Uptown has a big new bar, plus news on Belgian beer week and downtown St. Paul's new outdoor music series.
After a false start in June, Uptown's latest out-of-town concept opened this week in Calhoun Square. Primebar is an instant attention-getter at the corner of Hennepin and Lake, having taken over a long-standing Parasole stronghold.
The former Il Gatto/Figlio space has been remodeled with a new central bar and a showy dining room that seats 180. As far as drinks go, the Chicago-based chain is making a statement right out of the gate with its impressive 60-tap beer list. Also alluring: an aggressive 3-7 p.m. happy hour.
The American fare menu includes buffalo calamari, bacon-wrapped shrimp skewers, "two-handed" sandwiches (including a footlong grilled cheese), wood-fired flatbread pizzas and "animal fries" (topped with cheese curds, fried egg, Guinness gravy and pork belly). This is Primebar's fourth location after Dallas, Chicago and Wesley Chapel, Fla.The Belgians are coming
Belgian Independence Day is July 21. Who cares? Well, just about everyone who likes good beer. It's cause to celebrate at your favorite beer bar over the next week. More than a dozen beer havens will offer special releases and flights for Belgian Independence Week. Several bars, such as Pig & Fiddle, Buster's and Grumpy's NE will have Belgian glass giveaways. Flights and mini tap takeovers will be available at Muddy Pig, Happy Gnome, Blackbird, Devil's Advocate, Blue Nile and Acadia, to name a few. My friends over at www.mnbeer.com have a complete list of events.Party at Ecolab
I guess two stages weren't enough for Amsterdam Bar & Hall. The downtown St. Paul bar is teaming with 89.3 The Current on a third -- an outdoor music series across the street at Ecolab Plaza. The weekly night of live bands, dubbed Wabasha Days, happens every Friday through Aug. 31. This week's installment features Fort Wilson Riot, the Parlour Suite, Red Daughters and Ghostmouth. Best part: It's free.
4-9 p.m. Fridays. On Wabasha between E. 5th and 6th Streets. Free. All ages. 612-285-3112. www.amsterdambarandhall.com