Shakopee Business Profile: Shakopee House
Local history, delicious eats, craft cocktails, and entertainment: located in the former Dangerfield’s Restaurant, Shakopee House is a modern supper club that combines the best elements of the past and present.
Shakopee’s newest restaurant is the latest project from Eyes Wide Hospitality, a local restaurant group that specializes in unique suburban restaurants including Eagan’s Volstead House, Whiskey Inferno in Savage, and Chanhassen’s Tequila Butcher.
From the name to the decor, Shakopee House is inspired by the past—the building has been a Shakopee mainstay for about a century, and prior to Dangerfield’s it was home to the Millpond Club and a previous version of Shakopee House. The initial plan was to continue as Dangerfields, but as renovations began, Eyes Wide Hospitality owner Tony Donatell and his team were inspired by the history of the building itself. They found moving bookcases that revealed a hidden room, possibly used as a passageway to a hidden stairway or lookout post during Prohibition. In the basement, they discovered a suitcase and travel memorabilia that belonged to Lawrence Cumberbatch, a bartender who worked in the building in the 1950s. As they delved further into Shakopee history, they learned about the area’s Prohibition-era illicit gambling dens and safe houses, and they heard about rumored tunnels.
“How can you not tell this story in this town?” says Donatell. “We thought it would be fun to do a throwback.”
Accordingly, Shakopee House is a nod to the classic supper clubs of the 1930s and 1940s, with opulent decor and a menu of steaks and Italian specialties, as well as retro cocktails and an expansive, well-curated wine list. “I don’t think anything is recognizable [from the Dangerfield’s era],” says Donatell. “The light fixtures, paint, tiles, carpet—top to bottom, everything has changed other than some aspects of the layout.”
One of the major updates customers will notice is the addition of a stage, which will host a wide range of acts, including cabaret, jazz, and comedians. “We’re continuing the tradition of Shakopee as an entertainment destination, along with Mystic Lake Casino, Valleyfair, and Canterbury Park,” says Donatell. “We hope to have the stage used as many days of the week as we can.”
The restaurant also features a downstairs bar, Rum Row Basement Tiki Bar. Donatell explains that the concept was inspired by the materials found in Lawrence Cumberbatch’s suitcase. Prior to working in Shakopee as a bartender, Cumberbatch was a “rum runner” who smuggled alcohol from the Caribbean to Florida during Prohibition. The basement bar honors Cumberbatch’s affinity for Caribbean cocktails and tiki culture, with a menu of classic tiki drinks, updated takes on popular beach drinks, and signature cocktails.
“Both upstairs and downstairs, we’re focusing on craft cocktails made by hand with fresh ingredients,” says Donatell.
Donatell notes that Shakopee House and Rum Row Basement Tiki Bar are intended to be unique additions to the area, rather than competing with other local restaurants.
“I’ve been so welcomed by the Shakopee hospitality community, it’s been fantastic,” he says. “We hope to bring regulars from our other restaurants into the community, and once they’re here, they’ll check out other area restaurants and taprooms, too.”
1583 1st Avenue E
Shakopee, MN 55379