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Since many of our readers don’t read anything else besides chalk board drink specials, we feel we should share some of the important-to-you stories being shared around the SotC virtual water cooler so that you’re properly briefed before your happy hour.
News: There’s already a lot of fresh challengers for next year’s MPLS City Council Races; Mayor Coleman won’t seek re-election.
Notes: We got sucked back in to elections when Nekima Levy-Pounds announced her run for MPLS mayor, and now we’re even more in with a whole list of progressive contenders for MPLS city council spots, including Keith Ellison’s son Jeremiah Ellison running for the Northside seat and some exciting potential with Jillia Pessenda running against Kevin Reich in Ward 1 in Northeast. Plus St. Easy mayor Chris Coleman won’t seek re-election in 2017, meaning it’s going to be a crazy town election cycle all over Twincy.
News: Walker’s new Esker Grove restaurant is getting a bunch of foodie buzz.
Notes: We get why: The interior of the new spot by Piccolo chef Doug Flicker looks sleek and minimalist, overlooks the sculpture garden (when it re-opens) and downtown, and has a menu “inspired by local farmers’ harvests and regional cheese artisans and protein purveyors”. It’s all a part of the massive, multi-million dollar redesign of the Art Center that kicked off last week.
News: Both the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra had really good years.
Notes: It’s a good time for classical music in Twincy. Regular readers know we’re big fans of the SPCO, and so are a lot of other folks—they had a record high number of attendees throughout the 2015-16 season. We can’t wait for their 2017 season. Similarly, the Minnesota Orchestra also met artistic and financial milestones, including increased subscribers, including smaller community subscribers, and their capacity at shows. Both groups have been doing forward-looking programming, and we hope that continues.
The best tropical vacation in Minneapolis that money can buy! Go island hopping at Psycho Suzi’s and say goodbye to 2016.
This New Year’s Eve, purchase a Polynesian Passport, which is your ticket for tasty appetizers, four island cocktails of your choosing, music provided by DJ Shane Kramer of Transmission Music, unlimited photo booth usage and obligatory champagne toast while we ring in 2017.
Tickets can be purchased at suzisnye.brownpapertickets.
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Burger joints should be painting a mural for him! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
Somewhere, someplace in an alley near Lyndale and Lake, hiding behind a dumpster and staircase, is The Top Secret of the City. Volstead’s Emporium is speakeasy. Hundo p. No website. No parking. No nothing. I mean this couldn’t make for a better hunt. It’s literally hiding! Upon arrival you’ll maybe think it’s the right spot, but the door is locked and your Minnesota-style second guessing of oneself will kick in full throttle, almost like never before, cause it’s dark and very sketchy. Then I hear something open and it’s the peep hole for the doorman. He let’s me in, and to the basement we go. So it’s a total juice joint (blind pig), all hotsy-totsy, charming, and very intriguing. The Cheeseburger is a standout on this small, but ambrosial menu. It’s a bigun and juicy to the nines. First bite is an explosion of flavor all up in your business. Thank goodness it’s dark cause we be dripping. Wipe clean and focus in. The bun is soft, delightful, and somehow holds up. Prohibition is officially over on cheesy goodness—this burger signifies that! The meat is the mob boss tho. Probably shouldn’t say too much being this place is a giant secret. Volstead’s Emporium slaps the infamous Volstead Act right in the face. As it should. Prohibition is/was a bad idea. Happy hunting!
Scorecard: Flavor: 9.3 Presentation: 9 Originality: 8
For the last 10 years, Green Room Music Source has brought us some of the most recognized names in local music, and they’ll be marking the occasion on Saturday with a stacked show at the Turf Club. Just check out this lineup: The Melismatics, a reunion of Mark Mallman’s side project Ruby Isle, Johnny & Molly of Communist Daughter, Duluth phenom Gaelynn Lea, The Look and Feel (featuring Eric Lovold and Ryan McMillan of The Alarmists), and a bunch more.
Before that mini-festival kicks off, we quick chatted with co-founder Craig Grossman to hear about all the many, many details that go into just one band, not to mention several bands, playing a show for you.
Secrets of the City: How have you gone about selecting artists to work with, especially since Green Room is so selective?
We have a belief that good artists and good agencies/agents somehow find one another in the universe. We tend to choose artists we already know are out there a lot, working the road and we have the great fortune of being able to go to other artists from our roster to get recommendations and referrals as well.
What’s changed in the last ten years when it comes to booking bands? Anything? Everything?
Not a lot actually- funny enough. The largest change is that artists need to go out on the road more often to make up for lost label royalties. That’s caused a lot more competition out there so you tend to have to book even further out than usual.
How will you realistically get all those folks—Melismatics, Ruby Isle, Gaelynn Lea(!), a bunch of others—all on and off the stage before bar close for the big anniversary show?
Oh, now you’re giving me an anxiety attack! I think we’ve structured the show to allow for longer changeovers by staggering sets between the main stage of The Turf and downstairs in the Clown Lounge. We’ve also made sure there’s no overlap in music so everyone has the chance to see full sets in both rooms. All that moving up and down the stairs will hopefully work off those great Turf Club libations for everyone this Saturday!