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May 2, 2005 // UPDATED 1:54 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Jeremy Stratton
Jeremy Stratton

Warehouse District

By the end of May, Tonic of Uptown will become Tonic of Downtown at 323 1st Ave. N., formerly Tabu and South Beach nightclubs.

The 6,000-square-foot, three-story nightclub will feature a lounge and dance floors and an outdoor patio where customers can smoke and order from a regular or "midnight" menu.

Tonic General Manager David Soos told North Loop Neighborhood Association board members April 27 that the new nightclub would not tolerate the type of problems that Tabu experienced before it closed, such as fighting and the servingof minors.

"[Tonic has] a squeaky clean record with the police, in terms of police calls, fights, and serving of minors," Soos told the board.

Sgt. Travis Glampe of police licensing confirmed that his division had not had problems with the Uptown nightclub.

"Serving minors, overserving; we don't believe in that," Soos said. "We want to keep the same reputation we have Uptown."

Tonic's reputation was not always good with its former neighbors, who complained about customers harassing people and urinating in public.

The city cracked down on the club when it didn't meet the license requirement that 60 percent of revenue come from food sales.

That zoning requirement will not apply Downtown.

Soos acknowledged Tonic's difficulties but said he has "zero tolerance" for problems such as overserving. "We cut them off immediately, offer can rides," Soos said.

The midnight menu can also help those "who might find themselves overserved," he told the neighborhood board.

Soos said Tonic intends to provide a safe, fun atmosphere. "We want to be good neighbors,"he said.

Hennepin Avenue

After a favorable late-season response last year, Solera, 900 Hennepin Ave. S., will again offer nightly movies and music during the summer on its outdoor rooftop. Patrons can enjoy movies on Sunday and Monday nights beginning in May "until it's too cold to be outside," said Managing Partner Josh Thoma.

A cinematically appropriate drink special will complement each film; Greyhounds for "Best in Show" and White Russians for "The Big Lebowski," for example.

Tuesday through Saturday nights will feature music under the summer stars, from acoustic live performances on Tuesdays to DJs spinning house, dance, jazz and other types of music through Saturday.

Thoma said the staff collaborates to pick films, making for a good mix, from independents to comedies and "chick flicks."

The 1,500-square-foot rooftop has seating for 70 and a standing-room capacity of 200, Thoma said. Movie night drew about 50 people on average last year.

May film titles are as follows:

May 2: "Rushmore"
May 8: "Oceans 11"
May 9" "Oceans 12"
May 15: "Bridget Jones' Diary"
May 16: "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason"
May 22: "Airplane"
May 23: "Blazing Saddles"
May 29: "Fargo"

Warehouse District

The Refuge, 430 1st Ave. N., kicked off its new live music series in April with local band Wain McFarland and Leap 27.

Manager Ari Mlnarik said the bar has improved its sound and light system and has begun booking bands. The inaugural show was a "great time with a great turnout," Mlnarik said, and the bar will host live music or DJs on Wednesday or even several nights a week, possibly Sunday and Monday, as well.

The style of music will vary, Mlnarik said. The fare will focus on "rock and roll cover bands," but any local band is encouraged to drop off demo tapes. Some bands might warrant a cover charge, but fees will vary depending on the artist.

Mlnarik said that music was added to draw customers on the slower weeknights and to offer more variety of music to the Downtown bar scene, rather than because of business lost to the smoking ban.