Photo courtesy of Upstairs Circus Facebook page

Photo courtesy of Upstairs Circus Facebook page

Denver’s Upstairs Circus plans crafts bar downtown

Updated: January 11, 2017 - 2:22 pm

The concept combines an arts-and-crafts studio with a casual bar and eatery.

While Minneapolis bar patrons are used to craft beverages, Upstairs Circus is going a step further and offering guests another kind of craft, from assembling artsy accessories to DIY decor.

The Denver-based social bar concept is expanding into the Twin Cities with a location on the ground floor of The Washington, the redevelopment of the Sex World building at 2nd & Washington near the North Loop neighborhood.

Guests at Upstairs Circus create arts and crafts in groups at socials while enjoying beer, cocktails and snacks. Much like typical food and beverage menus, the bar has an arts-and-crafts menu of various projects, from a six-pack beer carrier and a leather dog collar to string art and bracelets, which guests order from. All the supplies and directions from staff creative assistants are included in $30-$40 project socials. The crafts, which the bar is tailoring to its new Minneapolis audience, take about one and three hours to complete.

For food, a spokeswoman told the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association that they plan to serve a variety of flatbreads and pizzas. Guests can also bring in their own food and snacks, though drinks aren’t allowed.

On the bar side, Upstairs Circus will serve a full bar with local beers, wine and spirits. The bar will have room for 90 people, though socials will have a max of about 50 or 60 people. Children and minors are allowed if a parent or guardian is present.

Upstairs Circus will move into the former Sinners Gentlemen’s Club space on Washington Avenue, though its space is located far back in the building and won’t have its own street frontage or sidewalk seating. It will have exterior signage, the spokeswoman said.

Upstairs Circus at 121 Washington Ave. N. is expected to open later this year. The bar is expected to be open 3 p.m.–10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 3 p.m.–11 p.m. or midnight on Friday, 11 a.m.­­–11 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m.–2 p.m. on Sunday. It will be closed Monday.

Minneapolis-based Falcon Ridge Partners has begun leasing space in The Washington, its renovation of the Sex World building and a neighboring building into creative office and commercial space. It recently welcomed online men’s clothing brand Bonobos.

The corner of 2nd & Washington has drawn increasing interest with Red Cow restaurateur Luke Shimp opening his next concept, Red Rabbit, across the street from The Washington. Restaurateur John Rimarcik is also looking to rehabilitate the historic building kitty-corner from The Washington into office and retail space.