HSM Host recently opened Minnesota Wild Bar, its newest dining and drinking diversion for travelers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The restaurant, designed by Ideation Design Group (IDG), celebrates the state's love of hockey in general and its NHL team, the Minnesota Wild, in particular.
Sharing space with the adjacent MSP|MKT to-go/market-oriented concept, Minnesota Wild Bar comprises roughly 3,500 square feet in Terminal 2 and offers a full-service bar and restaurant experience.
"HMS Host wanted a sports bar/restaurant theme that would be unique for the Minneapolis area," says Carl Schaffer, principal at IDG. "Hockey was the perfect fit. One of Minnesota's nicknames is the State of Hockey, so we had a little fun and capitalized on that in the design."
Hockey pucks were used to create a roughly 12-foot by 9-foot "map" of the state that's positioned as a dividing wall between the Minnesota Wild Bar and MSP|MKT spaces. A large arcade-style bubble hockey game, offered for free use by guests, stands near the entrance and a mix of flat-screen TVs, murals of the Minnesota Wild's stadium, team photos, jerseys and other memorabilia, and a collection of hockey masks displayed in acrylic cylinders combine to create a family-friendly, hockey-centric vibe.
A large island bar, the centerpiece of the space, is clad in a collage of more than 1,500 hockey sticks. "The Minnesota Wild teamed up with a local business and held a drive to collect them from fans," Schaffer says. "In Minnesota, almost every garage has at least a half-dozen old or broken hockey sticks lying around – all of the kids play. We were thinking about finishes for the bar and thought this would be a fun solution."
IDG incorporated the team colors of yellow and green against neutral shades of grey and brown throughout the space. Accents of stacked stone and bronzed steel give the venue a rustic and slightly masculine feel to the 200-seat operation.