While it looks a whole lot different from its predecessor, the newly opened Stanley's Northeast Bar Room sounds a lot like Stasiu's Place. Probably the Minneapolis music scene's most vital new rock venue since Cause (nee Sauce) opened last year, the reborn Nordeast hangout kicked into gear last night with music by Gospel Gossip and His Mischief. It boasts another fun lineup tonight (Saturday) with two of the smartest and smart-asinine garage bands in town, Kruddler and Rank Strangers (10 p.m., no cover).
Just like Stasiu's Place, the new club's music calendar is filled in by Ouija Radio and Pink Mink singer/guitarist Christy Hunt, who has also been booking shows at the Hexagon Bar of late. The bar's midweek activities start up next week with "Drinking With Ian" host Ian Rans' new game show "The $50 Pyramid" on Monday and karaoke night with Joel Stitzel's Infernal Singalong Machine on Wednesday (9 p.m. each night)
Except for Hunt and the historic urinals that were a Stasiu's Place bragging point -- the most ornate pee troughs in town? -- nearly everything else about Stanley's has been updated by new owner Steve Benowitz, who also runs the cool blue-collar hangout the Rail Station in southeast Minneapolis. Benowitz did a major structural renovation, plus he added a new pub menu and put in 32 beer taps focusing on Minnesota craft beer (you had me at "Farmhouse Ale"). For those who don't know or (more likely) forgotten, the bar is at 2500 University Ave NE on the corner of Lowry Ave.