Several years ago, Excelsior proprietors Jennifer and Tim Caron purchased a beautifully-preserved circa 1899 house on George Street, just a short walk to The Commons, Port of Excelsior and the charming amenities of Water Street. Constructed by the distinguished Reuben DeGroodt family, the home sits in what is now the last remaining large green area in historic downtown.
In 2021, the Carons turned the DeGroodt House into a private indoor and outdoor event space for up to 150 guests outdoors, surrounded by a thoughtful mix of vintage, rustic, antique, modern and wooded style. The house is available to host intimate events, including chef-prepared dinners, social gatherings, holiday parties, milestone celebrations, weddings, fundraisers, meetings and luncheons.
Renting the DeGroodt House includes access to the house, grove and garage, with the exception of the suite, which you can only add to the rental.
Vibe: It’s adorned with original light fixtures, windows, woodwork and floors. Natural light cascades from the gently-angled staircase for dreamy portrait photography.
Furnishings: Find handmade rustic cross back chairs and farm tables made with square head nails. It includes open customizable space and a catering kitchen.
Capacity: 40–45 guests standing for cocktails; 30 guests seated for dinner.
The Garage Bar
Vibe: The rustic, enchanting space is ideal for cocktail hour and toasting with greenery and Edison bulb lighting in the rafters. The casual vibe spills into the adjacent mingling area, which can fit a large tent.
Furnishings: An industrial wood and metal butcher block table on wheels serves as the bar and is the perfect setting for charcuterie boards, wine and dessert.
Capacity: 75–100 guests standing in mingling area.
Vibe: Guests are treated to this woodland, dappled sunlight, forest floor, secret garden retreat with romantic nights under the lights.
Capacity: 150 guests standing; 75–100 guests organically seated among the circle of mature spruce trees.
Vibe: Understatedly stylish, the space is personal and comfortable but not in a basic way. It’s accented with Minnesota and Lake Minnetonka touches like Faribault Mill blankets, area magazines and thoughtful pieces from Excelsior shops like Golden Rule Gallery.
Furnishings: Two main rooms, a deck, plus a kitchen, a private bedroom and a bathroom with porcelain cast iron claw-foot tub complete the space. Jennifer furnished the suite with heirloom antiques, organic and modern pieces like a live-edge wood desk and an Herman Miller Aeron chair, completing the setting with custom upholstery window treatments from Union Place, DeGroodt House’s next door neighbor. “When you drink your morning coffee outside sitting on the [upper] deck, you’re overlooking the grove, and you hear birds singing and it’s just a beautiful private space,” Jennifer says.
Capacity: Designed to sleep one or two.
The Carons are selective about events, being mindful of the wear on the 123-year-old historic DeGroodt House, land and trees. “We care very much about the property and preserving it, and we take that element of stewardship seriously,” Jennifer says.