room5_webCome home to Alma Hotel.

By Kate Nelson

Alma Hotel, 528 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis,612-379-4909,

Alma has long been a Minneapolis institution, serving up chef Alex Roberts’ culinary creations for nearly two decades. When he opened the restaurant in 1999, the James Beard Award winner was in his twenties and had returned home after a stint in New York. One of the Twin Cities’ first farm-to-table offerings, the diminutive eatery in an unexpected locale was a hit. And now, Alma has reinvented itself.

Roberts had long leased his space and didn’t hesitate to buy the historic Marcy-Holmes building when it came up for sale in 2013. This allowed him to expand the fine-dining side of things, add in a café and create a European-style boutique hotel above all the action. But it wasn’t an easy undertaking. In fact, Roberts found himself in a battle with the city over antiquated zoning codes. In the end, he prevailed, and Twin Cities residents (and visitors) are all the luckier because of it.

Chicago eatery, tavern and inn Longman & Eagle served as inspiration for Roberts. “We decided to open a hotel because it felt like a natural way to extend greater hospitality to our guests and provide an opportunity to bring another level of beauty to this remarkable old building,” he explains.

The seven unique guest rooms are tied together by common elements like all-natural cotton bedding, vintage, hand-woven Aubry Angelo rugs, and custom, handmade furniture by Marvin Freitas of Form Co. The bright, airy spaces were designed and curated by Talin Spring of Spring Finn & Co. Overall, the hotel certainly delivers on its goal to “make guests feel like they are staying at a friend’s home.”

The best part? All that Alma has to offer is just downstairs, at its casual café and can’t-miss restaurant. 

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.


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