Entourage Takes Over Fine Line, Insert Coins

The operator of the Aqua Nightclub & Lounge is adding to its portfolio of Minneapolis venues, with plans for additional expansion on the horizon.

Minneapolis-based Entourage Events Group is bullish on the Warehouse District in downtown Minneapolis.

Next week, the company—which has operated the Aqua Nightclub & Lounge in Minneapolis for more than seven years—will take over as the new owners of the Fine Line Music Café and as the new manager of Insert Coin(s), an arcade-themed club located across the street from the Fine Line.

Wendy Schallock, executive manager of sales and events for the Entourage Events Group, said that Fine Line fans shouldn’t fret about changes to the club, but said that they are looking to draw more corporate event business.

“Our intention is to continue operating the historic Fine Line Music Café in the same kind of manner as it has been for the last 25 years,” said Schallock. “Our focus is to revitalize that section of First Avenue and ramp up the corporate appeal of that venue as well.”

Entourage Events will begin managing Insert Coin(s), which is located at 315 First Avenue North, on Monday. Insert Coin(s) opened last fall as the second location of a concept that was launched in Las Vegas. It previously operated as a nightclub that was open to the public, but it will be converted into a private event space known as The Venue.

Entourage Events will complete its purchase of the Fine Line, which is located at 318 First Avenue North, next Tuesday. The Fine Line opened in 1987 under original owner Ruth Whitney. Current owner Dario Anselmo began operating the club in December 1993.

Anselmo, who declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, said that after nearly 20 years of owning the Fine Line, the timing was right for him to get out of the club business. He said that he’s confident that Entourage has a solid business plan for the Fine Line.

“The Warehouse District has had its challenges over the years,” Anselmo said, referring to the sometimes disruptive late-night crowds and the resulting media coverage.

But Anselmo, who co-founded the Warehouse District Business Association, said that he thinks the area is improving. Anselmo, a past president of the organization, said that he expects to stay involved with the business group.

Anselmo will also remain a landlord of the club; his DP Property Acquisition, LLC, owns the building that houses the Fine Line.

“It’s really more of a lease-type transaction,” Anselmo said of the deal structure.

Entourage Events, which is owned by brothers Steve and Jado Hark, also plans to open another new venue, the Minneapolis Event Center at St. Anthony Main, in early September.

“We’re continuing to build our portfolio of venues,” Schallock said.

The Fine Line’s online calendar shows that English singer-songwriter Jake Bugg is slated to play a sold-out show at the club on Monday, the final gig under the venue's current ownership.