Icehouse opens on Eat Street (PHOTOS)

Categories: Venue Spotlight
Photo by Steve Cohen
Here, you can see the rugged majesty of the Icehouse's soon to be well-traveled steps to the upper level.
After a few events already this week to ease into full-fledged business, Eat Street eatery and music venue Icehouse is now officially open to the public. Last night's grand opening party featured a couple of Honeydogs' frontman Adam Levy's other associated projects, Liminal Phase and Hookers & Blow, but it would be fair to say that the luxurious wood on nearly every surface in the place is going to be a headlining feature of every evening in the space -- located on Nicollet Ave. between 25th and 26th Streets.

Photo by Steve Cohen
Adam Levy leads Hookers & Blow through one of the night's many upbeat soul statements.
A deli by day and a lounge by night, Icehouse is a gorgeous, large space with red brick walls, and reclaimed wood from floor to ceiling. The wood ceiling was a conscious choice to improve the room's sound quality, compared to the many ornate tin ceilings around town. And, it boasts an excellent full PA system. "I'm a lighting guy, so it will be full-on production," says co-owner Brian Lieback, a tech person renowned for his stage lighting, production and sound skills. "That's what I love about the room. It can be jazz, but it won't be so big and cavernous. It can also expand. We have the balcony so we can do a full-on show."
Photo by Steve Cohen
The extensive cocktail list includes several "shots" at $5 a pop.
Lieback and partner Matthew Bickford (owner/chef of Be'Wiched Deli) hired former Turf Club manager Dave Wiegardt to serve as Icehouse's bar manager and booker. In fact, Wiegardt confides that a lot of after-hour scheming for this venue occurred at the Turf.

"Our inspiration started in the [Turf Club's old basement bar] Clown Lounge, when Matthew and I would go and tie one on and really get into the music -- I think Dave only kicked me out once or twice," Lieback recalls with a laugh. "We'd be like, 'Wouldn't it be cool to do something in this vein, with Matthew's food?' I've always wanted to do a music venue, Matthew's always wanted to open a restaurant, so we combined our hopes and here we are."

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