Getaway Motor Cafe + Riverside Getaway Airbnb

Getaway Motor Café is a renovated historic building in Carver, MN with a design by Studio Grey inspired by modern Scandinavian aesthetics, maximizing functionality in a small space and featuring versatile lighting for a seamless transition from a café to a cocktail bar at night.

The owners moved from Minneapolis to the small town of Carver, MN to renovate this 150-year-old historic building on the main street downtown. They had ridden their motorcycles through all 50 states and regularly stopped at independent coffee shops to rest, and they particularly enjoyed the cafes that were welcoming to riders. Along with their travels and family ties in Norway, they knew they wanted to create a local community hangout spot inspired by the modern Scandinavian aesthetic.

Right along the scenic River Valley, Getaway Motor Café was born; a craft coffee shop by day and a cocktail bar by night, with an attached upstairs Airbnb called Riverside Getaway.

The tight café space required a creative approach to accommodate a lot of equipment. Through careful planning, Studio Grey maximized the cafe’s functionality while also creating an inviting ambiance. Upstairs at Riverside Getaway, despite its low ceilings and confined spaces, Studio Grey designed a layout with a spacious feel while exposing as much of the original character of the building in the process.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Getaway Motor Café is its ability to seamlessly transition from a bustling café during the day into a captivating cocktail bar at night. Lighting played a crucial role; different levels and zones were incorporated into the design to evoke the right mood.

Acoustic control measures were also implemented to help reduce noise.
More than just a café and overnight stay, Getaway has become a catalyst for the revitalization of this small town. The café and Airbnb were meticulously designed with local vendors, playful details, and functional features. The café serves as a vibrant hub where neighbors and travelers gather for live music, interactive events, top quality food and beverages, and community engagement.

Design: Studio Grey
Contractor: A-Squared Design Build
Photography: Kory Kevin