Well, this sounds hot. And cold. The Freehouse is trying to bring a vibe of relaxation and calm to the chilliest months of winter, and they’re doing it by bringing a wood-fired sauna onto their huge outdoor patio in the North Loop of Minneapolis starting Friday, Jan. 7
Cedar & Stone Sauna out of Duluth will run the sauna operation, and it’s not like you’ll just rent the sauna and do your own thing. This is a 75-minute “guided experience,” according to Blue Plate Restaurant Group co-owner Stephanie Shimp.
“It’s a sauna concierge that takes you through the experience,” Shimp told me. They give you a robe, towels, cup of tea, water, you bring your own flip-flops. You rent the sauna through Cedar & Stone for a group of four.
Cedar & Stone has had great success with an ice sauna at the Inn on Superior in Duluth, and most recently the company has had a sauna set-up at Northern Express, the Christmas village near Excelsior. Usually you spend 15 minutes in the hot sauna, and then experience a cool down by jumping in a lake or rolling around in some snow. At The Freehouse, you’ll go into an ice sauna built by the team at Minnesota Pure & Clear Ice and Minnesota Ice Sculptures. That will be around 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Shimp tried it in Duluth and, “I think we went in and out of the hot and cold three or four times and you feel like you have a massage at the end. It was amazing!” Pricing is still to be determined but, at the end, participants will get a “Nordic-inspired charcuterie platter, a cocktail, and hopefully folks will stick around for dinner and another drink.”
Starting with Thursday, Fridays and Saturday nights, and Freehouse will add extra dates if these dates fill up. Is it hot or not? We’ll see if Minnesota is ready to embrace the Bold North winter and hang out doing cool experiences in the North Loop.