Uptown Bar and Cafe: Bar/Restaurant/Live Music Venue. WAS LOCATED: Uptown; 3018 Hennepin Ave. So. CLOSED (For relocation, we hope).
Alas, what was Uptown, in terms of nightlife, and defining the true, original, nightlife-culture in Uptown, is no more. Lest it be said it never were.
Dependable, and perennial, the Uptown Bar deserves its place in the legacy of Uptown, and in the legacy of the Minneapolis music scene. Were I to say what was good about the Uptown Bar – with great hopes that rumors of it’s resurrection are immanent (stay tuned here for updates) ¬– this writer’s assessment would read, in epitaph, as follows:
In ode to this foregone perennial, what can one say about the Uptown Bar and Cafe that could say more about it's importance in our neighborhood than that it's been there, day-in and day-out, rain or shine, season after season, for over 75 years! Where else in town can you say, and reasonably believe, that not only your dad, but your grand-dad as well, have likely stopped by for a beer while they were still young-and-dumb-and-... well, you get the idea!?!
Established at this location as a burger and beer joint in the 1930's, generation after generation have found the Uptown's founding mandate – of "providing a comfortable and relaxed environment where the customer knows they're important" – welcoming indeed.
"Reflecting the tone of the times," the Uptown Bar has continued to adapt its appearance to match the ever-changing mood of the neighborhood. The only local-music venue around that caters to our communities need for an aggressive live-music presence; "The Uptown" has established itself as a forum where up-n-coming local artists can gain their debut. While some would argue that the Uptown's glory days as a music incubator have passed, you would be hard pressed to convince the crowds of local-music fans who pack the place on music nights.
While Baked Brie ($6.95) is not what you would expect among the appetizers on the Uptown's diner-style menu, there it is, right next to the Buffalo Wings, Nachos, and Onion Rings. And that's exactly our point! When it comes to food, the Uptown Bar is everything you would expect and more, and from their all-day breakfast through their (famous) Hindenburg Sandwich ($7.25), everything is good and modestly priced – especially when you consider the heaping portions.
But let's not forget that this is a drinking-establishment, and their Bloody Mary ($4.75) is one of the best in town (just forget the measly beer chaser and get a bottle of Ameri-brew to accompany your Bloody). Popular every day of the week, it's a smart idea to get there early on music nights and settle in. When the featured act is hot, you can be sure that the place will fill-up.
... and don't the memories just make you feel warm inside?