Gluek Brewing Company Hotel and Saloon, Minneapolis Minnesota
Two of the largest brewing firms in Minneapolis produced beer and ran combination saloons and lodging houses at the turn of the century. Both the Minneapolis Brewing Company and the Gluek Brewing Company controlled the market on Minneapolis' East Side in 1904. Gluek Brewing Company employed sixty men and had an annual output of 75,000 barrels from its Minneapolis brewery at 2002 Marshall Avenue N.E. The much larger Minneapolis Brewing Company employed over 200 men and annually produced 250,000 barrels of beer in Minneapolis.
In addition to its brewing business, Gluek Brewing Company owned retail outlets and held licenses to operate neighborhood bars and lodging houses in Minneapolis, such as the location at 24 Hennepin Avenue. In one type of company operation, Gluek would loan money to retail liquor dealers and take their licenses as security. The building at 24 Hennepin Avenue was erected by Gluek in 1914 to replace the previous building which the company bought in 1905 and operated as the "Bridge Square Hotel" on the upper two floors with a company-run saloon and pool hall on the first floor. An adjacent building to the east at 18-20 Hennepin Avenue was part of the same hotel operation. At the end of 1913, Gluek demolished their old building at 24 Hennepin Avenue and built the subject building, designed by Christopher A. Boehme, in early 1914.
In 1915, the first year of operation after construction, the building at 24 Hennepin Avenue was listed in the city directory as a restaurant with furnished rooms operated by James E. Raftery. The following year, the building was listed as the Seymour Hotel, with Joseph P. Seymour as hotel manager for the Gluek Brewing Company. In 1917, the Seymour Hotel was managed by E. J. Seymour and listed at 18-24 Hennepin Avenue, still using the building to the east as part of the complex. Edward J. Seymour operated United Sanitary Lodging, Inc. in 1919 and managed other lodging houses in downtown Minneapolis, including 213 Nicollet Avenue, 107 South Second Street, and 258 Hennepin Avenue. In the early 1910s when Edward J. Seymour became manager of the Seymour Hotel at 24 Hennepin Avenue, he also owned a 100-room hotel which stretched along Seventh Street for an entire block between North Second Avenue and North Third Avenue on "Market Row." In 1913, Seymour was described as "a well-known Minneapolitan" who, for many years, had been connected with the Seymour Labor Agency and as a "large holder in many business enterprises." Seymour ran a hiring house for day labor and managed several lodging and boarding houses where he found his work force. Gluek Brewing Company kept the men supplied with drink.
In 1926, the building at 24 Hennepin Avenue became the Clair Hotel with a bar and restaurant on the first floor. It remained so until around World War II. In 1939, the bar was known as the Marshall Terrace Club. The Gluek Brewing Company held ownership until 1959 when it deeded the property to several members of the Gluek family. These members held title to the property until 1973. Between 1960-64, both the Marshall Terrace Bar and the Marshall Terrace Lunch Room occupied the first floor. In 1965, the first floor was known as The Glass Door Cafe and The Glass Door Tavern. Members of the Bennett Goldberg family owned the building since 1973. In 1975, the two businesses on the first floor were The Twenty-Four On the Avenue Tavern and the Twenty-Four Restaurant. By the late 1970s, the bar was known as "Dirty Flo's" under the management of Steve and Florence Halseth. The last tenant, Club 24 Inc., operated the 24 on the Avenue bar and the upper floors were vacant.
The Gluek Brewing Company built this and other similar buildings in the central business district of Minneapolis as a company-owned saloon on the ground floor with inexpensive lodging on the floors above. This Class B hotel, or flophouse, is reflected in the original architect's plans which show shared lavatories with multiple sinks and stools on the second and third stories with "sleeping compartments" of two sizes: 7'-2" wide or 8'-1" wide lined up on each side of a central corridor.