If you go to Bunker’s to hear music, be forewarned: That big parking lot next to the longtime Minneapolis North Loop music bar is no longer free. It’s a contract lot. And you will get towed.
I found out the hard way. The expensive way. To be exact: $239 plus tax.
Bunker’s never owned the lot but its patrons have parked their for years. Greco, a Minneapolis property company, owns the lot and they began leasing almost all the parking spaces to condo dwellers in the neighborhood.
While Greco has gradually been leasing more and more parking spots over time, a big change took place the first weekend in December. I got towed on Dec. 9 when Chase & Ovation were doing their Prince tribute show. At least, four other drivers discovered the same thing at bar close.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said Bunker’s spokesman James Klein, whose bar has 12 spots in the lot along the outside of Bunker's. “People are creatures of habit. They are fresh meat for the towing company who are like sharks in the water. Greco didn’t give us much warning on these last spots.”
Is there signage warning drivers of the change?
Yes, but the small, suspended Greco signs – black with thin white lettering – don’t sound much of an alarm. However, there are plenty of large, bright signs screaming “Corky’s Towing.”
Bunker’s has a sign on an 8 x 11 sheet of paper on its inside door, which also features other signs and posters. In other words, the warning doesn’t jump out at patrons.
“We’ve asked bands to announce the parking changes at the beginning of sets,” Klein said.
A better idea would be to have the doorman warn patrons when he collects their modest nightly cover charge. $239 is a ridiculously steep price to pay.