This got me thinking: how many Minneapolis restaurants and bars are named after the neighborhood in which they reside? And if the number is relatively small--say, a dozen or so--could you hit them all in one night?
I can think of one other "ultra-neighborhood bar," which is the...
...Victory 44 bar in the Victory Neighborhood. Off the top of my head, that's the only one I can name BESIDES The Loop.
Obviously, by "ultra-neighborhood" bar I mean a place that is actually NAMED for the neighborhood in which it resides. Stuff like the "Fourth Street Grill" doesn't count, of course. Besides, when I say "bar crawl" I don't mean crawling to medical assistance after getting hit by gunfire. Why the Fourth Street Bar is still open after so many disturbing incidents is a deep and abiding mystery.
So, anyway, I should say a few more words about The Loop. First of all, the food is delicious and affordable and the atmosphere is friendly and laid back. (Johnny Northside ultra-frankness font: this place hasn't been taken over by the thug crowd, thank god)
The Loop had fried calamari as an appetizer, something I've been missing on the Victory 44 menu for quite a while. The fried calamari was the ENTIRE calamari, including tentacles, not just "squid rings." I thought it was BETTER than the stuff they used to have at Victory 44.
The coconut chicken and the crab cakes were also quite good. The crab cakes were made to look like--incredibly--rambutan fruit.
I was amazed to see the bar's extensive floor is real wood--maple, I think--and the bar is notable as the largest 360 degree bar in Minneapolis. In the photo above, "Briana" poses at the bar. She said her name is spelled like "Brian" with an extra "a" on the end. The bottom photo is a portrait of me, shot through a half-full wine glass.
Did I mention today is my birthday? HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! I have everything I could ever want in my son, Alex.