Square Dance Input Request

I just attended my first Monday Night Square Dance in Minneapolis and want to build a similar event in Duluth. I am asking PDD for input on location or other thoughts.

To get an idea of what I’m after, please watch this…

This event shall…

  • be in a location which serves alcohol
  • be on a weeknight (probably 7-9pm)
  • have a bucket where people will be encouraged to deposit $5 for the band and caller (if the bar doesn’t give us a %age)

I have access to talented musicians and callers, I just need to figure out how to fly this and would like your input on what atmosphere would entice Duluthians to attend such an event.

Initially, I thought of Carmody Irish Pub, but I feel it’s a little dark and I’d rather be somewhere that has Pabst on tap.

So, next I thought of Thirsty Pagen – they don’t have Pabst on tap, but they have the Miller mural which is almost as good. Downside is that they’re pretty booked on weeknights and probably wouldn’t be keen on moving tables out of that main room.

Then, I thought of Mohaupt Block, but we won’t be able to afford hall rental fees and I’m not sure how to serve booze there.

Is there some diamond-in-the-rough West End or Superior bar with a good room/atmosphere for my event?

41 Comments

msaxton

about 9 years ago

I guess I would talk to the country bars first.

TimK

about 9 years ago

You realize, of course, that this will start a square dancing turf war between you and the Harbor Squares, right?

Ethan

about 9 years ago

This seems like it would be a blast.  What about Sacred Heart?  For some reason, Carmody seems like too small a space for this.  It needs a proper hall.

heysme

about 9 years ago

The Depot would be large enough.

David Beard

about 9 years ago

Right -- contact http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/image/id/55095/headline/Harbor%20City%20Squares/

The Harbor City Squares to develop complementarity.  I think their events are alcohol-free, so complementarity should be easy.

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

The Depot wouldn't work. The acoustics are bad. You wouldn't be able to understand the caller.

Roper's Saloon or the Elk's Club in Superior would be my recommendations. Or maybe the West Duluth American Legion.

Well...

about 9 years ago

Sounds like fun, but if the serving of Pabst is a prerequisite for holding this event, you have your priorities all fluskeroo'd.

kanedaddy

about 9 years ago

The VFW in West End on Superior St. has a significant dancefloor.  Can't vouch for the presence of PBR though.

tom

about 9 years ago

Thanks everyone.

I am aware of the HC Squares and have spoken with them enough to learn about their dress code.  Though I have yet to dance with them, I think my vision is significantly different than the service they provide.  Any members out there feel free to speak up.  Also, looking at your link, David, I see they don't allow vulgarity. 

I agree with Paul that Sacred Heart and Depot don't have the right acoustics and are just too darn big.  One square (8 dancers) needs just 10 sq ft or so and I don't anticipate drawing in more than 3-4 squares anytime soon (though I'd be happy to be wrong).

I'll go check out Roper's and the Elk. Thanks, Paul.

I'm not sure what is motivating my Pabst requirement.  I'm just following instincts.

I'll have to look again at the Clyde upstairs.  The arena thingy I think would fall in the too big category.

Is being a veteran a requirement to enter the VFW?  I've often wondered about this.

Is Norway Hall above the Fetus?  Do they serve booze?

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Norway Hall is close to the Fetus, but not above it. It's at 21 N. Lake Ave. The Sons of Norway do not serve booze. You'd need a licensed caterer (or maybe you could just bring in a case o' PBR and pass out cans). But it's more space than you need.

adam

about 9 years ago

All American Club in the West End.

Bill

about 9 years ago

Terrance Smith has been putting on Square dances at the YWCA's, Trepanner (sp?) Hall for may years. Very good spot. You may want to talk to him for information/collaberation. I believe his organization goes under the name "Dance". Not 100% on the name. Good luck now swing your partner and promenade!

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

Forget everything I wrote above. Adam nailed it. All-American Club.

ruby2sd4y

about 9 years ago

Maybe try out at Jim's Fall Inn. There's a decent sized stage in the back and a dance floor that would probably accommodate your dancers. Might wanna ring em up re: the Pabst.

tom

about 9 years ago

Paul, Adam and Ruby: Great.  I'll add All American and Jim's to my tour tonight.  

Bill: I work with Terrence and the Tamarack Dance Association (http://tamarackdance.org/) which is still going strong.  Although Trepanier Hall no longer has bathrooms due to the YWCA getting a gut job - so now we dance at Avalon Education Institute(http://www.avalonedu.org/).  This bar thing is sort of a new twist on an old idea.

Rubber Chicken

about 9 years ago

The Venue at Mohaupt Block has very reasonable rental rates and Mike and Martin Sawinski are class act guys.  I would give them a call, too.

tom

about 9 years ago

First night of touring complete.  whew!

All American isn't open on Mondays.

VFW does allow non-veterans, but only for the last 15 years - so I was right to be confused.  It looked pretty good and was full of cribbage players on a Monday.

Elk's Lodge wasn't open to walk-in folks.  It appears to be a hall that is reserved and is thus out of our price range.

Roper's wasn't right.  Ratio of dance floor to seating area was way too low.  And it was too successful in it's own right.  They don't need us hippies in there. 

Mama's looked promising for a while.  Cement floor, but cute.

The Main was our first beer stop (way too tardy).  The dance floor was too small, cement, and cagey.

