Between the shiny black wall tiles, glittering chandeliers, button-back chairs, and myriad gold accents, walking into the Shakopee House is like stepping back in time to a 1920s, Gatsby-esque place where people come to gamble and drink unlawfully. A nod to Prohibition-era Shakopee, the likes of which John Dillinger and the notorious “Baby Face” Nelson would frequent.
The 100-plus-year-old building is crawling with history—a treasure trove of speakeasy lore and memories of a felonious past (literally, as the new owners found relics between the walls and behind bookshelves). Today, forms of live entertainment, such as cabaret shows, burlesque-style brunches, and jazz performances, pay tribute to the riverside establishment’s storied history.
The Shakopee House’s innovative menus arrive at the hands of the same group of local owners that is behind Whiskey Inferno in Savage, Tequila Butcher in Chanhassen, Mezcalito Butcher in Apple Valley, Volstead House in Eagan, Bourbon Butcher in Farmington, and Farmer and the Fishmonger in Apple Valley—the Misfits Hospitality Collective out of Eagan, formerly Eyes Wide Hospitality. The goal? To revive the great Minnesota supper club tradition while giving humble classics (think platters and prime rib) a fresh update.
Here, traditional dishes are enticingly elevated—such as the juicy bone-in pork chop topped with a sweet-and-spicy pineapple medley. Surf fans will love the seared-to-perfection walleye fillet and creamy mushroom risotto. The handcrafted cocktails and after-dinner drinks are equally appealing, like the Lavender Lady, made with crème de violette and a frothy egg-white top.
Where It’s At
As with many historical supper clubs in the Midwest, somewhere along the line rum became all the rage. During last fall’s renovation on the former restaurant, Dangerfield’s, a century-old leather suitcase was discovered in the basement rafters. It belonged to a man named Lawrence H. Cumberbatch, a “rum runner” during Prohibition and former bartender in the building—hence the building’s Caribbean-themed basement tiki bar called Rum Row.
The suitcase is on display as you make your way down the staircase, where bamboo-lined walls and a faux canopy of greenery melt your worries away. Also in the basement, tucked behind a curtain in the back corner is Mezcaleria, an intimate candlelit Oaxacan-style mezcal bar.
The Shakopee House, 1583 First Ave. E., Shakopee, shakopeehouse.com, rumrowtiki.com