Starting Friday, northeast Minneapolis will be hosting its biggest shindig of the year. Art-A-Whirl displays more art than you can possibly see, even if you spent all three days wandering the open studios non-stop.
All that walking can work up a powerful hunger and thirst. Lucky for you, there’s no shortage of tap rooms, cocktail rooms, and restaurants getting in on the festivities. Here are five parties to get you started. You can check the Art-a-Whirl app for more suggestions.
1. Whirlygig at Indeed Brewing is a weekend-long party, three days of beer, food, and a music lineup curated by the folks at First Avenue and 7th St. Entry. Doors open at noon all three days; on Friday, music starts at 6 p.m.; on Saturday and Sunday, it kicks off at 1 p.m. The fun ends at 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. on Sunday.
We don’t have to tell you there will be beer, but there will also be food. The Blue Door Pub will be serving up sliders and a DIY totcho bar; Natedogs will be serving up locally made hot dogs topped with house-made condiments.
Indeed is a good place to take a break from Art-A-Whirl – it’s just across the train tracks from the Northrup King Building, the big kahuna of art venues. When you’re ready to roam again, just head upstairs – the Solar Arts Building has three floors of artists. The event is cash only, and there’s a $1 entry fee that buys you a wristband and benefits Indeed We Can, a program that contributes to local nonprofits chosen and sponsored by Indeed employees.
711 15th Ave. NE, Minneapolis
2. Bonicelli Kitchen, a new Northeast bistro with a planned opening date of July 1, is giving neighbors a sneak peek of the garden patio and a preview of the restaurant’s local, organic, and seasonal food this weekend. Chef/owner Laura Bonicelli started her business in 2009 as a fresh, healthy meal delivery service. She brings the same scratch cooking to her new venture.
The patio menu will feature small plates, as well as beer and wine. The patio is dog-friendly, although Art-A-Whirl weekend probably isn’t the best time to bring Fido along. In keeping with the spirit of the weekend, Artist LK Hanson, of Star Tribune fame, will exhibit his drawings.
1839 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis
3. Domo Gastro is an Asian-inspired gastropub tucked away on a Northeast side street. You might drive right by it were it not for the bright green paint job. The menu features ramen and a variety of street food. On Friday and Saturday, the restaurant’s parking lot becomes a giant beer garden for the Domo Backyard Bash. There will be plenty of food, including a pig roast, on Friday. A beer truck will pour the finest local beers from Northeast as well as cider from Sociable Cider Werks.
On Saturday the fun continues with more beer and a menu of Asian street food like steamed buns, Korean tacos, poke, and yakitori. Stick around for the late night DJ and dance the night away.
1032 Third Ave. NE, Minneapolis
4. The Liquid Zoo – A Celebration of Life, Art, and Beer is an event name that lets you know you’re in for big fun. We would expect nothing less from a Bauhaus Brew Labs party. There will be beer, including a lineup of unique casks and radlers to make beer geeks swoon, music, and food.
Things get going at 7 p.m. on Friday with music from Viva Knievel. On Saturday, the party takes over the brewery’s parking lot for an all-day concert; Andrea Swensson from the Current will be on hand to emcee. Bands include Sonny Knight and the Lakers and Jeremy Messersmith, to name but a couple. Food vendors vary each day, but include Brooks High Beer Battered, Hibachi Daruma, MidNord Empanadas, Butcher Salt, O’Cheeze, and Tru Pizza.
Bauhaus caps things off on Sunday with Made By Hands Art & Craft Bazaar from noon to 6 p.m. Peruse the paintings, jewelry, woodworks, sweets, knits, ceramics, and more. You can also watch the Bauhaus delivery van get a colorful graffiti facelift.
If the spirit moves you, Seawolf Tattoo Company will be there with a pop-up tattoo shop featuring some classic Americana-style beer tattoos created specifically for Art-A-Whirl weekend. DJ Shane Kramer of Transmission Music will be playing an assortment of wax on the tables all day, and Down in the Valley will be bringing a treasure trove of rare and vintage vinyl to get in on the action.
1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis
5. Pyscho Suzi’s is also good for a unique twist, weather it’s the tiki decor, the monster drinks, or the Art-A-Whirl party. You’ll want to be at their outdoor waterfront tiki festival on Saturday for the annual Puppy Pageant and Fashion Show, which starts at 2:30. Register your fur baby by calling the restaurant, or just get there between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to sign up. Project Pet Rescue will be there with dogs that need a home.
Music, featuring a number of bands including Dead Bundy and the Neat Neat Neats, starts at 4:30, and goes into the evening and early morning hours. The party also features pizza by the slice, a beer truck, and coconut drinks. And puppies. Did we mention the puppies?
1900 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis
Bonus tip: If you get to the point where you need a respite from the crowds, head over to Wander North Distillery. It’s close enough to the heart of Art-A-Whirl that you can drive there in five minutes, but it's far (enough) from the madding crowd that you can relax and enjoy some peace and quiet, and a good drink. Try the Cucumber Collins made with their Outpost Vodka to take the edge off.
771 Harding St. NE, Minneapolis