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Classic urinals stay as Stasiu's becomes Stanley's in NE Minneapolis

The name isn't the only thing to be repurposed at the former Stasiu's bar in Northeast Minneapolis, which this week reopens as Stanley's--the English version of the original Polish name.

The bar's handsome radiators have been refurbished and repainted for new life as bases to high tables where customers' legs will dangle, says general manager Carol Hawley.

Then there are the urinals. The handsome relics reach from the floor to nearly chest height, their undulating porcelain forms harkening back to Victorian times. (Indeed, they're said to have been salvaged from Minneapolis' famed West Hotel.) Their purpose remains the same.

Those and the walls are about all of the physical Stasiu's that persists at Stanley's. Gone is the half-timbering on the exterior. Inside, the building at University and Lowry avenues was "stripped down to the studs," she says.

New street-level windows give the illusion of more room inside and out. ("It was kind of like a bunker in here," Hawley recalls.) But the building hasn't extended its footprint--a new patio to the north notwithstanding.

The crooked floor has been leveled and now holds what Hawley calls "an insanely beautiful bar." Work on a stage will be finished in time for Gospel Gossip, the first band to play in the remodeled bar. Christie Hunt, whose band bookings sparked a new scene in Stasiu's waning days, has the music schedule set into December.

A new set of stairs leads to a second floor space where construction will continue to convert it to a room available for rental for parties or, Hawley says, art exhibits. Farther north than other Northeast spots such as the Sample Room and the Northeast Social Club, which have undergone similar transformations, Stanley's is a kind of "outpost for the arts and food and beverage communities," says Hawley.

Source: Carol Hawley, Stanley's
Writer: Chris Steller

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