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When Drinking Alone Isn’t Enough of an Activity

A craft bar, beer choir, an appy booze club and more in the food news cribsheet

Get all artsy craftsy at Upstairs Circus.

Ever felt the drudgery of having to raise and lower that glass and thought, I need something to do with this other hand? Ever thought, these beer goggles would be so much better crafted out of pipe cleaners? Well, there is a new bar coming to the North Loop ready to fill that empty space. Upstairs Circus, a Denver-based company is expanding to Minnesota with a full bar and various crafting projects. For a fee, people can sign up for different projects. According to the MSP Business Journal, the owners, who have roots in White Bear Lake and Madison, Wisconsin are hoping to finalize lease details in the former Sex World building and open in the early summer.

—More of a singer than a doer? Now, there’s a beer choir forming at Summit Brewery in Saint Paul. The Pioneer Press reports that Beer Choir began in St. Louis and is expanding to the Twin Cities with its inaugural event January 28 singing from the official Beer Choir Hymnal which includes some traditional drinking songs.

Get Scott Seekins on your glass!
Belly Up Facebook page

—If that’s a little too group oriented for you, and you’re more of an independent drinker and gather-er, there’s a new cocktail and beer club called Belly Up! Members collect free drinks, and local-artist adored glassware at area bars and breweries. There are other benefits like t-shirts, co-ordinated meet ups and happy hours. Memberships range in $35 to $85.

—There are soon to be more delicious things to eat at the MSP Airport. Chef J.D. Fratzke, co-owner of the Strip Club Meat and Fish and Saint Dinette is working on the menu at Escape Lounge. For a walk-up daily admission fee of $45, travelers can enter the lounge for an unlimited feast of Fratzke’s menu, sample both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages and relax with the wi-fi and cozy, contemporary furniture.

—There are changes afoot at Faces on Mears Park. The awkwardly named eatery is undergoing a revamp by chef/owner David Fhima. Bistro 373 takes its name from the address, 373 Sibley Street and is getting a fresh renovation for its next life. The food will be wood-fire fueled, following the latest trend with roast chicken and pot roast with French flare. The restaurant is expected to re-open this spring.

—The tiny Al’s Breakfast, an iconic eatery in the Twin Cities quietly changed hands. The Star Tribune reports that Jim Brandes sold the business to employee Alison Kirwin. She’s worked at the 14-seat diner for over 20 years. The biggest change we expect will be the addition of a website and that’s just about it. Blueberry pancake lovers can heave a sigh of relief. All is well in Dinkytown.