News & Events
Updates, events and news for the hotel and surrounding area!
The Saint Paul Hotel Mourns the Passing of Bill Morrissey
Bill Morrissey, founder and president of Morrissey Hospitality Companies, Inc. (MHC), and former General Manager of The Saint Paul Hotel died on April 25, 2016 at the age of 61 after a battle with cancer.
Mr. Morrissey had a long and storied history in the hospitality industry including many years with The Saint Paul Hotel.
In 1983 he was recruited to become Director of Sales at The Saint Paul Hotel, which had reopened one-year prior after an extensive and expensive renovation. Mr. Morrissey rose to become the hotel's General Manager. He was also the inspiration behind the creation of The St. Paul Grill which opened in 1990.
Mr. Morrissey founded MHC in 1995 to develop, manage, and consult for hotels, restaurants and sports and entertainment venues, and The Saint Paul Hotel has been part of MHC’s portfolio since the beginning. He built MHC into a strong and growing organization that was known throughout Minnesota and the Midwest for its sense of purpose and focus on exceptional service and authentic hospitality. MHC, which operates The Saint Paul Hotel and other hotels, restaurants and sports & entertainment venues throughout the Midwest, has 1,300 employees.
After graduation from the University of Minnesota and serving three years in the United States Army, Mr. Morrissey spent his entire career in hospitality. He was very active in the hospitality community serving as Chairman of the Boards of Minnesota Lodging Association, Hospitality Minnesota, Historic Hotels of America and twice for the Saint Paul Convention and Visitors Bureau. He also served on the Board of Directors for the American Hotel and Lodging Association, the National Trust for the Preservation, Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Meet Minneapolis and Explore Minnesota.
Mr. Morrissey was also known for his commitment to philanthropy and giving back to the community, raising $500,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities.
Born in Bloomington, Minnesota, Mr. Morrissey lived in Eagan since 1985. His wife Mary Jo preceded him in death. He is survived by his children Arthur, Christopher and Elizabeth, three grandchildren and many other loving relatives and friends. You may share memories of Mr. Morrissey and thoughts to the family by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“No words can properly express our sadness of Bill’s passing or our gratitude for the opportunity to know him and work with him. Bill was a true leader and visionary who touched and improved the lives of so many people as he built a strong and sustainable company. We will honor Bill’s memory by dedicating ourselves to continuing the work he loved so much – creating exceptional memories and experiences for every person who visits one of our hotels, restaurants or venues.” – MHC
“Luxury for Your Garden” Annual ‘Dirt Day’ – May 19
We will host our third annual "Dirt Day" and again sell bags of compost made from the hotel's organic waste to benefit the Rice Park Revitalization Project. Visit the Saint Paul Parks Conservancy website to learn more about the revitalization project.
Stop by in front of the hotel on Thursday, May 19 to buy compost from 11 am - 5 pm, or until we sell out. Last year the compost sold out by 3 pm.
Working in partnership with the Minnesota Waste Wise Foundation (a nonprofit affiliated with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce), we have been recycling all of the organic waste from our restaurants, banquet and food service. Each month we send 26 tons of kitchen scraps and compostable waste to a composting program operated by the Mulch Store – reducing the amount of waste we send to landfills by 85%. The Mulch Store turns the organic and compostable waste into rich compost for use in gardens and landscaping.
M ST Cafe’s Featured May Menu Item — Shrimp Tacos
Each month M ST. Cafe features a "Lunch Specials" menu.
Pictured to the left is one of May's specials. Shrimp Tacos – Three Corn Tortilla Soft Tacos with Sautéed Bay Shrimp, Shredded Red Cabbage, Scallions, Chipotle Crema and Fresh Avocado.
Reservations: 651-228-3855 or Make Your Reservation online.
Lobby Bar Featured Cocktail – Apricot Smash
0.5 oz Apricot Brandy
1.5 oz Cruzan Light Rum
0.5 oz Simple Syrup
0.5 oz Lime Juice (about 1/2 a lime)
3.0 oz Club Soda
Lime wedge for garnish
Add the lime juice and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker and muddle together. Add the rum and brandy and fill with ice. Shake for 10 seconds and purge into a cocktail glass. Top with club soda and garnish with a lime wedge.
Along with the Lobby Bar's regular menu, there is also a "Daily Features" menu.
This month we are highlighting the Lobby Bar Shrimp Tostadas – Grilled Chipotle Shrimp with Fresh Corn, Scallions, Cilantro, Avocados, Queso Fresco and Red Cabbage with a Honey-Chipotle Dressing.
