Sunday, January 3, 2010

Donny Dirk's Zombie Den - a Reason to Cheer in 2009!

Guest post by the Hawthorne Hawkman. Photos by the Hawkman, John Hoff, and Bryan Thao Worra.

This blog was proudly boasting about the hottest new night spot in town long before anyone else. (Click here, here, and here for a few other examples of the awesomeness that is Donny Dirk's Zombie Den.)

Well, it didn't take long for others to take notice. Most recently...

The Star Tribune listed Donny Dirk's #2 in their "Finding nine reasons to cheer Twin Cities culture in '09" article. (Disclaimer: Strib links often "go dead," and not in a zombiefied way, after a while, so this story may not be available in the future. Johnny Northside will always be there for you, however.)

Pictured above, the avocado-green exterior, some of the zombie kitsch found inside, and me showing off my Tommytronic 3-D racing game to fellow NoMi geek Bryan Thao Worra.

Hawthorne is proud to have Donny Dirk's in the neighborhood. Come on by, and you'll probably run into resident activists celebrating the most recent historic changes in our community!


Anonymous said...

In a link to one of the older posts about the Zombie Den, I noticed that there was a proposal to turn Jug Liquor into Taste of Chicago. Did this happen? Is it any good?

Johnny Northside said...

No, the proposal to turn Jug Liquor into Taste of Chicago is dead in the water. The city council did not go for that idea, and in retrospect I'm not all broken up about it.

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

I agree with John. Hawthorne lent organizational support to the idea but personally I wasn't a big fan.

However, Good Sports Bar & Grill is opening soon, and Halek's will be renamed "Ya Baby's" under new management. I'm super-excited about Good Sports. I could go for a different name on the latter establishment but I know the new owner, he has a history with the spot, and he'll run a tight ship. Just like the last crew.

The area's getting better and better.

Anonymous said...

"Ya baby"?
A dated catch-phrase? What a dumb name for a bar.
Why not "Dyn-o-mite!" or "Well, Excuuuuuuuuuse me!"

Talk to the guy. Tell him his bar name is not testing well with sample audiences.

Bryan Thao Worra said...

Great. Now get us a late-night bookstore and movie theater!

The Hawthorne Hawkman said...

The thing about the name for the new management of Halek's is that apparently it has a bit of history with the regulars. So while it hasn't tested well with the JNS focus groups (or for that matter, the community at large during his public hearing about the liquor license) the existing customer base likes it.

I'm TRYING to look on the bright side; it is going to be a well-run establishment and the inside does have a pleasant "Glory Days" kind of vibe to it if that's your thing.

Hillside Chronicles said...


Hey Bryan, a Caribou Coffee...that's we need!