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Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend a lunch meeting for work that was held at the Minneapolis Club.  When I moved to the city twelve years ago, the Minneapolis Club was one of the first buildings I encountered as I was walking through the downtown, and I was immediately struck by its sophisticated style and beauty.  While certainly not one of the largest buildings in the downtown, it is by far one of the most distinguished.

The Club, founded in 1883 by Minnesota business and civic leaders including John Pillsbury and Charles Loring (names still prominently associated with Minneapolis landmarks today), harkens back to that classic era of the private men’s clubs.  Over the past 130 years the Club would be housed at several sites, before coming to rest at its current downtown location, and has hosted numerous world leaders including several US Presidents, Nelson Mandela, and the Dalai Lama.

Since it is a private club, membership is by invitation only, and a visit to their website reminds us that they, in fact, seek out “A diverse membership with no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, religion, disability, age, marital status or national origin.”  This forward thinking is a standard that has come to symbolize Minneapolis, and that, combined with the Club’s care and concern with providing superior service, is what has placed it among the Five Star Platinum Clubs of the world - high praise that is well earned.

Since I suspect it is unlikely that I will be asked to join, I was honored to have the opportunity to step inside for my work event.  Unlike the stereotype of stuffy private clubs, the staff is amazingly friendly, helpful, and polite, and the Club provided a most gracious atmosphere.  Providing a contemporary environment while maintaining a traditional grounding is a difficult line to tow, but the Minneapolis Club seems to have perfected it to an art.

Lunch is served!

Though I consider myself fairly progressive and modern, I do have a somewhat traditional side to me that appreciates the importance of heritage and charm, and so I have always been drawn to the Minneapolis Club.  I’m please to say that my experience of them first hand did not tarnish my impression of them at all.  If anything my impression was enhanced, and I can truthfully say that I feel privileged and honored to have been hosted by such a fine institution.

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