Be sure to catch Jazz in the Lobby Bar with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske before they take their summer break. They are only playing three more Saturdays: May 7, 14 and 21. They will be back for Twin Cities Jazz Festival, June 23–25 and back in September for the fall/winter season.
Photos: Apricot Smash and Shrimp Tostadas (Grilled Chipotle Shrimp, Fresh Corn, Scallions, Cilantro, Avocados and Red Cabbage).
What’s Blooming at The Saint Paul Hotel
by Becca Gross, Horticulturist and Gardener of The Saint Paul Hotel
As tulips and daffodils continue to pop up and violas line the walkways, the spring garden at the Saint Paul Hotel is in full bloom. With forecasts in the 70’s and 80’s for the next couple of weeks, I am hopeful that I will be able to start planting our summer annuals by the middle of the month. This year’s annual beds will be filled with sweet alyssum, creeping thyme, blue, pink and purple angelonia, blue salvia, lavender, heavenly blue morning glories, and berry blend lantanas. The window boxes will have a tropical theme, with huge elephant ears and orange double impatiens. Many of the perennial plants will begin to bloom in May, including peonies, catmint, roses, and false indigo.
Aside from all the planting and weeding that will happen in May, I will also be putting down a thick layer of compost to act as a mulch in the garden. The compost will provide nutrients for the annual and perennial plants, help the soil retain moisture, improve the soil quality throughout the garden, and help suppress weeds. Compost is a great way to recycle kitchen and yard waste into a usable product for the garden. You can purchase compost for your own garden at our annual Dirt Day event on May 19th in front of the hotel.
Gardening Tip for May…
As your spring flowering bulbs start to fade, it’s helpful to remove the spent flowers. This will encourage the plant to put its energy into storing food in the bulb, rather than producing seed. As tempting as it is to cut back the foliage as it becomes unsightly, it’s important to let the leaves yellow and die back naturally so that the plant has plenty of time to build energy reserves to keep the bulb alive until next spring. Plant some annuals around the bulbs while they are in decline to keep them out of sight. Once the leaves have died back, remove the foliage to ward off disease. Your diligence and patience will be rewarded the next spring with flowers that look as good as the year you planted them!
Photos: Tulips and pansies flourishing in the warm spring sunlight.
Did You Know?
Did you know that we clean our lobby chandeliers quarterly? Each lead crystal "teardrop" is gently cleaned and polished by hand until it sparkles.
This event is not only visually interesting, but also quite an audible experience, filling the whole lobby with a gentle sound of clinking, tinkling crystal.
We have five chandeliers, four in the lobby and one over the grand staircase descending to M ST. Cafe. Three of our chandeliers are original to the hotel, and two are replicas.
Becca Gross, Horticulturist and Gardener
1. How long have you worked for The Saint Paul Hotel?
I've worked at The Saint Paul hotel for eight months.
2. Explain your daily tasks.
My job changes with the seasons. During the winter, I work with the engineers to keep the sidewalks clear of ice and snow and put up the exterior holiday decorations. I also maintain the indoor plants and plan for the garden season by creating planting designs and schedules. During the growing season, my primary responsibility is planting and maintaining the gardens in the front of the hotel. All season long I plant, water, weed, prune and mulch to keep the gardens beautiful. I also design and care for the window boxes and planters around the hotel. In the fall I prepare the garden for winter and plant several hundred tulip and daffodil bulbs for the following spring.
3. What is your favorite part about working for The Saint Paul Hotel?
Every day is different. My job is challenging and I am always busy, but it’s also very rewarding. I love seeing guests outside enjoying the garden.
4. What are some of your favorite memories or experiences from working at The Saint Paul Hotel?
A couple of weeks ago, I was in the garden planting violas when a group of young ballerinas came by the garden. They were running in their ballet slippers and tutus while having their pictures taken. They were smelling flowers, posing in front of the bird bath, and dancing along the paths. It was so picturesque and sweet.
5. What hobbies or interests do you enjoy outside of the workplace?
I am a very outdoorsy person. I love hiking and camping with my family. I’ve been an avid backpacker and hope to get back into that as my daughter gets older. Believe it or not, I also do a lot of gardening at my own house. I like to read during the winter. I love classic literature and spending time with my husband and our 18 month old daughter; most weekends you will find us at our neighborhood park.
6. If you could choose any other position at the hotel, what would it be?
I love planning and event coordinating, so it would be fun to work in catering. That said, I think I probably would want to get back into the garden after being indoors all day.
7. What is a “fun fact” about you?
I was on the safety crew for the Minneapolis Fire Collective at Burning Man in 2010. No injuries under our watch!
Photo of Becca in the garden amid the spring flowers.