Saturday, December 28, 2013

Bars I Like - Fargo, ND

Since I have been thinking about starting a bar, obviously I have been in a few of them over the years.

Below is a list of some of the bars I have liked in Fargo, ND. It is by no means extensive, and as this blog continues, I will periodically add to this list.

Fargo, ND

Duffy's Tavern - Fargo, ND
Duffy's Tavern - Duffy's was the first bar where I felt like a regular. Unfortunately, I did not do my 21st birthday here, but we found it soon after and never looked back. White Russians were $3.25, PBR pounders were $2, and they had the best jukebox in town by a mile (CCR, James Brown, Dr. Hook, etc.). This small box with no windows was designed like a drinking fortress.  The front double doors are a trap (rookie door!) and when you walk in, you immediately hit the bar of regulars.  However, if you are brave (and lucky) enough the back booth is open.  The only food available is frozen pizza, but they do have off sale.

The Bison Turf - Fargo, ND
The Bison Turf - The Turf is the epitome of a college bar. Located across University Avenue from North Dakota State University, it was the closest bar to a campus of 15,000 thirsty binge drinking North Dakotan's. The menu was deep fried and greasy (the turf burger and seasoned fries are a must), and their mug night/pitcher night specials on drinks resulted in a lot of craziness and bad (good?) choices. A classic college bar in what is quickly becoming an amazing college town.

Rooters - Fargo, ND
Rooters - Rooters wasn't a place that we frequented all that often, however when we went downtown, it was usually a first or last stop kind of bar. Great drinks, and usually a very lively crowd. The picture above is only one half of the total. The bar is split into two halves with a ton of bar space. I always loved this bar for its simplicity and lack of pretense.

Hotel Donaldson - Fargo, ND
Hotel Donaldson - The Hotel Donaldson is obviously more than just a bar. It is also a magnificent hotel and restaurant. I won't waste time discussing them anymore than to say if you get a chance, a stay and a meal are a must. There are two lounge areas. One in the front looking out onto Broadway Avenue, which is the main downtown area of Fargo, and the other, the Sky Prairie which is their rooftop lounge, that during the summer gives a remarkable 360 degree view of the Fargo-Moorhead area. The HoDo as it is affectionately referred to is the cornerstone of the downtown scene.  Classy, and overflowing with quality and goodness.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Welcome to Our Bar

Downtown Fargo, ND
For the longest time (roughly 10 years) I have thought about owning a bar.  I think this is a common dream for a lot of college guys with a large group of friends, who think it would be cool to have a "place of their own".  Fargo had a pretty great bar scene, as has Pittsburgh, Ann Arbor, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago and some of the other places we have lived in.

As we went through college, and after when a few of us moved to different cities and states, we kept notes periodically of bars we liked, layouts, what worked, what didn't, names, etc. until we had a very large word document full of random ideas for our bar.

Originally, many of us gravitated toward a business-casual sports bar/club, but during a brainstorming session around a pool in Las Vegas, after a late night bachelor party, the idea of how to be unique came up, and the light bulb went on...a non-profit bar, where net profit would go to local charities.

Naturally, like all good ideas, someone has already done it.  So to the internet I turned searching for a non-profit bar, and sure enough, I found the Oregon Public House in Portland, OR.  They weren't open yet, and they were going to be the first one in the world.  I got excited.  Even though we weren't first, we were pretty damn close.

Oregon Public House - Portland, OR

This blog is intended to detail the process of how we plan on starting up our own non-profit bar, following the Oregon Public House "model".  We might succeed, we might fail, but it will all be detailed here.

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