Drinks will soon be flowing again at Whiskey Junction. The West Bank watering hole closed its doors at the end of last year after drowning for months in red ink and acrimony.
But last week the Minneapolis City Council granted a liquor license to new owner Tom O'Shea.
He expects the biker bar to be open for business by the end of this week. "It really seems like we've got a lot of people in our corner now," he says.
O'Shea originally attempted to purchase the bar from its previous owner, Cami Freeman-Waag, in January of last year. He paid $250,000 up front and began taking over management duties as he waited to secure a liquor license. But Freeman-Waag then allegedly reneged on the deal and refused to hand over the business (see "Bar Fight," 7/12/06).
The two parties then filed dueling lawsuits in Hennepin County District Court. In January O'Shea was granted a default judgment of $350,000. But he doesn't expect to reap that dividend anytime soon. "I don't think there's any money," he says.
For now O'Shea is concentrating on rejuvenating Whiskey Junction. He's gutted the kitchen and painted the interior walls. Blues singer Rae Singer has been hired to book the live music. "I ain't got time to look back," he says. "I got things to look forward to."
UPDATE: March 14 press release from Tom O'Shea...
Whiskey Junction Re-Opens With A Little Luck Of The Irish
Under new ownership, Whiskey Junction will again be serving up live music, food, and drink. On St. Patrick's Day, Saturday, March 17, 2007 Whiskey Junction will re-open with a Luck Of The Irish Celebration featuring local Irish folk rock band, Machinery Hill.
The club will host local live music every Friday and Saturday night from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am. Whiskey Wars, a battle of the bands competition, is scheduled to start Monday, May 7 and will help reintroduce live music into the club six nights a week. An official Grand Opening Celebration is being planned for later this year.
Contact Soup Music Company, P.O. Box 431244, Minneapolis, MN 55443, 612-280-7890 www.soupmusiccompany.com for live entertainment bookings at Whiskey Junction.
Whiskey Junction hours of operation are Sunday - Thursday, 10:00 am to 1:00 am and Friday - Saturday 10:00 am to 2:00 am. A full menu is available during select hours. The club also offers a late night walk-up pizza window. Libations are served daily from open to close.
A bar has been operated continuously at 901 Cedar Avenue South, in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis, since at least the 1930s. In 1984 Gary Mackenzie purchased the bar and renamed it Whiskey Junction. Earlier this year Elizabeth "Little" Obregon and Tom O'Shea were awarded ownership in a formal legal settlement with previous owners, Cami Freeman-Waag and Roal Waag.