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Beneath Starry Skies

The Granada Theater is a Neighborhood Gem

One can lose themself in the twinkling lights of Granada theater’s ceiling, and that’s by design.  Long before it was the global-fusion restaurant, bar and event venue that exists today, Granada was a silent theater built in 1927.  Audiences sat beneath that domed azure ceiling and listened to live orchestras play over the year’s most popular films like Metropolis and Steamboat Willie.  Nearly a century later, audiences are still sitting beneath those twinkling lights but now enjoy Spanish-inspired cuisine, an extensive cocktail list, and the many shows Granada plays host to.  I sat down with Amy Reher, the owner of Granada to talk about the past, our present, and what the future holds for the restaurant. 

With a background in restaurant hospitality and events, and commercial real estate, as well as “An infatuation with older properties,” says Amy, the long-vacant Granada Theater had been “one of the things that I had just always noticed.”  In fact, Amy had been driving past the long-vacant building since the 90s.  When she bought the property intending to open a restaurant and theater, the inside needed serious work, “It was an empty shell when we got in here.  Everything had pretty much been gutted.  There was no mechanicals and there was a lot of water damage to the plaster.”  Says Amy.  But the biggest project was restoring Granada’s famous starry sky, “I thought about not doing it, and people kept calling saying ‘you’re going to bring back the stars right?’ I was like okay fine.” Says Amy.  The restoration process required creating kitchens from the old projection room, treating the theater for sound, and even hiring retired plasterers who could work with the old plaster in the space. 

All of this restoration pushed back Granada’s opening date to March of 2020.  And then came the pandemic.  “We were 2 days into training staff for our POS system when the state shut down.”  Says Amy.  That meant Granada’s opening date was again pushed out to August 2020 when the restaurant opened with restrictions and limited events until shutting down only two months later.  With a partnership with Fever, a global live-entertainment-discovery platform, Granada re-opened for good in May of 2021.  “They had so many events that they wanted to do so we had a really strong calendar with them.”  Says Amy continuing, “Fever was the motivation to open in 2021.”

Granada’s shows are as eclectic as its food inspirations, “We’ve had a pretty vast variety of acts come through from K-pop to the Barcelona Flamenco Ballet from Spain and then just tons of local talent.”  Says Amy.  The 600+ person theater has hosted swing dancing events, salsa nights, and has become known for its candlelit concerts.  Through all of those shows, however, Amy has always valued local performers so Granada, “Tries to keep as much a local pull and tie in as possible.”  She says.  From opening in 2020, the events Granada could host were limited by covid restrictions.  As those have fallen away, for the first time in its short history, Granada has the ability to book events without considering those limitations.  “Opening up it was more based on restrictions.  Now we are opening it up to getting back to the thought process of where we were in 2019 but in 2022.”  Says Amy. 

Granada carries its namesake city’s Spanish influence to its global-fusion cuisine.  “We take our menu in a bunch of different directions while still having a Spanish inspiration but not trying to be traditional Spanish.”  Says Amy.  From Indian to Pan-African to Jamaican influence, Granada casts a wide net for its tapa-style menu.  “We really like the idea of tapas-style eating, shared plates and coming together and experiencing and sharing it.”  Says Amy.  In addition to their normal menu, Granada also offers brunch.  When it comes to the brunch menu, Amy has big ambitions, “I like over-the-top brunches.  I want it to be big.  I want to have something exciting.  I’ve been toying with ideas that are Dr. Seuss-like.”  She says. 

So, what does the future hold for Granada?  For Amy the goals are simple, “More going on, building the calendar out, making food as much of an exciting element as any of the shows.”  After the difficulty of Covid, so many of the early plans for the restaurant are finally coming together, “It’s just getting to the point of when everybody’s plans that were in motion years ago are finally coming to fruition.”  She says.  With a newly revamped menu, a strong lineup of shows, and an optimistic view of the future, only time will tell if the stars have truly aligned for Amy and Granada. 

For more, visit or call (612)-439-2558.  3022 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis MN 55408