The North Loop’s Hewing Hotel is officially open as of Nov. 17, 2016, occupying the historic Jackson Building. The 124-room luxury lifestyle hotel, an Aparium Hotel Group property, is unmistakably all-Minnesotan. There’s a lot of buzz going on around the hotel, the first in the neighborhood, but here are the must-knows you may not know yet:
The History: The building was erected in 1897 during the lumber mill boom as a farm implementation showroom and warehouse. “It was built with logs that really did come right off of the Mississippi River … and you can see a lot of the brick and original timber throughout the building,” explains Jenai Sele, director of sales for the hotel. In fact, the old flooring was used to make the tabletops in the bar. The main level used to be the showcase for farm equipment—“which is why we have such great large windows at the front of the building,” says Sele.
The Restaurant: James Beard-nominated Chef Grae Nonas is heading Tullibee and focusing on hyper-local sourcing—partnering with regional farmers and freshwater fisherman—to create sharable fish and meat dishes reflecting Minnesota’s roots, as well as his own. “I’ve always considered myself to be a Viking,” says Nonas. “My family has Norwegian roots, and I feel right at home.” Foraging, butchery and fermentation may be the norm these days, but they’re also old Nordic traditions. There’s a butcher room in the basement as well as an on-site butcher. Additionally, Chef Nonas will be in charge of the banquet menus.
The Rooftop: The hotel’s sixth floor boasts not only a sweeping view of the North Loop, but also a “spa-pool” which will operate as a pool in summer and, because it’s small, be transformed into a hot tub during the winter months; the 20-person cedar-wood sauna is available every season. While the spa-pool and sauna are only available to hotel guests (and soon to members of the Rooftop Social Club), the rooftop bar and cocktail lounge is open to the public.
The Local Touches: Aparium looked to local vendors to put on display in the “Minnesota-modern” Hewing. Spyhouse Coffee is the only coffee available, and all the rooms have custom-made Faribault Woolen Mills throws. The minibar is stocked with Thumbs Cookies (an exclusive flavor just for the Hewing), B.T. McElrath chocolates and Spruce Soda, among other treats. Tattersall Distilling and Far North Spirits stock the bar, Blu Dot furnished the majority of the guest rooms and Foci - Minnesota Center for Glass Arts created the hand-blown glass installation in the atrium. The eye-catching and kitschy yet trendy wallpaper was custom designed by the Minneapolis-based Elness Swenson Graham Architects (ESG), helping the Hewing achieve that Up North feel while being in the city. “It’s an upscale log cabin,” says Sele. “We definitely want people to feel comfortable in the space.”
The Meeting/Event Space: The Andrews Ballroom is about 3,000 square feet and sets up to 176 people in rounds or 225 standing. “I think our sweet spot will be about 150 for any sort of event that’s got A/V or dance floor,” says Sele. The Commissioner Boardroom seats 16 and comes equipped with a flat screen TV. Both are located on the main floor and benefit from the large windows that allow for natural light. A smaller board room on the second floor seats about 10 people.
Tullibee has two options for private dining. The large room at the back of the restaurant seats up to 36 and is accessed through an old vault that is now a wine cellar. A smaller, more intimate private dining room seats up to 10 and is accessed through the kitchen and has windows looking out into the lobby. “That will our chef’s table private dining room,” says Sele. “We’ll be able to do some cool curated menus back there.”