Besides First Avenue and the Gay 90's, few downtown nightclubs have lasted as long as the Saloon. The gay bar, owned by John Moore and James Anderson, is celebrating 35 years in business with a weekend of festivities. On Friday, it's throwing a wedding-themed party to benefit Minnesotans United for All Families. There'll be a couples photo booth, plus a bouquet toss. On Saturday, "RuPaul's Drag Race" winner Raja will perform.

  • 9 p.m. Fri. and Sat. 4/27-28
  • 830 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls
  • $5
  • 612-332-0835


Full bar at Wilde Roast

Like a lot of Wilde Roast fans, I walked into the riverfront cafe recently and almost yelled out: "Where's the gelato counter?!" Calm down, it simply moved across the entryway. In its old spot is something even better: a shiny new bar. That's right: By early May, the Wilde Roast Cafe will have in its possession a full liquor license. In the meantime, they're putting the finishing touches on the black granite bar, which will have eight all-local tap beers and a cocktail program. Co-owner Dean Schlaak said he's looking to hire a mixologist to put a spin on some Prohibition-era drinks. "We call them 'Wilde' versions of the classics," he said. He already has a name for the bar's standard martini: the Dorian Gray Goose Martini.

Schlaak is hoping to start serving from the new bar by mid-May or sooner. Wilde Roast will stay open later on weekends (probably midnight). The cafe will also debut a revamped food menu (adding pastas). The full gelato counter will be up and running around that time, too (currently, you can get gelato from the coffee counter).

With the new bar, I'm thinking they might need to tweak the name. Maybe the Wilde Roast Cafe & Bar? "I hadn't really thought about that," Schlaak said. "But I suppose we should add something so we can get the word out."


Aqua happy to be 5

In the glitzy Top 40 nightclub world, Aqua turning five is almost as big a deal as the Saloon's achievement. That's because most bottle-service clubs kick the bucket about this time (R.I.P. Karma, Spin, Escape, etc.). Aqua is still popping bottles and even offering everyone free drinks from 9 to 11 p.m. Saturday (plus free champagne for women).


Don't miss this comic

With a name like Sebastian Maniscalco, he should probably be ruling the soap opera world. Instead, Maniscalco is one of the country's best headlining comedians. The L.A.-based comic is back next week at House of Comedy, where he'll bring his big attitude and bigger laughs.

  • 8 p.m. Thu. 5/3, 8 and 10:30 p.m. May 4-6.
  • Mall of America, fourth floor
  • $21.95
  • 952-858-8558