|William Smith Reilly (Bill) opened the Hexagon around 1934 soon after the repeal of prohibition. The bar was headquartered in a building that had originally owned by Shlitz Brewing Co. The Hexagon was named for it's six sided wood bar that had a center island cooler with cash registers and liquor step-ups above it. It is hard to determine when the Hexagon began entertainment but somewhere in the forties is a good guess.
The stage was located in the southeast corner of the bar where the present day pool tables reside. Singles or duos played from the small stage and patrons waltzed around the hexagon shaped bar. In 1946 Bill Reilly retired and turned the Hexagon over to his son Jack Reilly and stepson Claude Hupp.
In the late 50's -early 60's a law was passed outlawing the ownership of bar buildings by breweries and the Hexagon building was purchased from Schlitz Brewing and since a Schlitz beer has not been sold in the Hexagon(Bad feelings for a bully landlord).
In the early 60's Claude expanded the Hexagon (without Jack's support) by adding twenty feet to the west end of the building now known as the back room. The stage moved from the front corner to the east wall of the back room but didn't increase much in size. The new room provided a separate entertainment area with a dedicated dance floor.
Jack passed away in the mid sixties and Claude purchased Jack's half of the Hexagon from his heirs. Music to this point had been strictly on the weekends. In the 70's the Hexagon added Thursdays to its music calendar and Thursdays featured rock n' roll rather than the Old Time Music that characterized the Hexagon prior. Some where in the 70's the Music shifted from Old Time to Rock and Country. During the 70's the Stage moved to the south wall of the back room which allowed for four piece bands.
Around 1978 the Front bar was remodeled the room was gutted and the Classic hexagon (hard to work) bar was replace by a modern two sided long bar, adding efficiency and saving space while seating as many patrons. Hexagon shaped tables, light fixtures, and accents were added to maintain the namesake. Claude passed away in February 1985 and was succeeded at the helm of the Hexagon by his wife, Auralea. During this time the stage was again expanded to accommodate larger bands.
In the late 90's Hexagon experimented with a Country Jam that fizzled once and came back as a feature that lasted over eight years and spawned the current music scene at the Hexagon. The Jam was anchored by guitarist Dan Gaarder(Trailer Trash) and drummer Keelee Lane(Trailer Trash). Again the Hexagon wanted to do something on Thursday night and Keelee was also in a garage/basement cover-rock band that took over Thursday. Keelee (Trailer Trash) was joined on stage by Jay Holgate (Stingray Green), Dan Boardman (Stingray Green) and Rosie on keyboards. The group was characterized by a try any song-finish few, louder is better attitude. Keelee dubbed the group Rhombus Room playing off the geometric name of the bar. Their self appointed name, the HEX OFFENDERS stemmed from an ongoing feud with Hex staff and old-timers.
Jay Holgate morphed into the Guidance councilor for current Hexagon by contributing the ideas and know-how to update the music side of the bar. His idea for a corner stage as well as his expertise in assembling and constructing the current sound system and pointing out Chris Dorn to book the new format were monumental. After a spotty start Dorn moved the Hexagon toward his image of the perfect hip/dive/indie/musicians bar.
Chris managed the talent and showportion of Hexagon with a style and creative imagination that put him among the best upper Midwest promoters. Auralea passed away in 2003 and was succeeded by her son, Bob Hupp who had managed and worked the bar for several years. Then in October of 2008 Bill Hupp, Claude and Auralea's yougest son purchased the Bar and carried on from there. Bill had managed and worked with his father Claude for several years earlier. Claude had turned over nightly manament responsibilties to Bill from September of 1972 through the completion of the complete remodel of the front bar in late 1978. This is when Bill had taken on a position for Kraus Anderson Company Managing one of their large 32 lane Nightclub / Bowling Centers in Brooklyn Park, MN. http://www.kohanek.org/tributes/auraleahupp.html
Chris stepped down in 2006 to pursue his musical career and has been succeeded by Brian McDonough, Jacob Grun, and Bob Flom. Tom Hupp Sr. was a weekend manager of Hexagon from 1960 to his death June 2001.