My Favorite Project
High Third Restaurant and Bar
The purpose of this project was to bring back to life a beautiful historic building which had been neglected, underutilized, and essentially abandoned and breathe new life into by repurposing it. The intention with this space aligns with my passion to help revitalize Minot's downtown. When I visit a new city, I always find myself downtown, for me downtown spaces signify a city’s greater brand or identity. People tend to gravitate to the city’s natural hub-downtowns tend to be those spaces. Downtowns have historically been the regional epicenter; they have evolved into vibrant city centers; and if we are thoughtful and strategic, they hold the potential for a full future. This project represented an opportunity to be a part of this initial change and it was very exciting for me.
Minot, North Dakota
Repurpose An Abandoned Downtown Building
Preserving the Past, Shaping the Future
High 3rd, located at 7 First St. SE, is in the heart of downtown Minot. It is a repurposed building that pays homage to its rich history of being in Minot’s former red-light/ bootlegging district. High Third, was a district presence in 1920’s Minot and is notable for the presence of gambling, prostitution, and alcohol during prohibition helping Minot earn the nickname "Little Chicago"; is now an establishment marrying Minot's history and the modern era in downtown Minot. A Fusion Gastropub was created, a hybrid pub, bar, & restaurant, it is known for serving alcoholic drinks and culinary-inspired bar grubs influenced by different cuisines.
Each level of the building has a unique name that directly ties into Minot’s rich history. Because of the association with the red light/bootlegging district, High Third infused this history into the names of food and drinks served, giving a nod to this time period. The new restaurant boasts three floors of dining, the first level is the family-dine-in restaurant named Bostow. The second level is the Vendome Bar with access to the rooftop patio and a unique sliding bar window with a fold-down outdoor bar top. The third level is known as The DeeDee and is a rentable event space with movable tables and a unique bar showcasing the space's name.
The basement serves as storage and includes office space, walk-in coolers and freezers, and dry goods storage. The work consisted of a tenant fit, out of the recently renovated First & Central building, which includes all the finishes and modifications to the mechanical & electrical systems to accommodate the spaces needs. The remodeled building included a major overhaul of the building’s exteriors which including paint, new windows, exterior staircase, and ramps. Interior updates included a new elevator, unique finishes, and repurposing historical elements of the original building incorporating them in a new and interesting way.
Downtowns tend to be iconic and impactful locations within a city, they hold so much history often contain the most iconic landmarks, distinctive features, and unique neighborhoods. Given most downtowns tend to be some of the oldest neighborhoods within a city; they offer rare insights into their city’s past, present, and future.
Revitalization of downtowns and central city neighborhoods can be a challenging endeavor with many things to consider. Historical value, the true heart of a city and the large economic impact are some of the major concerns to contend with in a project like High Third. A city’s downtown area has an important and unique role in economic and social development. Downtowns can create valuable activities where commercial, cultural, and civic activities converge and all those involved can engage and learn from one another.
AE was presented the privilege of being a part of the revitalization of this 100-year-old building, this unique restaurant preserved the old and brought in a new function which creates another new space and experience for the residents to enjoy.
Preservation is much more than keeping an older building standing. It boosts local economies, fends off climate change, make residents happier, and provides us an understand of our city's past. High Third provides this and its name is a callback to Minot’s rich history. AE was able to create a fun space combining the past and the present of the area, bringing an injection of life to the downtown district. To be part of this project and addition to Minot was a JOY!