It seems Lowertown First Friday skips over January (too cold?), but a buddy dragged me from the sixth-floor to street level (and skyway level) last Friday anyway.
Made it in time to happy hour at the new Bullpen Saloon. It was Capital River Council night there, so mover and shakers abounded. I got a chance to meet Councilman Dave Thune in person for the first time. He seems authentic and says what he means. He might also done politicking after announcing this will be his last term. A potential protege of his was there too, who lives sort of by Thune’s Irvine Park neighborhood, but more across the way in West Seventh near Mancini’s. She had a few stories from hanging out there on Friday and Saturdays, where the band plays rock, covers and rat pack stuff to a crowded room.
Anyways, Bullpen Saloon was crowded this night. There was some kind of raffle before I arrived, and Thune was clutching this faded yellow board game box from 1982. I think it was a St. Paul themed game of Life, or maybe Monopoly. But it was good to see the place full, not even a seat when I arrived around 5:30. They have local Flat Earth brews on tap, and the Mummy Train (a pumpkin-y ale that Fred thought too sweet) was $4 on happy hour. On a side note, nice to see Flat Earth penetrating St. Paul stores and bars almost to second fiddle status to ubiquitous Summit.
We were looking for other stuff to do after HH, so we headed to Lowertown proper, and Black Dog Cafe, which was also unpredictably packed because of an art show that awarded some good cash ($750) to the top voter getter in a people’s choice contest. Black Dog’s trying to schlep the last of Bell’s Christmas Ale bottles for $2.75, which I was happy to take advantage of.
It was after here that we discovered no First Friday was happening, and the doors to Jax Building were locked, yet, a small flyer was posted to the door announcing a jam session at Sendora studios upstairs. Fred called the number and we were let up to a nice space with four friendly people chatting and eating homemade cheddar cheese with crackers. The studio’s owner, Tara, teachers flamenco, and the strange newcomers (us), were treated to a demo performance. Sorry for the fat fingers for about 10 seconds at the start, I was also trying to pound on the floor to help keep time:
Afterwards, called in a nightcap downstairs at Camp with new-to-Twitter-awesome-sustainability wunderkind Mim Cheng. Give her a follow!