Green Room, a new fully independent music venue in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis, is bringing more than just plants and a disco ball to Lake Street and Hennepin Avenue’s party hub intersection. Since Uptown Bar’s closure in 2009, one of the city’s most popular neighborhoods has lacked a proper live music venue for the past 14 years—aside from the casual dive bar rock band or speakeasy jazz performance.
Green Room’s glass doors officially opened last Saturday. With a lineup consisting of Gully Boys, Denim Matriarch, Fénix Dion, Scrunchies, and Colin Bracewell, the all-locals show illuminated the approximately 400-capacity venue’s goal of promoting Twin Cities-based musicians and their music. But, don’t worry, national bands will be making their way to Uptown’s newest music hub, too.
“It’s 70/30,” Tanner Montague, the visionary behind Green Room, said. “70-percent local, 30-percent bigger bands. We’re going to have everything.”
Montague, a local Twin Cities musician and marketing director for Keg and Case Market in St. Paul, has been the spearhead behind Green Room’s creation since the project began last June. Located where the 10,000-square-feet Uptown Pourhouse once stood, Montague fully reimagined, reinvented, and recreated the venue. The once bro-ish, flatscreen TV-filled bar now is home to a matured, cozy space equipped with two bars offering local brews on tap, glimmering chandeliers hanging from wooden-panel covered ceilings, and two sets of unisex, multi-stall bathrooms with original murals created and designed by Flavor World, the alias behind local artist and fashion designer Drew Kinkade.
Green Room’s plant-infused interior design and lavish multi-level seating and standing room offers a sense of elevated comfort and class that many music venues across the metro lack. Comparable to The Dakota’s sophisticated ambiance, Green Room’s nightclub atmosphere comes as no surprise when you find that the team behind Coup d’etat, the original tenants of 2923 Girard Ave. S., still hold the lease on the space and have been helping Montague along the way.
“I have never done anything like this before. I’ve been a musician my whole life, so I’ve been up on that stage, but I’ve never been behind the bar,” Montague said as we wandered around the venue amidst final construction renovations. “This might make me sound weird, but coming in, I knew I wasn’t going to force Green Room to be anything it didn’t want to be. I wanted everything to happen organically.”
Everything about Green Room—from the interior design choices and beers on tap to the musicians booked and and the employees hired—falls on Montague’s shoulders. The murals created specifically for Green Room’s restrooms? Their inspiration came from a small jazz club called The Hat Bar in St. Petersburg, Russia, where Montague was once spontaneously called on-stage to play. The green curtain draped behind the main stage? A direct style inspiration from jazz clubs and theaters that Montague has experienced throughout his career as a musician. His inspiration for Green Room stems directly from personal experiences he’s had at music venues around the world, and his management style will follow what he knows and has learned through his years of performing on stage.
“My personal belief is that if the band feels like rockstars, they’ll play a great show. If the bar is happy and paid well, they’ll treat you well. And then the audience, you don’t have to worry about them. They’ll just be having a great time.”