Doug Flicker, the man who changed the local dining landscape with Auriga, Piccolo and James Beard Award semifinalist for best new restaurant, Esker Grove, also has a soft spot for the dive bars. “My uncles owned a bar — Flicker’s Liquor — and those are some of the best memories of my childhood.” Four quarters for pinball was all it took to buy happiness.
He, along with his wife Amy Greeley, have already proven they know how to read a neighborhood need with the Lake Nokomis summertime favorite concession stand Sandcastle.
Now this dynamic duo have purchased the Sunrise Inn, a little neighborhood spot with a 3.2 liquor license with big plans to create an establishment worthy of the quiet corner and rustic charm of the building. “The DNA is already there,” said Greeley. “There’s that old gorgeous bar,” Flicker adds. “And it’s been a bar for about 70 years.” The building, at 4563 South 34th Avenue in south Minneapolis, will get a little refresh and light remodel.
A proper commercial kitchen will be built out and they will expand the restaurant into vacant rental space next door. The menu will not be anything fancified. We are talking a menu of bar foods meant to be enjoyed in a neighborhood watering hole, baby in tow or not. Expect sandwiches and a really great burger, expertly seasoned with American cheese, but not processed cheese food. That’s right, Doug Flicker has an easy cheesy recipe ready to be unleashed on the world.
Other additions will be a jukebox, pool table and even a Tron machine the two have in their basement at home. Perhaps most importantly they will add a strong beer and wine license to the establishment (zoning doesn’t permit full liquor in this part of town.)
“I grew up with the neighborhood bar, too,” Greeley recalls. “Back then it was Mickey’s Nook with the Ran Ham. We went there all the time as kids.”
So, the future of a well-worn, cozy, neighborhood-serving bar is in good hands. The two expect to finalize the purchase agreement soon and with any luck, we’ll be dining at the Bull’s Horn Food & Drink by midsummer.