My best friend and I were out one night for a guys night in Downtown Minneapolis and decompressing after a long week of work just catching up on how things have been going. As our conversation progressed and the people watching ensued we also reflected on how everything to do in the city just seemed to be redundant and without creativity. There were the same old type of night clubs and night spots that were infused with the same type of patrons or clicks, the young wild upstarts who drank excessively, couldn't hold their liquor, and got into constant brawls or materialistic, snobby, country club dwellers who were judgemental, and from what we could tell and witnessed seemed to not take to kindly to anyone who entered their hangouts that looked as if they made less than six figures.
Yes I know those are blanket statements and I seem to be generalizing but you still understand what I meant all the same and I bet many of you are shaking your head in agreement. Anyway, we started talking about what type of place we would open up if we had the finances along with the right connections in town to secure a prime location. We started discussing how it would be nice to make a place where it was more diverse and more culture was infused, a place where every one felt comfortable and invited from all walks of life. If you ask me, besides high noon on Sunday, Friday nights and Saturday nights are the most segregated times in this country. People seem to only want to go places where they feel "comfortable" and like they "fit in". To me that's code for the fact that when you go to a night spot, black folks only want to go to place where other black folks hangout and play music that predominantly black folks like and white folks only want to go to places where only white folks hangout and listen to music that predominatly white folks like.
Yes in some of these places you may see a few faces of people from other races, but let's be real, for the most part it's overwhelmingly one or the other. We began to talk about how it would be awesome to have a spot where there were live DJ's on turntables like the days of old spinning vinyl and not these Macbook Dj's of today (No disrespect to the MacBook DJ). There were ideas of awesome art work all over the walls and pieces displayed around the rooms from local and outside artists alike, giving these artists another venue outside of a show to display or sell their pieces. It would be cool to have a game room with chess, back gammon, or pool for folks who just enjoy a classic game that has been around for years which teaches patience, skill, and planning. How amazing would it be to have a place where old school jazz records of the likes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, and Thelonius Monk where on the turn tables as much as EPMD, Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe Called Quest, or The Roots and mixed in with a little Jimmy Hendrix, Cream, and Johnny Cash and rounded off with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer for a serving of reggae and a little Dead Mau5 for the techno and electronic fans?
Yeah I know, this sounds like a place with no theme, totally eclectic, just a place for anyone to come to. And that's exactly how we want it because the world is eclectic. You should be able to go anywhere and meet someone you have absolutely nothing in common with and learn something about a new culture, idea, or way of life. I want a place where folks will want to disarm all those proconcieved notions about folks that aren't like them and want to experience different parts of life. It would be great to walk into a place where I can run into hipsters, artists, musicians, politicians, hip hop heads, cowboys and girls, business men, cyclists and any other clique that I may have missed. To me it's not strange to want to do all these different things when I go out to have fun or decompress after a long week of work. I'm sure different parts of my idea aren't that awkward for others so why not combine them all? Why not make a place for the young and outgoing as well as older and reserved crowd alike or vice versa. I'm tired of these places with homogenous crowds and themes, it's lame and lacks creativity.
We need more places that have a combination of culture, exposure, and differences. Aren't you tired of the sloppy drunk, throw and punch crowd, which comes in all shapes and colors for those of you who instantly snapped to images of one race or another in your head. If we aren't going to have variety in how we spend our time in the city, then where are we going to find it? So far the closest thing I've experienced in diversity when going out happened to be in Washington D.C. and Seattle. Other than that, with all the cities I've visited, it starts to feel like if you've been to one night spot, then you've been to them all. So if there's any investors out there who want to start a new night spot in the twin cities area, drop me a line because I've got an idea for you, LOL. Until then, I guess we will continue to frequent the same places that we always do.