A farm implement warehouse built in 1897 in Minneapolis’ North Loop may have seemed like an odd choice to rehabilitate into an upscale hotel. The warehouse, then called the Jackson Building, was empty for several years when Aparium Hotel Group LLC bought the property in September 2015. Although the Chicago-based company did a full rehabilitation of the building over a little more than two years, it sought to maintain the historic charm.
“They added a sixth floor, which most people know today as our Rooftop, which does have our sauna, outdoor spa pool, and interior and exterior Rooftop Lounge,” says Heidi Sohn, the Hewing’s director of sales. Aparium also created 124 guest rooms, Tullibee restaurant, and multiple meeting spaces. The Hewing Hotel opened in November 2017.
The hotel has four event spaces totaling 7,500 square feet, including two boardrooms that each fit 40 people, and the Andrews Ballroom, which can hold 176 seated and 250 reception style. Any space at the Hewing—Tullibee restaurant, the Rooftop Lounge, the Back Alley, and the Library—can be reserved for group events. It’s even possible to buy out the entire hotel.
Event attendees won’t go hungry. Tullibee restaurant’s Executive Chef Marque Collins prioritizes local ingredients in his culinary creations. Naomi Thompson, the Hewing’s director of lifestyle, calls attention to one specific delicacy: “[There is] a couple in Hugo, Minnesota, who grow these amazing pink oyster mushrooms. And we design dishes around these mushrooms.”
In fact, the Hewing has numerous Minnesota collaborators, including makers, creatives, designers, and artisans who, the Hewing Hotel staff believes, make the hotel and Minneapolis more dynamic places. These include Bolton Bees, makers of the hotel’s signature Tullibee Honey; Sensorius Co. and its fragrant soy wax candles; Stokeyard Outfitters, which offers sauna wellness programming; and Caulfield Clay Works, custom maker of Tullibee’s distinctive dinnerware.
But it’s in customizing events that the Hewing really goes above and beyond. “We transformed one of our event spaces into a clearing in the woods for an event called Into the Woods,” says Thompson, recalling a recent event. “We even hired a ‘creative botanist.’ She brought in a lot of plants and branches and made an actual clearing in the woods with vines and hanging twinkling lights. It looked like an enchanted forest, really. And the chef designed a five-course meal featuring foods you would eat if you were in a clearing in a Minnesota wood. We piped in the scent of the forest, and we had sound effects. Every time a new course was served, you’d hear a loon call,” Thompson continues. “We ended the evening with s’mores with handmade graham crackers and chocolate from Fergus Falls.”