Jack Clark's Bar and Cafe
A North Fifth Street Story
Minneapolis, July 1977
This may well be the last picture of the interior of a venerable North Minneapolis watering hole. It was torn down not long thereafter, to make room for a freeway entrance ramp. I was not yet in the habit of hanging out in bars, so although I lived an actual 'stones throw' away, I never went inside. It was for old guys, a twenty-something hippie would have been laughed out of the place. This was an old building, built before prohibition.It was nothing fancy yet the fireplace and the wood paneling made it a pleasant home away from home for those who took their drinking responsibilities seriously. As to the 'cafe' part of the name, I think it may have served sandwiches. An internet search did turn up a picture of the bar's most memorable feature… the 'thirst things first' sign:
Image: Thomas W. Bremer, MHS
The beer was made just across the river, about a mile or so away. Local wags would sometimes call Grain Belt Beer 'Brain Melt', although it wasn't particularly strong.
The band I was working with used the entrance as a backdrop for publicity photos: