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Billy’s New Speakeasy Is Almost Ready–And It’s BAD

The owner of Billy Sushi is just about ready to open his much-anticipated “elevated speakeasy,” Billy After Dark (B.A.D). But even if you know where to find it, you shouldn’t expect to just walk up and get through the door in the next month or so.

“We do not do any grand opening, we do not do any of that soft opening,” said Billy Tserenbat. “I know it’s going to be a pretty hot place. We’re just taking our time to execute it right.”

The key to getting in, Billy says, is to explore B.A.D’s website or get an invitation from one of the bartenders at Billy Sushi. “Hang out with the bartenders, get to know them and those bartenders will get you access to Billy After Dark,” he said. “It’s kind of a speakeasy way of doing it.”

The new place is both stylish and comfortable with plenty of Instagrammable opportunities throughout. The room’s historic stone walls are lined with faux birch trees. And the ceiling sparkles like a Minnesota night sky with an occasional shooting star streaking across it.

The cushioned seats are equipped with new technology that’ll have guests feeling the pulsating beat of the music beneath them even though the volume in the bar will stay relatively low. “So your entire body feels it,” Billy said. “Then instead of screaming over loud music, you can actually talk nicely.”

“We want to do that unique touch, not owned by giant corporate,” Billy said. “Just owned by local guy some say is crazy insane, right?” Billy didn’t hire an interior designer to come up with this concept. It’s all inspired by his own visits to night spots around the world.

Beverage Director Stephen Larson will be in charge of running BAD.

There won’t be any food service at the outset. But once the cocktail program is established, BAD will start offering desserts. And eventually, Billy is thinking about “the best experience of steak and seafood.”

Just like his acclaimed restaurant that’s drawn pro athletes and celebrities from Beyoncé and Jay-Z to Kanye West and Post Malone, he wants to create more buzz for Minneapolis and the North Loop in particular.

“Minneapolis and North Loop is pretty dope,” he said. “And all these people in North Loop they work with everyone around the world, and it’s a super impactful community. When they bring their clients back here in North Loop they have some super cool place to go and then they can say ‘you know what? Minneapolis is pretty dope,’ right?”

Billy says it will probably be “one Saturday in October” when he’s ready to start letting people in. He’s just not saying which one yet. The bartenders will know.

By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer

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