By now you have probably heard the story of the Miller Textile Building. Located at 861 Hennepin in Northeast Minneapolis, this property was originally the headquarters of the Miller Bag company. For a hundred years the site was used to produce cloth bags for flour companies, farmers and other industries. After the structure was purchased and renovated by The Ackerberg Group in 2016, this property became a high-end office and retail establishment.
The transformation is truly remarkable. The renovation unified four different structures into one, so at times you pass through brick archways into new but cohesive spaces. Also the original floors had ceilings far too low for modern office space, so the entire third level was removed in order to increase the ceiling height from 8 to 19 feet.
After the Miller Textile’s rich history, who is using the property today? We took a few minutes to give you a sneak peek at some of the property’s new tenants.
Northland Visions is the go-to place for Native American gifts, clothing, jewelry, artwork and artifacts. And not the mass produced kind found at tourist shops either – everything here is handmade and finely crafted. They have a wonderful website where you can order items, but it’s worth stopping in to peruse the store in person. The stone walls, timber and rough edges add to the authenticity of the craft.
Besides gifts and art, they have a fine assortment of handpacked wild rice, sweets and other Native American food items.
Nash Frame Design is a custom frame shop with three metro locations. But what makes this frame shop unique is that it is also a local art gallery. The south wall features artwork by local artists that rotate every few weeks. The current show features art by Kerry Rowland-Avrech and the show runs through July 28th.
They also sell prints by local artists such as
The curator of the shop said he appreciated the Miller Textile Building for its creative use of space and its proximity to the Northeast Minneapolis art community.
Northeast loves its breweries and Headflyer makes a worthy addition. Everything about the space feels like a brewery – from the arched-brick entryways to the rugged floors. A huge glass wall lets you peer into the brewing area and fermentation tanks.
The tap room opens at 3pm. It’s an open concept with long wooden tables (very social!) and garage-style doors that open onto a raised terrace.
The terrace is the best part. As you enjoy your beer you can sit overlooking the traffic buzzing below on Hennepin. Occasionally a train will clamor by on a nearby bridge. All of these sights and sounds give this brewery a rugged, inner city atmosphere.
Five Watt Coffee is the tenant on the corner that faces the street. The shop is bright and well lit (very different from those dark, woody coffee shops of which we are all familiar.) It features huge, south facing windows that offer plenty of natural light — all very hip and urban.
Besides coffee they also sell beer, wine, cocktails and have pretty decent menu selection including reubens, hot dogs, panini sandwiches and more. The best part? Every Thursday night they host a live organist and drummer as part of Radio Five Watt, a local internet radio station.
Located in the basement of Miller Textile, Mission Manor is Northeast Minneapolis’ very own escape room. If you are unfamiliar with the escape room concept, players are locked in a room and asked to complete a series of puzzles, riddles and clues in order to escape before the time runs out. (This claustrophobic author thinks the concept sounds terrifying, but apparently it’s very fun and a great team-building exercise for parties and corporate events.)
Mission Manor features three story lines from which players can choose: Inheritance, Countdown and – the most challenging of all – Asylum. It can be assumed that the building’s 100-year-old architecture contributes to the spooky ambience. Check out their website to read more about the optional story lines:
Most of the walk-in retail locations were on the first floor, but there are a few other out-of-the-box spaces that are worth mentioning:
Stahl Construction in particular has an interesting space. This corporate office has a fishbowl conference room, kitchen with floor-to-ceiling windows and a mezzanine which -combined with the aforementioned removal of the third floor- gives the office extra space for casual meetings and hideaways. Remnants of the original brickwork pop in and out of view paying homage to its original owners.
“I have a passion for small businesses, and I am most excited by opportunities to help match visionary tenants and visionary landlords to create vibrant urban spaces.”