Keep It in the Vault
Head downstairs to find a secret venue inside the Hotel Minneapolis’ old money dispensary.
Time was, the palatial Hotel Minneapolis housed money, not overnight guests. Originally built as the home of the Security National Bank in 1906, the building was hailed as “adding much to the metropolitan appearance” of downtown by the Minneapolis Journal. Though it survived numerous name changes and mergers, the Midland Bank Building finally closed for business in 2006. Two years later, after a thorough makeover—rainfall showers in granite bathrooms, a leather-lined concierge lounge, and the clubby restaurant Max—the old Midland Bank in the heart of downtown reemerged as a 222-room hotel.
Much was changed, but one old detail remained. Rather than tear out the historic money dispensary, the new owner transformed the vault into a wine cellar and tasting room. Just beyond its permanently open steel door, you’ll now find a private dining room, a popular spot for grand dinners for 50 and intimate weddings for the Twin Cities’ social set, all orchestrated by the restaurant Max’s executive chef. The space is a well-known secret in town; securing a night there requires much advance planning.
Nostalgia may add to the esteem of the restaurant-within-a-restaurant. When the new owner decided to convert the building, he opted not only to keep the vault intact, but to honor his great grandmother and her four decades of service at the bank. Audrey Ziehwein dispensed cash to tellers from within the steel walls of the cell-like space. Her memory lives on through the many parties and elegant get-togethers held at the Audrey Vault. Shouldn’t all grandmothers be memorialized with such grandeur?
Creativity is just connecting things