By Rebecca Marx
Photo Credit Tony Nelson
In an era where more music venues are lost each year than we can hope to gain (dozens in Manhattan and London alone), there is good news to share. South Minneapolis will gain a new venue this May. The Warming House will not replace the venerated Nye’s Polonaise Room or Patrick’s Cabaret (which will close May 31st-a new space is pending), but it will provide a unique listening room style venue for the Twin Cities.
The Listening room aesthetic is one found across the United States, but absent in the Twin Cities. Well known examples are The Living Room in Brooklyn N.Y and the Bluebird Café in Nashville TN. The ideology of a listening room is to provide a pure space to experience music up close and personal, unpolluted by the competitive din of diners, bar patrons and staff.
Indeed, the owners of The Warming House, musicians Brianna Lane and John Louis and Greg Neis-owner/proprietor of the adjoining Farmstead Bike Shop are dedicated to: “presenting acoustic music in a quiet, respectful, intimate listening room environment.”
All that in a non profit 501 C3 that offers a $150 membership that entitles its members to special discounts, private meet and greets and presale opportunities.
When I asked Brianna lane just how the name of the Warming House was settled on, she told me this: “Naming a business or a band is always tricky. My family was on the road in Colorado when I saw a sign for a warming house and I thought-that’s perfect…The Warming House. The name sums up the feel that we’re going for. The shows at our place will feel like house concerts…warm, cozy and intimate.”
After speaking with owners Brianna Lane and Greg Neis, and enjoying a preview tour of the Warming House, I have no doubt that the venue will fill a musical niche in a meaningful way, one that those dedicated to live music in the Twin Cities will quite enjoy.