Anybody who knows the Minneapolis bar scene knows about Nye's.
I get the quirky appeal of it, but I don't get why it's a destination. Nye's is an old restaurant with an old bar. It's bar is separated from the main restaurant by swinging doors, and it's your small, old school bar. There's a long bar with stools along one wall, booths along the other wall and barely enough room for a woman with a walker to pass between them if nobody is sitting at the bar. As soon as the booths and bar stools are full, it's a tough proposition to pass from the front entrance on Hennepin Avenue to the swinging doors leading into the restaurant.
On weekends, at least, the bar area is a madhouse, with people packing the place to pay premium prices for drinks and listen to the sounds of a geriatric polka band. I get the appeal of polka music when you drink, I just don't get the appeal of an expensive, tiny, cramped bar. Yet it draws the young, beautiful people and the old timers who wish they were still among the young and beautiful, or regret the fact they were never young and beautiful but want to get a whiff of the beautiful people.
The restaurant is expansive, slightly upscale and as dated as the layout of the bar. You can sit around a geriatric piano player and sing along to your favorite piano hits if you're not dining in the restaurant. Another small bar nearby provides seats for carousers who aren't fascinated by a near comatose accordian player on the other side of the wall.
I made a 60-minute cameo at Nye's earlier tonight because Monica took her mother there for a belated birthday dinner. I joined them after dinner, in part because I don't get to visit with Monica's mom very often, and I wanted to finally give Monica her belated birthday present.
Nye's is an upscale place that never kept up with the times, choosing instead to open its arms to everyone who lusts for a nostalgic nod to yesteryear at today's upscale prices.
And I don't get it.