Stephanie and Nate Janousek had been running a successful food stand at the Minnesota State Fair for over a decade. In 2017, the opportunity came along to revitalize an old airplane hanger on the north end of the fairgrounds and expand their business. Built in 1909, the hangar housed biplanes used in death-defying aerial stunts while flying over the fairgrounds. We teamed with Nate and Stephanie to reinvent the spirit of the building and create a one-of-a-kind hospitality experience that can serve 10,000 customers daily.
Elements of the Design
Our design reconnects to the original aviation history of the building. Huge door openings are cut along each side to create an indoor/outdoor hospitality space. The fair can be an insanely busy place, so this is a great place to relax and cool down. Modern, bi-fold hangar doors are installed on each end which further open up the space. There are new windows, and the exterior is resided with corrugated steel. We worked with Malley Design to brand everything with original photos of the building, and the men and women who performed on the planes in the early 1900’s.
We needed to outfit The Hangar with space to cook and serve food, and then move those cook spaces to other fairs around the country. Shipping containers are arranged within The Hangar space, and house modern commercial kitchens, which have floor to ceiling walls that open hydraulically. There are also dedicated containers for refrigeration and food preparation. The beer containers have side panels that open up to reveal rows of taps. The experience includes craft beer flights, smoked brisket, grilled corn, live music, and a kid’s play zone. When it’s all over and the fair ends, Nate and Stephanie can ship the containers to the next event and arrange them differently.