A few odd sports bars and Frankie's had the wrong geometries.  VFW still in the lead.

Then, we really liked the Flame.  So, we had our second drink at another gay bar and started to re-think our objectives.  Could we have black-light techno squares?

On the way home, we stopped at the Legion in West Duluth.  It was set up just right and would be easy getting that to work...but, would it only reinforce old stereotypes about square dance?

More research needed.

wildgoose

about 9 years ago

Belgian club in Allouez.  They'd love it.  Pretty low rental fees, cheap beer, and not much going on during the week (or ever, for that matter -- the club has seen better days). Still it has a plenty large dance floor having been built in an era when people still got gussied up on Saturday nights and went out and "danced."  And heck, you might just draw out some of those "local" neighbors from that area back out, from Superior, South Range and beyond to add to the flavor of the event.    

We tried similar at the NorShor with "Dancing Tuesdays" in 2004- '05.  We rotated dance styles, mostly Latin, salsa, rancheras, but also tried Irish dancing and square dancing.  Oh, and swing.  We had about a dozen loyal patrons, maybe less that were really into learning more about dance from enthusiasts and the occasional professional instructor that we could get for free drinks.  I still think it was a great idea and it could have grown into something like you've envisioned but ... time ran out.  I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes things take more than being a good idea to work, you have to actually get the people who think it's a great idea up out of their houses and out to the event to pay a cover or at least buy drinks to make it work. My hat's off to you for your efforts, though.

The Friendly Old Knifey

about 9 years ago

The All American Club could start opening Mondays. I know a guy.

tom

about 9 years ago

Goose - The Belgian is toward the end of Superior on #2, right?  (I Googled "Allouez" and got an area of Green Bay.)  I crashed into a wedding party once just to see the place.  Again, if a hall needs to be rented, it's out of our price range - even if it were $50, we'd lose money.  I like your thoughts about not just being a good idea, but putting in the work.  True that.

Knifey - Mondays aren't important, we just couldn't get in last night.

Bill

about 9 years ago

Tom, somehow I missed the part about booze. Clearly the YWCA won't work. Is the old Mama Gets in Superior open as some kind of bar? I've played some gigs there in years past and they have a great old wooden floor. It was the old Berger Hardware. I haven't been over that way for a while. Its last incarnation, I believe, was as a Caribbean-type place. It may be shuttered now. Like I say though, great old timey wooden floor. Good luck.

tom

about 9 years ago

Bill - We stopped at Mama Gets during the Tower avenue crawl.  It was a busy and clean Caribbean Restaurant.  The floor was nice, I agree, but it seemed a little too much adjustment would be required to convert back to dancing.

Francene Starr

about 9 years ago

Wow, if you could lure me into square dancing, my mother and father (may he rest in peace), old square  dancers, would be VERY happy. I like the hippy and no-dress-code parts.

Francene Starr

about 9 years ago

Oh, also the alcohol part.

millercreeksciencegeek

about 9 years ago

Tom, I think we didn't stop at Mama Gets because it was closed on Mondays.  It is Marlee's Caribbean Restaurant now.

millercreeksciencegeek

about 9 years ago

I might have to dedicate a logbook to this research.

woodtick

about 9 years ago

Billys, just north of Martin Road.

Dizastress

about 9 years ago

The Eagles Club in Superior!  The owner is a real straight-up guy I just met recently.  Very down-to-earth, and eager to drum up some new business ideas.  Just heard it from his own lips!  The space is small and partitioned up a little bit, but it could still work.

Lojasmo

about 9 years ago

1)Break into the armory via the Chester creek tunnel
2) bring PBR
3) dance your asses off
4) ????
5) profit!

Paul Lundgren

about 9 years ago

I know you're kidding, Lojasmo, but I'll still point out that anyone dancing in the old armory would inhale enough pigeon dung and rotted wood to kick over in about five minutes.

sue hagge

about 9 years ago

What about the Sunset up Martin Road? Not really sure if it has a dance floor. Or maybe the old Lakeview Castle (can't remember the current name) up the shore?

adam

about 9 years ago

Sunset is more of an outdoor bar (baseball, volleyball). The Lakeview Castle does not have sufficient dance floor space (and is waiting to close again, I think).

The Friendly Old Knifey

about 9 years ago

Come check out the All American Club tonight or tomorrow night. I'll be down here and I'm incredibly interested in hosting your square dance night at the AAC.

jamie

about 9 years ago

I went to the All American Club tonight for the first time, (1931 West Michigan Street) and it seems nice.  It is a bar (private club) with an old juke box, and a big dining room for dancing and music. They have access to a P.A. system.

You dont have to be a member of the club to go there and dance or buy a beer, (they have bottles and cans, no taps).

tom

about 9 years ago

There are plans in the works to make this happen at All-American Club.  Stay tuned.

Joel

about 9 years ago

Tamarack/Wild Thyme danced at Norway for several years.  Perfect space, 6 sguares easy, nice wood floor.  I think you could bring your own refreshments in. Parking?  $$? One floor up.

Joel

about 9 years ago

The All-American Cub for Aug. 22?

Joel

about 9 years ago

Great!  The American Club at 1931 W. Michigan St.  Well, we were just in the process of moving International Folk Dance at Nettleton to Monday night.  Hmmm. Joel

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