
Studio 2's basement

Hussman showed us around the basement, which he hopes to convert into a speakeasy, with live music, beer, and the occasional robot war. A room to the side of the basement space contains a single old-fashioned pinball machine and wall hangings from the defunct Java Jack's. Though no official plans have been made for the room, Hussman hopes to someday convert it into an arcade or pottery studio.

Sparrow Cafe's blueberry-lime muffin
Sparrow Cafe's blueberry-lime muffin

Studio 2 is also home to a large communal kitchen run by Thomas. Current tenants include a food truck, local food basket makers, and Sparrow Cafe, a local shop that will be providing assorted pastries, like blueberry-lime muffins. Sonny's Ice Cream from Crema Cafe, where Hussman and Thomas went on their first date, will also be available.

Former Slave Raider guitarist opens Studio 2, a new Minneapolis coffee and wine bar

Since Thomas was one of the first-ever servers at Broders' Pasta Bar, she was able to recruit former chef Michael Rostance to assist with recipe development for Studio 2. During our visit, Rostance showed new baristas how to use the store's new waffle maker for Saturday morning banana and strawberry waffles.

"We brought our daughters here when they were kids and there was this kind of crappy waffle maker that always looked like someone would get electrocuted," Hussman says.

The sausage plate
The sausage plate

Studio 2's breakfast items include toast and jam, oatmeal with fruit, and Greek yogurt with granola, in addition to Sparrow Cafe pastries and daily specials. Studio 2 also offers "little nibblers" like PB&J, Nutella and banana sandwiches, and a hummus plate. For lunch, customers can choose from more substantial items like sandwiches, soups, and salad, or opt to pair wine with Studio 2's cheese board, sausage board, or marinated olives.

"We don't want it to be a restaurant. We want it to be a kind of simple coffee shop and wine bar with food. It's counter service -- super mellow," Hussman says. "We're not a restaurant, but that doesn't mean we have to have crappy food."

The cafe serves Peace Coffee, which can be prepared in a number of ways, including brewed coffee, Chemex coffee, pour over, French press, and iced coffee.

Being creative types, Hussman and Thomas envision Studio 2 as a space catering to other creative types, who can spend the day working on projects without feeling self-conscious about loitering.

"I don't really care if a programmer wants to have a cup of coffee and sit for five hours," Hussman says. "Feel guilt-free."

Studio 2 is open every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturday, September 13, they'll host their grand opening with coffee, food, free ice cream, happy hour, and more.

Studio 2 818 W. 46th St., Minneapolis 612-444-3460

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