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Coming soon: A Jack Link's hangout spot next to the Orphem Theatre

How Jack Link's and the Orpheum Theatre's owners partnered up.

Beef jerky and Broadway.

Not a combo you'd expect together, but one that's coming to downtown Minneapolis' theater district in the near future.

A new hang-out spot will be opening next to the historic Orpheum Theatre, as a partnership between the Hennepin Theatre Trust and Jack Link's.

The space at 900 Hennepin Ave. – now owned by the Trust, but formerly known as the Solera building – will be an "entertainment lounge" for theatergoers to meet up both before and after a show, organizers said in an announcement about the new partnership.

There will be food, of course. Specifically lighter refreshments and snacks, but featuring "Jack Link’s inspired food and drink menu items to enhance the theatre-going experience."

Jack Link's will have the naming and build-out rights to the space, which will take up a portion of the first floor. (The Theatre Trust has its offices in the building now.) 

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One writer's trip to the dehydrated meat nirvana that is Jack Link's Wild Side

The Jack Link's lounge is set to open in late 2018, according to the announcement.

Why partner up?

For Hennepin Theatre Trust – which says it brings in 600,000 visitors a year to shows at places such as the Orpheum, Pantages and State theaters – it's a chance to keep people involved for longer.

Instead of going to a bar or restaurant after a show, people can jump right next door to hang out for a bit, and stay within the nonprofit's orbit.

Mark Nerenhausen, president and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust, said the partnership lets them continue their mission of "creating positive change through the arts," and allows them "to engage ... guests directly in a new and personal way.”

For Jack Link's, it's the company's latest move to break out of its plastic wrap and expand beyond the checkout line.

Jack Link's is moving to a new, 77,000-square-foot office in the high-profile Mayo Clinic Square building, with space for about 300 employees. 

The jerky maker also debuted a store at Target Center this fall, and plans to eventually roll out a full-service restaurant and bar

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