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Sneak Peek Inside The New North Loop Music Venue, Berlin

Opening night is almost here for the cozy new music venue and cocktail lounge, Berlin, inside the historic building on North 1st Street that was last home to Askov Finlayson.

Starting Wednesday, February 7th, Berlin will offer music, food and cocktails six nights a week (Wednesday-Monday) starting at 4pm with seating for 85 (first come-first served) and no cover charge except for Fridays and Saturdays, at least at the outset.

“What’s most important to us in the beginning is just to get people in, to welcome them, to show them the space,” said communications director Kylie Purtell. “We want to offer access to music.”

Berlin will feature a wide variety of experimental music from jazz, ambient, and electronic programming while leaning on mostly instrumental music. The club will start featuring DJs as well, later in the month.

“We wanted to start being really live band-forward. And then we’re going to move into some DJ stuff as we get further along,” said music supervisor Alex Proctor. “We have a DJ night at the end of the month called ‘Call It Anything,’ and that’s James Taylor and Sam Cassidy. They play all vinyl jazz records, experimental records.”

Architect Aaron Wittkamper of Wittkamper Studio designed the interior space with careful attention to the historic features of the building, which dates back to 1888.

“We intentionally left the ceiling open and the brick exposed and some of these old rough heavy timber columns in place so that it feels like you’re in a classic old building even though there’s a lot of nice new finishes at the same time,” he said.

Berlin’s culinary director is Jamie Malone of Paris Dining Club, also in the North Loop. The general manager, Jenna Schmidt, comes from Demi. And the beverage program is being overseen by Ruby Langworthy, who was formerly at the Young Joni back bar and Little Tijuana.

Owner Rich Henriksen said, “Minneapolis has a rich musical history and culture, our aim is to make a meaningful contribution to the city and its artists. We created Berlin to be a cozy space designed for genuine connection, great conversation, as a way to immerse yourself in the energy of live music. We hope people will discover new artists experimenting with sound. It’s good for the soul to listen to live music together.”

By Mike Binkley, North Loop volunteer

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