When downtown St. Paul’s new 71-room boutique hotel at Exchange and Cedar Streets opens at the end of the month, it will include a bar component.
Celeste St. Paul Hotel + Bar, slated to roll out at 4 p.m. Oct. 30, will feature a bar serving things such as signature cocktails and prosecco on tap. A serious gin program might also be part of the lineup.
The team includes veterans of the Twin Cities restaurant and bar scene. Laura Needham, who has had culinary roles at The Bachelor Farmer and Loews Minneapolis Hotel, will be the assistant general manager. She’s also relaunched two vintage supper clubs in the Walker/Hackensack area as executive chef/owner. Needham was previously the general manager and wine director at Lost Lake Lodge in Nisswa, where she earned the Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” for the resort’s restaurant in 2012, 2013 and 2014.
As far as food, expect light bar fare and snacks. A continental breakfast will be available to overnight guests. For special and private events, hotel owners Rebound Hospitality will partner with local caterers and chefs. In addition, there are plans to host events such as wine and liquor tastings and pop-ups.
The hotel and bar, on the same block as the Fitzgerald Theater and near the Capitol, was formerly St. Agatha’s Conservatory of Music & Arts property and pays homage to the historical site and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet who lived and worked on the grounds. The hotel is even named after the convent’s first Mother Superior, Ellen Howard, or Mother Celestine.
The bar will be in one of the former parlors and will include a curtained-off section in the back that’s been unofficially christened the “Group Confessional.”
The Beaux-Arts-style building, listed on the National Registration of Historic Spaces, was built between 1908 and 1910 and served as St. Agatha’s Conservatory of Music and Arts and the convent for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet St. Paul Province, who ran the school until 1962, when it closed. The convent and conservatory buildings have seen several uses since. In more recent years, the space has been the McNally Smith College of Music, and in even more recent months, a law firm.