No polka, but there's still piano: 'New Nye's' opens on Hennepin Ave. next week

Architect renderings show a very different look at "New Nye's."

Architect renderings show a very different look at "New Nye's." DLR Group

Okay, so we didn't quite get the Christmas gift we were promised.

But hey, construction is tricky, this winter's already been a bear, and mama always told us good things come to those who wait: Nye's Piano Bar officially opens January 11 at 4 p.m.

As reported in November, this won't be the polka and pierogi Polonaise Room you bid farewell to in 2016, which has some Nye's fans more than a little skeptical about version 2.0. There's no food, for one, and no polka band, and there's nary a stitch of Naugahyde in sight. Instead, you'll find golden booths, marble tabletops, and a sparkling glass bar, plus a new, 8- to 10-person enclosure by the grand piano backed by an elegant, tufted red wall.

“What we wanted to do is put to rest the old Nye’s, and start a new history, with new Nye’s," co-owner Rob Jacob said in November

Still, there are winking little remembrances here and there. “If you’ve never walked into Nye’s, you can still see what it was before," Jacob told us Friday. The old lights have been preserved, and the iconic neon sign is still there -- it just hangs inside now. The exposed brick is that of the original building, and the mirrored back bar surface reflects the former front facade of Nye’s. 

Then, there's the wall art adorning that brick, painted by Minneapolis' Burlesque of North America, depicting portraits of Nye's icons of yore: longtime accordion queen Ruth Adams and, of course, Al Nye himself. And those aren't the only familiar faces you'll see. John Eller and Diana de Prez -- the same musicians who played Nye's out after its 66-year run -- will both return to the smaller stage at "New Nye's." (Jacob says they're sticking to piano at first, with one- to three-piece bands filling out the calendar moving forward.)

DLR Group

DLR Group

On the drink side, you'll find classic cocktails and craft offerings curated by Northeast’s Tattersall Distilling, along with beer and more than 30 wine and champagne varietals available by the glass.

It's open seven days a week: Monday to Thursday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fridays 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from 11 to 1 a.m. (Happy Hour: Monday through Friday from 4 to 6 and weekends from 11 to 5.)

Nye's Piano Bar
112 E. Hennepin Ave., Suite 101, Minneapolis