Thanks to all the input from so many people on and off blogs, and following a number of phone calls and further research, the exact location, time, and other details of PZ and Greg’s Excellent Party have been determined. Here is the post providing all the details.
As part of the Millionth Comment Madness Meetup, whereby Scienceblog Dot Com bloggers all around the world will Meet the Readers at various locations all within the same approximate time span, PZ Myers and I have decided to combine our efforts. We have a time, we have day, and we have a list of possible locations. Have a look at the list and help us narrow it down!
I’ll take your suggestions here or by email, and a committee will be asked to make the final venue selection.
The date of the event will be September 18th, Thursday, at 7:00 Central Time. The place will be somewhere in the Twin Cities. Many, many suggestions have been made. Here, I’ll list the ones I know about and in a few cases make a comment or two.
The first location I’ll mention is the Campus Club at the University (Coffman Union, East Bank). Rick Schauer has suggested this venue and offered to buy us free beer!!!! Hard to resist. PZ and I are not sure if the University is ready for this group, especially owing to certain sensitivities, but it certainly should remain in the running.
Grumpy’s … a neighborhood bar in Northeast. I don’t think I’ve been there.
The Black Forest Inn. This is on Eat Street, in my favorite neighorhood of Minneapolis. If we picked the black forest, we would arrange to reserve their party room and/or outside area (both, likely, because who knows about the weather).
This is the only bar in Minneapolis where their policy is to NOT spackle over bullet holes in the walls, so that’s kinda cool. Reasonably good beer, German food.
Azia. For various reasons, this is one of my favorite places in Minneapolis. I was a regular customer from the day they opened until the day I moved more than a few blocks away (and of course I still go there). This is where Amanda and I had our first date! (Pre-date, really.) Back in the day, pre-Amanda, Julia and I used to walk to Azia almost every Saturday for pot stickers and Pad Thai. I have more fond memories of this or that evening with one or another close friend drinking a couple bottles of wine from Azia’s excellent list and solving various problems of the most global or the most personal nature.
Oh, and I have a funny story or two. But not now, likely not ever…
Anyway, Azia on a Thurday night might be crowded, but they do have a “catepillar lounge” that may be reservable. I’ll look into it.
This is not the local neighborhood bar. The food is outstanding. Linked to a sushi bar as well.
The Kitty Cat Klub, home of the Minneapolis Anarchists. Or what’s left of them. This is sometimes the venue for the Bell Muesum’s Cafe Scientifique. It is also where PZ and I had our first date.. er.. Beer. Only as I remember I didn’t have a beer. Anyway, it’s a cool place and might be just right.
The Town Hall … this was a weekly venue for me at one point in my life, but then the people who tended to go there each week shifted from dear friends to very annoying nits so I stopped going (sorry if any of you nits are reading this, but hey, what can I say…).
I have a funny story about this place. Well, actually, I have a dozen funny stories, but just one for now:
I had a good friend and colleague from a foreign land visiting, and he was a guest of honor, major speaker at an event, and so on. He’s a major dude, so it is normal for him to be entertained by Prime Ministers and Queens and so on, but he was happy to come to our humble diggs, give a few talks, and hang out for a while. But this was a big deal for us, so we had an itinerary and everything. I rented out the back room of the Town Hall to have my colleague spend some time in a casual setting with graduate students and few beers. So the itinerary said something like
“7:00 – Meeting and Discussion at Town Hall”
So, when it came time to go to the Town Hall, he and I headed off on foot with a couple of other folks, as the bar was well within walking distance. As we approached, my friend got kind of a funny look on his face … first confused, then amused. Finally, as we were walking into the bar, he turned to me smiling and said “Ah … the ‘Town Hall’ is a tavern… I was rather impressed that your Mayor worked so late in the evening. Now I’m relieved to just sit and have a beer!”
Anyway, the Town Hall should remain on the short list UNLESS there is a Twins Game in town that evening. Excellent beer selection, good food, but they should be admonished for taking their calamari off the menu. Shame.
The Local. This is where a local Pharyngulfest happened last winter in association with the Atheist Convention. It is a fine place, but it is broken up into these smallish cozy units that makes it hard to have a group larger than six, though I suppose we could subdivide. This is right in downtown, so you’d be parking in a ramp.
Great beer choice, I’ve heard the food is good.
The Bryant Lake Bowl. This is good, but not a great venue for a largish group unless we rent the theatre in the back, and then we’d be in a theatre. The theatre comes with one or two waitrons who will bring us beer and we could put on a show, but maybe not….
The Bulldog, in near-Northeast on Hennepin. I do not know this place. Supposed to have a great tap beer selection.
O’Gara’s. Never heard of it, but it looks nice on the web site.
The Terrace in Saint Paul has been suggested, but I’m wondering if it is too fancy for us. Also, it could rain. And it is hard to get large contiguous groups there.
Sweeney’s on Dale in St. Paul. Never been there.
The Muddy Pig, neighborhood bistron in St. Paul (Selby-Dale). Don’t know it.
Patrick McGovern’s Pub … Even though this place is in Saint Paul, I’ve been there and it is OK. Large, somewhat noisy brew-house type bar. Lots of character. I have a funny story about this place, but I think I’ll reserve it for off-blog as it involves certain subjects.
Mancini’s… I dunno. Look at the web site. Don’t know this place. Bad feeling (for this event … looks like a great place to get S&M).
Inner Ring Suburbs:
The Mermaid. This is a strange one, but possibly a good one, located in Mounds View near Fridley. I’ve never been there but I used to live down the block. Mike has suggested this location and he knows what he’s talking about, so we should have a close look.
Barley John’s Brew Pub has been suggested. I love this rather obscure resturant/bar! (Used to live across the street from it). But it is small, too small for this group. But I want to mention it because I highly recommend both their beer and their food.