Prior to purchasing the Hotel Donaldson, Jim Poolman had never been on the historic hotel’s rooftop—but that didn’t stop him from dreaming of what the space could become once he and his partners purchased the building.
That isn’t to say the President and Managing Partner of Blarney Stone Pub wasn’t very aware of the building.
“I was born and raised in Fargo,” Poolman said. “My earliest memories of the HoDo are from when my friend Judy Benson owned the bridal shop that was on the main floor of the HoDo back in the 1980s. When Karen Stoker had redone it, I loved the whole idea of the Hotel Donaldson, the art, and the spotlight on North Dakota and all of that. I just love the concept and love the area. That corner is iconic. So, when it came up for sale, we jumped on it really quick.”
And now, Poolman and his partners are introducing a newly renovated rooftop to the community this June.
“The rooftop is going to keep the Sky Prairie name. With the renovation, we tried to combine the original Sky Prairie concept with a concept that allows for more accessibility for the community,” Poolman said. “We’ve expanded seating by about 30% and have also added an additional bathroom. We just really want to make sure that the customer gets the right experience when they visit our rooftop.”
According to Poolman, that “right experience” will include a full bar with a drink menu that will feature a wide selection of bottled and canned beers, craft cocktails, and a food menu that is currently in development right now.
“We will be serving a number of appetizers on the rooftop that people will be able to enjoy with their drinks,” Poolman said. “Some of the appetizers on the rooftop will be the same as what you can find in the restaurant below, but we will also have some unique offerings there as well.”
In addition to the expanded seating and bar will be a handful of beautiful cosmetic changes, including a drape railing along the side of the rooftop that faces 1st Avenue, which will allow for a better view of downtown. There is also a glass wall that is being added to the rooftop that will obstruct some of that famous Fargo wind.
“The whole facility, the Hotel Donaldson, Blarney Stone, the rooftop, the completely renovated basement lounge, called the LoDo, is going to be a great events facility as well,” Poolman said. “It’s going to be really awesome. We’ve already gotten some requests for weddings and things like that which I think is really fun.”
101 Broadway N, Fargo, ND 58102
The Hotel Donaldson
Blarney Stone at The Hotel Donaldson