Minneapolis, it's time to welcome a new member to the bocce ball family. Last week, the Republic in Uptown announced that two bocce courts have been secretly added to the restaurant's dining room.
Establishments like the Nomad World Bar and Brit's Pub have already jumped on the bocce train. The Nomad has two courts open daily from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. where various leagues play throughout the year. Bocce ball involves little more than tossing a ball across a long court, which makes it simple enough to play in an inebriated state, and thus a popular addition to neighborhood bars.
See also: Best bocce courts 2008: Nomad World Pub
Republic's new bocce courts will be open indefinitely, a manager told Hot Dish.
"We don't have any leagues set up at the moment," he says. "We're just kind of seeing how it goes."
Republic's owners have always wanted to put a bocce court in to make it more of an active bar, he added.
"Bocce is an ancient game, with origins dating back to at least 264 B.C. when Roman soldiers played between battles, but we prefer our version -- in the comfort of Minnesota's finest craft beer bar. Playing bocce requires skill, fitness, strategy, and cunning, all characteristics we frequently see in Republic's customers, so this is a natural match," owner Matt O'Reilly says in the press release. While we aren't so sure about the fitness part, we're totally on board with any sport that we can play in a bar, pint in hand.
Republic's bocce courts will be open all day on a first come, first served basis. Bigger groups of bocce aficionados can make reservations in advance.