The Fine Line Music Café at 318 1st Ave. N. is now owned by the Minneapolis Events Center — a new company recently formed by Jado and Steve Hark, the owners of Aqua Nightclub & Lounge.
Wendy Schallock, an executive with the company, said the plan is to keep things the same at the Fine Line and “embrace the live music scene.”
The club, which opened in 1987, has been owned by Dario Anselmo since 1993. He will remain the landlord of the Fine Line.
Anselmo said he's looking forward to his new role and is eager to spend more time working on improving the Warehouse District. He's the former president of the Warehouse District Business Association and still is part of the organization.
While the city's crackdown on nuisance nightclubs has helped reduce crime in the area, he said there is still room for improvement. "By night, it's more of a question mark," he said.
He'd also like to see a more diverse mix of businesses in the area, including more casual eateries and a new breakfast spot catering to nearby residents. He'd also like to see the city work with business owners to change the configuration of bike lanes on 1st Avenue, which he said have been confusing and burdensome for commuters and businesses in the area.
The Minneapolis Events Center has also acquired Insert Coin(s) at 315 1st Ave. N. That space will become an events center. More details on the company’s plans for that venue will be revealed soon, Schallock said.
The company is also hoping to revitalize that stretch of 1st Avenue, she said. It’s been an area prone to crime — particularly after bar close.
Joanne Kaufman, executive director of the Warehouse District Business Association, said she'd like to see the area revitalized.
"I’d love to see that stretch become more vibrant with less empty store fronts and Steve has some great plans to do that. We’re glad he’ll keep the Fine Line as live music venue in addition to being an event space," she said. "There’s so much going on in the North Loop of the Warehouse District and that stretch is an important link for all the residents in the North Loop, at 222, etc. that it’s important to have it activated so people feel safe visiting the businesses located there and elsewhere in the Warehouse District and using it as a route to access transit, Target Center and Target Field, and between parts of downtown."