Noteworthy Dive Bars of Inner Northeast Walking Tour

A follow up to this winter's exploratory merriment, it's time to wander the other half of Northeast, Minneapolis' dive bar promised land. Here we will explore the inner boundaries of the old "liquor patrol limits" that attempted to contain the neighborhood's boozing to its riverine margins.

Here's a bit of history from the last Northeast tour:
And, like the South Minneapolis' division, the Northeast Minneapolis alcoholic landscape has a stark geography. According to the city's "liquor patrol limits," full liquor establishments weren't allowed East of 4th Street or North of 29th Avenue. 

Thus Northeast's dive bars were contained to a small area alongside the riverfront crotch. This was ostensibly because this is the distance that the city's 19th century "liquor patrol" could efficiently walk from their downtown stations. (But everyone knew the restrictions stemmed from moralistic paternalism by city's economic and religious leaders.) That is why the wealth of the city's shrines to old school libation are as concentrated as an Otter Bar rum and coke.

This time we'll be strolling and stumbling straight south along NE 4th Street, where all the dive bars line up light tipsy dominoes along the West side of the street. We will venture South, hugging the interior of the dive district until we reach the train tracks. There we will make an abrupt left, and wend ourselves towards the season streets, an odd pocket of roadway nomenclature: spring, summer, but no winter or fall. Finally, we arrive at the mecca of karaoke, the fabled Vegas Lounge, where the bar for singing is simultaneously both high and low, a Northeast paradox.

What more is there to say? This is a fascinating stretch of living history. No Northern dive bar connoisseur should go without stepping foot on this fascinating stretch of sidewalk. Walk with me and plumb the inner depths of Northeast Minneapolis.

A note on walking

This will be a walking tour. (Bicycles are welcome, of course, and faster, and may proceed at their own leisure.) I will be walking at a relatively brisk pace between the dive destinations, and the total distance covered will be about two (2) miles

[The Knight Cap decorated for Christmastime.]

[The flying flag of Northeast.]
What: Walking tour of five dive bars in Northeast Minneapolis

Who: Anyone. Tips accepted eagerly, either in beer or cash.

When: Thursday, May 26th, departing at 6:30

Where: Northeast Palace, Lowry and 4th

Why: Because it's there

How: Brief historical notes and discussions of each bar will be delivered upon arrival and/or departure. A pause for refreshment, then on to the next.  

[Read about other dive bar tours here: Payne and Arcade, Outer Northeast, The Midway, South Minneapolis, and Old Fort Road.]

No comments: