New club promises class, cameras

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May 23, 2005 // UPDATED 1:54 pm - April 26, 2007
By: Jeremy Stratton
Jeremy Stratton

The list of Downtown nightclubs named after fluids continues to grow.

The owners of the latest - a 5,700-square-foot club at the corner of 5th Street & Hennepin Avenue South called "Liquid" - have high aspirations: commercial, office and residential development of the entire corner.

On May 10, the Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association (DMNA) recommended approval of the Level II Entertainment's Class B liquor license request for the second-floor club. Owners hope for a mid-June opening.

Level II's David Zins said he "got the subtle hissing and boos" from the DMNA board when he announced another nightclub/lounge, but he said they warmed to his idea upon hearing it.

Zins presented the club as "a low-volume, high-class establishment."

Zins said Level II would eventually like to own the entire corner - once home to the Sky Caf - possibly to develop condos and offices with a first-floor restaurant to complement Liquid.

Those plans are in the early stages. Zins said he and business partner Wayne Senior own real estate and title businesses and a sports bar in Monticello. Zins said he has partnerships to make the full development happen.

DMNA approval came with the stipulation that the proprietors participate in the monthly bar owners' meeting and an antipublic urination campaign.

DMNA Board President Kim Motes said she wanted to make sure the bar and theatre districts remain separate.

Although Zins pitches the nightclub and the long-range project as part of recent improvements to Downtown and the Theatre District in particular, the location is within a block of Drink and the 1st Avenue strip. Zins said he followed the fluid moniker trend "for instant name recognition."

Zins said his establishment would attract "higher-paying customers," but he declined to say how; he is not ready to reveal his business plan.

First Precinct Crime-Prevention Specialist Luther Krueger said that Sky Caf had been shut down repeatedly for staying open later than permitted. According to Zins, the space has been empty since Sky Caf closed in 2001.

The 21-and-over club would feature ID scanners and 25 digital cameras that customers could access on the web. Krueger called 25 cameras in a bar "beyond [the police's] wildest dreams.

"They seem to be real serious about running a tight ship," said Krueger, who attended the meeting.