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New bar to attempt the 'impossible' – by opening in the Minneapolis skyway

Here's why it might be a huge gamble.

A new bar coming to downtown Minneapolis is raising quite a few eyebrows – largely because of its bold choice of location. 

Called Sphere Kitchen + Bar, it'll be on the second floor of the 5th Street Towers, the dual-skyscraper complex at the corner of 5th Street (naturally) and Marquette Avenue. 

The spot seems aimed at working professionals with 9-5 jobs, with the website saying they'll have "daytime grab and go" food options, along with locally sourced beer and cocktails, and a "simple and approachable" wine list.

But as some have observed, the venture could be a huge gamble, considering the weird nature of the Minneapolis skyways. 

The Business Journal calls the idea of skyway bar a "rarity," while local blogger Bill Lindeke tells City Pages “businesses that might rely on street-level activity almost never work up in the skyway, and vice versa."

In fact, Lindeke boldly predicted in a tweet that the bar may not even last six months, adding: "Impossible to have a bar in the skyway." 

As to the why, he points out the second-story network of shops and businesses is "closed/empty after 7," with a big chunk of the potential customers stuck on the street and "unable to see the place."

Nonetheless, it's full speed ahead for Sphere, which is a venture of Hemisphere Restaurant Partners (known for spots like Tavern Grill and Mission American Kitchen). 

There's no firm opening date yet, but the bar tells GoMN they're waiting for the renovation of the 5th Street Towers to wrap up, and for final inspections to proceed. 

"Construction is about a week or so out," an employee said in a Facebook message. "And once we get the keys we will just need time to train."

So the answer seems to be "soon," and as the Star Tribune notes, the towers had a grand opening to celebrate the end of the renovation on Tuesday. 

Sphere is taking applications now.

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