An upscale, videogame-themed Las Vegas nightclub is expanding to downtown Minneapolis.

Insert Coin(s) Videolounge GameBar has signed a lease for an 11,000-square-foot, two-level space at 315 First Ave., a Warehouse District space formerly occupied by Karma nightclub. It’s slated to open in early October, following a nearly $1 million renovation.

Insert Coin(s) will feature 45 refurbished classic arcade cabinets and 38 high-definition TVs hooked up to game consoles, ranging from the 1970s-era Atari to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. There will be a video DJ, two full bars, a dance floor, a stage for live musical performances and a VIP room with a private entrance.

The club will maintain videogame library with thousands of titles; its staff will be able to teach patrons how to play the games. It will have between 50 and 60 employees, including at least four who are transferring from the Las Vegas club.

The 21-plus club will be open daily until 3 a.m.

via Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Minneapolis skyline from inside the Metrodome

Photo by AboveTheNorm

What home looks like

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Photo by AboveTheNorm

Downtown Minneapolis’ Hennepin Avenue to get a makeover

Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis is home to pretty, bustling theaters — and unsightly parking lots and empty storefronts.

If a coalition of arts groups has its way, the entire 2 miles between the Walker Art Center and the Mississippi River will become a pedestrian-friendly cultural destination.Their plan, to be funded by a combination of public, nonprofit and business-community sources, emphasizes building on the avenue’s existing strengths.

Details were released Thursday, and the Minneapolis City Council is expected to approve the plan Friday. It includes making the avenue, as well as some parallel and intersecting streets, more appealing to young families and tourists. A new visitors’ hub would let pedestrians buy theater rush tickets, get directions or simply warm up. Other amenities would be more trees and grass, direct street-to-skyway connections, courtyards and flexible event spaces, small street-level shops and restaurants, and mixed-use residential and work lofts. The plan also identifies several spots in need of the most improvement, such as the neglected Gateway area near the river, space-wasting surface lots and the Interstate 94 overpass.

via StarTribune