See How The 400 Bar Is Changing For Its Move To MOA
The 400 Bar, an iconic indie-rock haunt formerly located in Minneapolis’ West Bank neighborhood, is set to re-open this summer and transform from a dimly lit, grungy music venue into a “family-friendly” restaurant/museum/concert hall “music complex” at the Mall of America
While the original 400 Bar—which closed in November 2012 after a 17-year run—was able to house about 400 people, the new space will occupy approximately 25,000 square feet and its concert hall alone will be able to accommodate up to 1,000 guests.
In addition to a music venue, the new space will feature an educational music museum that will showcase exhibits devoted to the history of popular music and its impact on society, dubbed the “Midwest Music Museum.” According to the Star Tribune, the museum will open with a Beatles exhibit organized by the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles.
Also, about 9,000 square feet of the total space will house a pub and restaurant, which will reportedly be run by the operators of Minneapolis’ Merlin’s Rest Pub.
The museum and the concert venue are expected to open in June with the restaurant opening a few months later in September.
“Our goal is to provide a unique music experience to everyone that visits,” Joe O’Brien, a 400 Bar business partner, said in a statement. “Tourists and locals alike will have the opportunity of experiencing educational programs and live entertainment in a fun, family friendly environment.”
The music complex will open on the mall’s fourth floor, where nearly all of the mall’s bars are housed. The concert hall will be flexible in size to accommodate intimate seated performances and standing-room-only events.
The original 400 Bar was known for hosting burgeoning musicians before they “hit it big,” such as Semisonic, Mason Jennings, The Shins, Conor Oberst, Arcade Fire, and The White Stripes.
The Star Tribune said some local musicians are skeptical about moving the renowned venue to the megamall.
“I see it as the equivalent of McDonald’s offering artisanal cheese,” Minneapolis rocker Adam Levy of the Honeydogs told the newspaper. “The Mall of America, and all its consumerism, and an iconic music venue with its history of independent music seems incongruous.”
The last regular live-music club to hold space at the Mall of America was the Gatlin Brothers music venue, which the Star Tribune said was one of the mall’s original tenants but closed after four years.