Post by headlightbeams on Feb 8, 2006 2:54:44 GMT -5
Eat yer heart out:
Why not end up at the Terminal Bar By: Holly Day
Family-owned and -operated since the 1930s, the Terminal Bar, 409 E. Hennepin Ave., has been a favorite watering hole for a variety of crowds. Originally called The Terminal Bar and Buffet, some of the earliest regulars were railroad workers and truck drivers--hence the name “Terminal,” which is an allusion to railroad terminals and not dead people, as one might think. The first corporate owner of the Terminal Bar was Gluek’s Brewery, who ended up selling the bar when antitrust regulations forbade breweries from selling their beer in establishments they owned. The current owner of the Terminal Bar, who would only give her name as “Annette,” has been in charge since her parents handed over the reins more than 30 years ago; she now runs the place with her husband.
While recent gentrification has brought health clubs and upscale restaurants into the neighborhood surrounding the bar, the Terminal Bar itself has remained charmingly anachronistic. From the outside, it looks small and forbidding, with its wood-paneled front and blacked-out windows. Inside, it’s not much more inviting, with tiny tables and chairs strewn haphazardly throughout the front and back rooms of the bar, a brightly lit popcorn machine in one corner and a couple of pinball machines in another.
What sets this bar apart from other drinking establishments of its type is the nightlife--at least three nights a week, local and touring musical acts set up on the small stage in the back room to perform for pennies and free drinks. Over the years, the Terminal Bar has presented the likes of such performers as Glen Meadmore, Songs:Ohio, and Happy Apple, bringing young and hip crowds from as far away as Uptown.
Currently, the Terminal Bar lends its stage to local musical acts more than touring ones, which is both good and bad news for longtime patrons who come specifically for the music. If you don’t get outside of its immediate neighborhood much, the Terminal Bar’s a great place to stop by to see what the local music scene has to offer--almost every band in town has performed here at least once. However, there are a lot of real stinkers in the local music scene right now, and stopping off at the bar to hear a random, unknown band can leave you running for shelter within the first couple of minutes.
Your best bet is to stop by and check out the Terminal Bar’s Iron Lung Acoustic Open Mic night, held every Monday night from 9 p.m. on. Here you can catch 10-minute slices of local musical acts, from fresh-faced youths with shaggy hair singing earnestly about magic and love, to older, more jaded performers singing about how unmagical love truly is, to tough-acting women performing acoustic covers of Alanis Morrisette songs. Plus, there’s no cover charge to attend or perform at the Iron Lung nights, so if you get there early enough, there’s a chance you might get to be one of the earnest or jaded or pissed-off performers yourself.
Kevin sent this to me last week when I was right of the middle of being ghastly ill, and I'm only now beginning to feel moderatly human again so sorry for the delay in posting this:
while i enjoy the guilt by association, i would say the odds of paulie showing up to play the terminal bar with me are about the same as the odds of karen carpenter showing up to play the terminal bar with me. but the truth is that after spending a year in my basement recovering from pw&hof i decided to venture out and try to do some shows by myself. watching paul play that 12 string in the middle of the set every night inspired me to go get me one, a Guild Jumbo. i love it like a brother and i've been playing it for an hour or two every day actually trying to learn all the shit i've written for other people over the last few years. so i'm booking some gigs, taking it slow, just for fun. the hardest part is remembering the words. if any of you are lonely and bored come check it out some time, something tells me it won't be real hard to find a seat. dates will be up at www.kevinbowe.com