With everything from fine dining to party bars already under their belts, the boys at Jester Concepts are jumping into the club world. Jacob "JT" Toledo and Brent Frederick of Borough/Parlour, Coup d'etat, the upcoming Monello/Constantine and others, have partnered with nightclub vet Deepak Nath for a new club and lounge in the basement of the Lumber Exchange building in downtown Minneapolis.
"Brent and I always wanted to be the Frank Lloyd Wright of Minneapolis nightlife," Toledo said after touring the space formerly home to Element, Foundation and, most recently, Club New York. "We want to do something different."
Demolition started last month on the dual-concept (something Toledo and Frederick are versed in) club dubbed the Exchange and Alibi Lounge. The 10,000-square-foot space is beneath the Pourhouse, in which Nath and the Jester duo are partners. They're billing the new project, which also counts landlord Ken Sherman as a co-owner, as a place for revelers to go after graduating from the Pourhouse's party-bar scene.
"We're not trying to eat our own lunch," Nath said.
The space will be divided into two parts, the smaller Alibi Lounge described as Parlour-meets-Oceanaire and full-on nightclub the Exchange. Coup d'etat vet Tomas Iniguez will helm the bar program at martini-centric Alibi, which will also feature an oyster bar and small food menu. Gregarious industry vet Ben Quam is the general manager.
Alibi takes its name from fabled Minneapolis gangster Kid Cann, who frequented a barbershop in the building and famously used it as an alibi when accused of murdering Minneapolis Star editor Walter Liggett in 1935.
Both sides will have DJ booths and Toledo hopes a state of the art sound system will help the Exchange attract reputable touring DJs. While Alibi will likely be open most nights, the Exchange will keep Wednesday through Saturday hours.
The building's stone walls are being incorporated into the design, as are white marble tile floors from its days as a Turkish bathhouse. An old-timey safe will serve as a liquor locker for bottle-purchasing guests and Toledo's promising "lavish" female restrooms with floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
Look for a mid-late June opening.