Dan Vargas’ event planning background is evident at the co-working space he founded above William’s Pub on Hennepin. At the touch of his phone, he can change the music or switch the color of the lights above the eight-foot chandeliers. There is a bar, artwork mounted high on the walls, an arcade room, a kitchen stocked with snacks, a pool table and a T-Rex skull replica.
“I wanted it to have a little bit of a wow factor,” he said. “A little bit more of a home away from home. … It’s a cross between a country club and a co-working space.”
Businesses who office at The Study include a jeweler, a radio show, a beauty agency and a real estate investment group.
Memberships include access to a CPA and an attorney to answer small business questions at no charge.
The Study also recently launched continuing education courses on topics like improving financial fitness, digital marketing, starting a blog and developing passion in the workplace.
There are football game nights and occasional wine tastings. Co-workers even went skydiving together.
“It’s like Cheers for business owners,” Vargas said. “We’re focusing on trying to build community.”
Aside from operating The Study, Vargas plans events like the Crystal Ball on New Year’s Eve, which he said initially drew 1,500 people and now approaches 4,000. He previously operated the clothing boutique FOR TONIGHT, a designer dress rental shop, at Calhoun Square.
Vargas said he decided to launch The Study after networking events at bars became old — people would attend to socialize rather than network, he said. Instead, The Study hosts “elite” networking events that pour champagne and are invitation-only.
“We want to be around other people that are growing and trying to be better,” he said.