TC Sidewalks Live: Noteworthy Dive Bars of South Minneapolis Bike Tour

[Using powertools to cut decorative wine corks inside a South Mpls dive bar.]
[Guided bicycle tour of five "dive bars" of South Minneapolis, focusing on the origin and future of dive bars in a part of the city historically inhospitable to them.

Thursday November 7, leaving from the Schooner Tavern at 6:30PM (the corner of East 29th Street and 27th Avenue South, by the Rainbow Foods).

RSVP on Facebook here.]

Q: Huh?

A: This is a bicycle tour taking place in Minneapolis called "Noteworthy Dive Bars of South Minneapolis."

Q: What is a Dive Bar?

A: Cleanly defining a dive bar is difficult, precisely because dives are not very clean. It's a bit like Justice Potter Stewart's definition of obscenity. Here's what we know...

Windows - These are a minus. Dives eschew fenestration. What happens in the dive, stays in the dive.

Staff - Ideally, there's only one staff. Maybe someone works in the back. The more staff, the less divey.

Regulars - A must. When you walk into a dive, people should stop talking like in a wild west saloon and look at you a bit funny. Unless you are a regular, you really don't belong. 

Daydrinkers -Yep.

Pull Tabs - 90%. Meat raffles are also good. Best is when there's a pot of some sort of free food sitting on a table.

Nonchalance - Dives can't be trying too hard to make money. If they are, they're not dives any more. No fancy menus. No fancy paint jobs, etc.

Cleanliness - Nope.

"Craft Beer" - Nope, unless its brewed within a mile or two of the dive.

Food - Greasy or nothing. Heggie's Pizza is the hallmark of a dive. 

[Minneapolis' historic liquor patrol limits.]
Q: I thought there weren't any dive bars in South Minneapolis?

A: This is kinda true, sorta. South Minneapolis has historically been outside the city's "liquor patrol limits," an odd bit of historical chicanery brought to you by the city's well-off WASP reformers. There are, however, some exceptions.

We will be starting at the Schooner Tavern, located in historic "hell corner," and travelling to four more interesting dive bar locations in the sub-Lake Street city, including the last remaining 3.2 bar, a constitutional exception to the city' strange "five-acre" rule, an "endangered" dive, and a dive with decent food (for the hungry among you).

Q: Do I need a bike?

A: Yep. We'll be biking approximately 10 miles in total. Not too far, all things considered.

Q: It's November, you idiot.

A: I know. Wear a warm coat, gloves, and bring bike lights for the darkness.

Q: Can I come for part of it, but not hang out with you the entire goddam time?

A: Yes. I will be tweeting locations, there will be a quasi-schedule, and you can always call (if you're lucky enough to have my digits) to find out where the tour is at. Come just for one dive, or enjoy the whole diving expedition.

Q: Is it free?

A: Yes, but buying a beer for one of the hosts is appreciated or (failing that) you can always support this blogger by purchasing an artisanal postcard for a reasonable and minimal fee.

[An awaiting cooler.]

No comments: