Block E is looking a little sassy now that The Mayo has taken down the scaffolding and Loews has revamped their entryway and lobby. Let's go raise a glass, I have just the place: Apothecary.
The space that was formerly Bradstreet Craftshouse is now Apothecary, but it's way more than a name change. The Loews Minneapolis has cracked itself wide open with more windows, less forboding fortress walls, and more of the pretty that will hopefully bring back the cocktail set.
When you walk into the lobby, you're immmediately in the opening of the Apothecary space with its field and water themes waving throughout (but not in that literal pictures-of-wheat way that we're all bored with). There are cool blues and river stone tones woven throughout the modern fixtures. It feels nice. There is a huge wall of TVs, however you feel about that. Proceeding to the back you'll find a chef's table in front of the now-closed kitchen. The back room, which used to be dark and closed off with a lot of awkward red modular seating (that somehow always had me waiting for David Bowman to float through the room), is now an open mezzanine level with elegant couches, giant blue high-back chairs, an additional communal table, and fireplace seating. It's slick. The Ladies League could hang.
Also new is everying food and drink. They're still all about the craft cocktail, but it's more about classic renditions, local spirits and craft beer. There's a serious allegience to that enduring cocktail, the Old Fashioned. In fact, each table sports a clipboard prescription pad where you have the option to build your own Old Fashioned by choosing combinations of spirits, mixing liquors, bitters and syrups. I built one with Bulleit Bourbon, maple syrup, orange bitters and a rinse of Malort (for when you need to unfriend someone in person). I'm apparently really talented, because it was great.
The menu is smartly snacky and aimed at drinkers. Chef Tim Fischer is all jazzed about the meat curing program he's launched since taking over the hotel's kitchen, and the meat/cheese board is a central piece. There are also fun things like an Au Bon Canard foie gras hot dog, $6 sliders with local lamb and bison, plus tuna poke, calamari, a flat bread here, a seasonally changing risotto there (now with fiddleheads, scapes, and pickled ramps) and the like. It's not a huge menu, and it's clearly aimed at lighter dining and nibbling, but it seems to hit all the needed notes. Pastry chef Stephanie Schwandt has come up with some winning small bits such as a simple and beautiful affogato that is the perfect size.
This could be your pre-or-post event hang, or even your comfy day drinking spot since the space opens for business at 11am. Get at it.