Noteworthy Dive Bars of Downtown Minneapolis Bicycling Tour this Thursday

[Link to Google.]
Mousey’s. Moby Dick’s. The Anchor Inn. Brady’s Bar. The Saddle Bar. The Pink Poodle. The Carousel. Casa Coranado, The Copper Squirrel. The Blitz. The 5 Bar. The Key Club. The Cascade 9. The Longhorn...

All gone dives. To be honest, there's hardly anything left.

Jane Jacobs’ classic 1958 Fortune Magazine essay, Downtown is for People, extended an early feeler for what would become the urbanist masterpiece, Death and Life of Great American Cities. In it, she lays out some of the principles and methods of her madness. She writes,
“Downtown … there is no logic that can be superimposed on the city; people make it, and it is to them, not buildings, that we must fit our plans. This does not mean accepting the present; downtown does need an overhaul, it is dirty, it is congested. But there are things that are right about it too, and by simple old-fashioned observation we can see what they are. We can see what people like.”

Yes because downtown is different. Downtown the prize, the gleam in the eye of the dreamer, the tramp, the politician, the moneyed scoundrel. Downtown is  battleground of territory claimed, abandoned, re-claimed, fortified, released, scoured, and rebuilt for over a century.

[The old sign of Moby Dick's.]
Dives of downtown are different too. For one thing, they hardly exist. Rents are high here and dives thrive on marginality. Downtown dives are the most precarious things, short lifespans like insects. But also hard to eradicate, also like insects.

This tour will trace a line around the edge of downtown. approximately 4 miles by bicycle. We will meet at an odd place, Mortimer’s Bar on Lyndale and Franklin, a wonderful classic dive by the “bottleneck”, a suitable name, the place that once marked the beginning and the end of downtown, the edge of the seam between downtown and the pastoral landscapes stretching south. From here we will bicycle to a few past dive locations, places where a dive bar or two might have thrived, in their way, for a few years or a few decades. A pilgrimage to Moby Dick’s, the (in)famous downtown dive bar where you got a free drink if you turned in your AA badge. A stop at the old Hubert’s to peer in at the remodeling. A few pauses in the Gateway, and a trip down an alley. Then we will retire to a new and old dive bar in the North Loop, each with a story to tell.

Almost without exception, the dives of downtown Minneapolis have been erased from the landscape. But traces remain. See you then!

[Looking out onto Washington Avenue.]

What: Guided bicycle tour of three (3) current and two (2) former, and countless (•) lost dives of Downtown Minneapolis
When: This Thursday, August 25th, departing at 6:30pm
Where: Leaving from Mortimer's Bar on the corner of Lyndale and Franklin
Why: Because it's there... or because it's not there
Who: Anyone. Free. Please consider tips or supporting me on my Patreon page!

[Part of a wall at Cuzzy's.]

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