Since it’s popular with boaters and bikers alike, Kelly’s Tap House Bar and Grill on the edge of downtown Red Wing always sees a nice bump in business this time of the year. This year, however, bluegrass and Americana music lovers are part of the uptick.
“We’ve had quite a few people come in already because of the song,” said Mitch Anderson, a manager and bartender at the harborview eatery and watering hole that’s the subject of a new Trampled by Turtles single, “Kelly’s Bar.”
Anderson got to know Dave Simonett from 2015-2016 when the Trampled frontman lived in a rented house down the street from “the bar right next to the train,” as it’s called in the opening tune for the band’s new album, “Life Is Good on the Open Road.” He said Simonett had been coming in for months and kept a low profile, but then “somebody finally outed him one night.”
“I said, ‘Dude, why didn’t you tell me you were a famous singer?’ ” Anderson recalled. “That’s the kind of guy he is.”
Anderson lost track of Simonett when he moved back to Minneapolis, so it was all the more surprising “when all of a sudden out of the blue we hear about this song.”
With lines such as, “It’s never much different but it’s never the same,” the ode to Kelly’s paints it as something of a chaotic people-watching hub. Anderson noted it’s a family-friendly, family-run business but otherwise admitted, “It can get pretty boisterous in here on weekends, especially in summer when we transition between people coming by boat and motorcycle, and the kids who come in at night.”
He and all the regulars are fine if Trampled fans become a permanent part of that mix.
“It’s something we’ll probably always be known for, and I think that’s a pretty cool thing,” he said.