Varsity Theater is America’s Best Restroom

Varsity Theater is America’s Best Restroom

Historic Minneapolis Landmark Captures the Crown in the 12th Annual Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom Contest

Minneapolis, MN/Cincinnati, OH – November 19, 2013 – America voted and decided that Varsity Theater has the best restroom in all the land. After viewing its quirky design and furnishings, the online public selected the venue’s restroom over a strong field of finalists in the 12th annual contest.

What made the Varsity Theater the 2013 King of Thrones? It starts with the unique décor: ornate mirrors and curvy brick walls. Distinctive features include sinks operated by foot pedal and a co-ed hand wash area. Bartenders even serve drinks into the restroom on a back counter. For many Twin Cities residents, the restroom at the concert hall is as popular as the artists on stage.

“The team at Varsity Theater understands the value of a well-maintained and memorable restroom,” said Cintas’ Senior Marketing Manager John Engel. “What they have is more than a creative concept. It’s an effective business tool that keeps people coming back.”

Engel visited Varsity Theater on Tuesday, November 19 to present owner Jason McLean with the 2013 award. The theater has now secured its place in the Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame.

In the contest, which attracted thousands of online votes, America chose Portland’s Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade’s restroom the No. 2 place “to go.” Public Glass Bathrooms on the Square in Sulphur Springs, Texas took 3rd place.

Varsity Theater, formerly The University Theater, was one of the last vaudeville houses in Minneapolis and hosted minstrel shows, comedians and screenings of early silent films.

“The best restroom award is truly an honor,” said Jason McLean, Varsity Theater owner and general manager. “In an era when designers are so creative with public restrooms, we consider this award a tremendous achievement.”

As for the restroom’s fantasy-themed design, “I ask the audience to spend a short time immersed in a make-believe world, leaving their cares behind and yet in a social way,” McLean said.

The 2013 contest attracted nominations from a wide range of businesses, including restaurants, a hotel, an ice cream parlor, an art museum and a classic arcade. The ten finalists were selected based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements.

The 2013 finalists:


  • Alex Madonna Gold Rush Steak House – San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade – Portland, OR
  • John Michael Kohler Arts Center – Sheboygan, WI
  • Public Glass Bathrooms on the Square – Sulphur Springs, TX
  • Sloan’s Ice Cream – West Palm Beach, FL
  • Tampa International Airport – Tampa, FL
  • Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN
  • Viracocha – San Francisco, CA
  • Waldorf Astoria – New York, NY
  • Westfield Garden State Plaza – Paramus, NJ

To view photos of previous winners, visit the America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame on the contest website at

Cintas launched the America’s Best Restroom Contest in 2002 to honor businesses across the country that consider hygiene and style top priorities.

“This project is undoubtedly fun, but it also conveys a critical message that restroom hygiene matters for good health and good business. Proprietors recognize the parallel between clean restrooms and customer retention,” said Engel. “We look forward to celebrating our 13th year in 2014 and invite the public to nominate their favorite facility online now for consideration in next year’s competition.”

For more information or to set up an interview, please contact Survey Editor Danny Rubin at 757-285-7617.

About Cintas:
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types primarily throughout North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom cleaning and supplies, tile and carpet cleaning, promotional products, first aid, safety, fire protection products and services and document management services for more than one million businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS and is a component of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.