Where’s a good moose head when you need one?
One year after its shuttering, Bullwinkle’s Saloon is scheduled to reopen Saturday under new ownership. For the most part, it’ll be the same townie college bar except for a few minor changes. For one, the old moose head is gone. It walked off when the Seven Corners bar closed in March 2011.
“If somebody wants to bring it back, we’ll welcome it,” said new owner Bob Rick.
The bar also has a new name: Bullwinkle Saloon. That’s right, no apostrophe and no “s.” Earth shattering, I know. (Supposedly, the original name is tied up with the old corporate entity.)
Rick, a retired computer research analyst, is an unlikely savior of this decades-old bar. The 68-year-old knew the building’s owners, the Singh brothers, from doing software development for them at the neighboring Jewel of India (which they also own). After several Bullwinkle’s suitors fell through, Rick stepped in to lease the space.
As a long-time West Bank advocate, he told me: “Somebody’s got to do it.”
But getting the doors open has been tougher than expected. While the weathered wood interior hasn’t changed, he spent about $40,000 from his retirement on rehabbing the stuff you don’t see (behind the bar and in the kitchen). The food menu will get a slight update, but don’t worry, the Coney Island dogs aren’t going anywhere.
While most bar owners love to talk about how they’re recreating the wheel with bar food and craft beer, Rick seemed most interested in chatting about overconsumption and charity (two things close to his heart). He wouldn’t let me off the phone without repeating several times: there will be no binge drinking at his bar (sorry college kids!). He’s also planning to hold charity events that will benefit nearby American Indian health groups.
In the meantime, someone get this man a moose head. In its place are a pair of antlers (but no head).
“That’ll do for now,” he said.
1429 Washington Av. S., Mpls