Minneapolis, Mn. – AJ Capital Partners is thrilled to announce that Graduate Minneapolis is officially open. The 304-room hotel, formerly The Commons Hotel, is located on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota and is the only on-campus lodging. In addition to the hotel’s neighborhood gastropub, The Beacon, Graduate Minneapolis will feature food cart service in the lobby with culinary concepting lead by celebrity chef Richard Ruskell.

Created for travelers who seek memory-making journeys, Graduate Hotels are part of a well-curated, thoughtfully crafted collection of hotels that reside in the most dynamic, university-anchored cities across the country. Every property celebrates and commemorates the optimistic energy of its community, while offering an extended retreat to places that played host to the best days of our lives. Locations include Ann Arbor, Mi.; Athens, Ga.; Berkeley, Ca.; Charlottesville, Va.; Lincoln, Ne; Madison, Wi.; Oxford, Ms.; Richmond, Va. and Tempe, Az as well as Bloomington, In.; Iowa City, Ia. and Seattle, Wa., slated to open in 2018, and Roosevelt Island, Ny., opening in 2019. Additionally, Graduate Hotels recently announced three acquisitions in Columbus, Oh.; New Haven, Ct. and Providence, Ri. with plans to open as Graduate Hotels by 2019.

“Minneapolis is a thriving city and hotbed for innovation, “says Tim Franzen, President of Graduate Hotels. “We are excited to be part of such a vibrant community, and just in time to celebrate the Super Bowl!”

Inspired by Minneapolis’ Norwegian influence and active lifestyle, Graduate Minneapolis evokes a cozy lake house feel with nods to the town’s adventurous spirit, celebrated athletic programs and creative community. In the lobby, a dramatic fireplace surrounded by an art wall of lush landscapes and cozy lounge seating rests beneath chandeliers made of vintage snow shoes and fishing flies. The woodlands aesthetic extends to guestrooms, which also include references to local luminaries such as desk lamps modeled after a red 1964 Corvette Stingray, a nod to legendary musician and Minnesota native, Prince.

“Minneapolis simultaneously embraces city living and the outdoors,” Andrew Alford, Chief Creative Officer of AJ Capital Partners, says. “We were inspired by town’s beautiful landscape and lush lakes. We also wanted to pay homage to the many creatives who hail from the twin cities including Mary Tyler Moore, Prince and F. Scott Fitzgerald.”

Roving through the lobby is a fleet of food carts serving up a variety of sweet and savory indulgences concepted by celebrity chef and Minnesota native, Richard Ruskell. During peak hours, guests and locals can enjoy flavorful treats like raclette cheese topped snacks, waffles, Paletas, and internationally inspired hot chocolates. Best known for his pastries, Ruskell has been named one of the Top 10 Pastry Chefs and Top 10 Cake Artists in the country multiple years. He currently serves as UCLA’s Executive Pastry Chef and a judge on the Food Network’s Cake Wars.

With over 20,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the hotel has two large ballrooms, smaller flexible event venues, breakout rooms and boardrooms designed to accommodate several types of events including weddings, social gatherings, receptions, corporate meetings and more.

For more information about Graduate Minneapolis, please visit graduatehotels.com/minneapolis.