One week after downtown Minneapolis saw the opening of its largest bar in years (the Pourhouse), another one has come along to bump it aside. On Monday, Cowboy Jack's opened a three-level behemoth spread across 14,000 feet.
Some people will tell you: If you've seen one Cowboy Jack's, you've seen them all. But trust me, you haven't seen a Cowboy Jack's like this. The sixth location of the popular Twin Cities chain is located next to Epic, just a block from Target Field. The owners, the After Midnight Group, have billed the roof as an adult playground, complete with full bar, multiple fire pits and swings (yes, swings!).
Inside, the space is fully decked out with Cowboy Jack's usual mix of barn wood and biker attitude. This spot was originally going to be Ahern's Irish Pub, a concept that found itself in a whole heap of problems last year. After Ahern's exit, the After Midnight crew swooped in with plans to open only its second Cowboy concept in the city. Besides Cowboy Slim's in Uptown, the rest are in Plymouth, Bloomington, Circle Pines and St. Cloud.
The owners are expecting more of a party at this location, so they've anchored the room with a big ol' mechanical bull. Obviously, they're banking on a lot of baseball business -- streaming across one wall is a 60-foot sports ticker.
I asked co-owner Chris Diebold if he was nervous about opening one of the biggest bars downtown. He responded with steely confidence, sounding a bit like John Wayne:
"It's business as usual."
- Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Mon.-Sat. and 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Sun.
- Where: 126 N. 5th St., Mpls. 612-224-9950
- Web: www.theaftermidnightgroup.com