In the Twin Cities, Minneapolis has reined supreme with concert venues and St Paul has had a lockdown on going to bed at a reasonable hour. The Amsterdam Bar and Hall on 6th and Wabasha aims to change that by bringing the successes of the 331 and what was good about the 501 across the river.
I live in St Paul, and commute to Minneapolis a few times a week to see shows. I do a little cheer when someone is playing at the Turf Club in my fare city, but that doesn’t happen as much as I hope it would. The Amsterdam Bar and Hall is a new music venue that just had a “soft opening” on September 1st in the heart of St Paul.
First thing I noticed when walked in was the chalk board over the bar. This is standard issue at the 331 and made me feel right at home. Another welcomed addition was former Turf Club manager Dave Wiegardt spotted behind one of the bars! The floor is bare concrete, the walls to the street are large windows, and the ceiling is a bare scaffolding covered in charcoal gray paint. I did not notice too much in the way of sound absorbing materials in the establishment, but being that it is still under construction and it is their third music venue, I have faith that it will be outfitted properly.
The stage for the night was a small one with track lighting, but at the far end of the Amsterdam Bar was a guestimated 33′ wide monster of a stage that was still being constructed.
There will be a divider wall between the large stage area and the small stage area once everything is completed. This will allow people to converse, enjoy the venue while keeping most of the music where people want to be to enjoy it: by the stage.
Mayor Chris Coleman even made it out for the opening night to celebrate his 50th Birthday! I have high hopes for this venue, and with the Eclipse Records going in next door, it is a huge step in the right direction for St Paul’s Downtown area.
With a tasty German brew in hand, I took in some loud rockin sets by local band BNLX and Red Pens: