MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new business is about to open its doors on Eat Street in Minneapolis, but there are some unlikely owners behind the project.

If it’s Sunday, you’ll find Pastor Jeff Cowmeadow at the Calvary Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

“It’s Calvary’s desire to be a place that loves and welcomes the neighbor,” Cowmeadow said.

It took time, but he and his wife Randi rebuilt the once struggling congregation into a thriving hall of worship by welcoming everyone.

“It’s a melting pot,” LC Stevenson, the church’s music director, said.

“It’s multicultural, multiracial and a place that cares about people,” church member, C. John Hildebrand, said.

Cowmeadow doesn’t want that community to end at the front door. In fact, he’s working on a project just one block down the street. Just a two-minute walk from the church is the Prodigal Public House, owned by Cowmeadow and his family.

The word “prodigal” comes from a biblical story, with the basic moral of being radically welcomed, no matter what.

“Where do all the pieces come together with neighbors,” Cowmeadow said.

It may seem unconventional for a pastor open a bar, but for Jeff and Randi Cowmeadow — who met working at a bar — owning a place of their own has always been part of the plan.

“People say we have the gift of hospitality. So its really just living out who you are,” Jeff Cowmeadow said. “We can have spirits and have spiritual conversation you can laugh cry do life together in a pub.”

Be it a church, or a bar, the pastor wants the neighborhood to have a place to come together.

It’s a different place to gather but it’s the same kind of fellowship.

“No matter who you are, no matter where you come from, what you’ve done, you’re going to find the door is always going to be open,” Stevenson said.

The Prodigal Public House opens May 9.

Erin Hassanzadeh

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