Mortimer’s takes a bath and adds a stage

Beginning Dec. 27 with a show in tribute to Uptown doorman Ron Upton, Mortimer’s is adding live music to the venue.

The owners expect to bring an eclectic mix of music to the corner, with plenty of rock, a blues or jazz night and perhaps a jazz piano during brunch.

Co-owner Jasha Johnston, who’s worked behind the bar for 20 years, said that while they aren’t changing any essentials, the venue is getting “a bit of a bath.”

“It’s sort of been in need of a shave and a haircut for a long time,” he said.

The awning is down, a new sign is going up, and new booths and tables are arriving. A new kitchen will provide a fresh bar menu in early January with pizzas, sandwiches, soups and salads.

The 5AM Collective created a “Southside Slugger” piece for one wall, and Rachel Kate Design is guiding interior design work.

A stage is headed to a corner of the building where the dart boards are now, located in the former Oliver’s space that served steaks in the ‘80s.

“We’re looking to bring back a bit of the old glory of Oliver’s,” Johnston said.

The Dec. 27 show honors the late Ron Upton, who worked at Mortimer’s and several Minneapolis music venues. The show will feature some of the bands who played a memorial concert after his passing this year, including LIKEHELL and Trim Reaper.

The owners plan to hire veterans of the Uptown music scene to book bands up to five nights per week.