Photo by Eric Best

Photo by Eric Best

Global flavors, music take center stage at Hennepin Steam Room

Updated: February 7, 2017 - 1:13 pm

The North Loop restaurant puts food at the forefront of the former Tangiers space.

Ivy and Ben Taheri are preparing to open Hennepin Steam Room, a North Loop concept where global flavors, late-night dining and music will take center stage.

The two are taking a second shot at the historic space — once one of the city’s first laundromats — after closing the Tangiers nightclub last fall after three years in business.

HSR.SmallforWebThey have brought on Jesse Spitzack to lead the restaurant’s kitchen. The Owatonna native, who moved back to Minneapolis last fall after traveling for several years, was a chef de cuisine at the original Bradstreet Crafthouse at the former Graves 601 Hotel and a cook under Alex Roberts at Restaurant Alma. He’s also cooked in kitchens across France, Japan and the Caribbean, globetrotting that will inform the menu at Hennepin Steam Room. An early draft of the menu includes lamb shank, beef dumpling soup, tamales and a house burger.

“I have a lot of ideas in my head. It’s just a big mix of everything,” he said. “To use ingredients that nourish people is really important to me.”

The restaurant will have bar and lounge space in the front and traditional seating in the back. The new concept will keep a piece of the Tangiers in the form of music. In a corner of the dining room there will be a small stage that will host live jazz and blues at least every Wednesday night from 6 p.m.-10 p.m.

“A lot of places are a concert place or a club or a restaurant, and we’re just thinking: Why can’t you hybrid it? Why can’t you come in here on a Wednesday night, listen to some jazz and have some amazing food? That’s your night. You don’t have to hop to three different venues,” said Ivy, who last year opened Stem Wine Bar & Eatery.

Hennepin Steam Room, located at 116 1st Ave. N., will offer an after-work happy hour and a late-night happy hour. It’s expected to open in mid-February.