By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The hottest ticket in Minneapolis is spreading business like wildfire across downtown.

Not many shows can fill the nearly 2,600 seats at the Orpheum Theatre quite like “Hamilton,” or the tables at Mercy across the street, or the rooms at hotels around the corner.

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Jon Hove and his wife, Marth, luckily won the $10 lottery tickets for the marvelous musical.

“Haven’t been to Minneapolis for a while so it’s fun,” Hove said.

Since the Hoves live in Menomonie, Wisconsin, they had to book a room for the night at the Hampton Inn and Suites a few blocks away from the theater. Hotel staff say their rooms are filled with “Hamilton” ticket holders.

(credit: CBS)

“Our granddaughter along with her friends, they know all the words to all the songs, so we have to go for her,” Hove said.

They will start their night with dinner at Crave on Hennepin Avenue, not far from Mercy, where bar manager Daniel Newkirk said the “Hamilton” crowd comes in droves.

“It’s guaranteed business, exposure to people that we wouldn’t normally come into this place,” Newkirk said.

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The restaurant has a “Hamilton”-themed menu with food from the musical’s time period, a selfie station by a miniature Statue of Liberty and wine featuring the show’s main character.

“I’ve never seen wine move so fast,” Newkirk said.

He said even on a weeknight, the dinner rush feels like a Friday or Saturday night because so many customers are grabbing a meal before the show.

“But as soon as the show is about to start, mass exodus, everybody leaves at the same time,” he said.

On the bright side, Newkirk said some of those “Hamilton” visitors who scurry across Hennepin Avenue to take their seats are coming back as repeat customers.

“It’s been nothing but great for us,” Newkirk said.

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Mercy has one more relieving bonus for their customers. Newkirk says if you dine at the restaurant before seeing “Hamilton,” you are allowed to come back during the show’s intermission to use Mercy’s bathrooms. He said the lines at the Orpheum, specifically for women’s bathrooms, are long and time consuming.

Jeff Wagner