Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not quite "Where's Waldo?"

Take a look at this picture. What do you see? No, Waldo hasn’t slipped his sly little self into this small, brick structure.

Here…take a look from another angle. Maybe you can see it now.

Still nothing? Ok, since you aren’t quite seeing it I’ll tell you what I see when I look at this now vacant, drive thru bank with a still fully functional time and temperature sign sitting in Eagan, just waiting to have new life breathed into it.

I see The Beer Bank, the south metro’s newest and possibly only destination for lovers of craft beer that promises “a fine craft brew in return for the deposit of your funds”. Nothing pretentious or fancy, just good beer served at a place you want to hang out at.

Having never gotten beyond the entrance of the former banking institution housed here (who were they?) to use the ATM in the vestibule I can only guess what the interior looks like. Probably your standard walk up windows, which would easily convert into the bar’s serving area, and some configuration of seating, cubicles and possibly some offices that could be scrapped for patron seating.

Is there room for a kitchen? I’d guess the answer to be not much, if any. So to solve the problem of what to eat with your fine brew, a couple of year round, do it yourself grills kept company by picnic tables, utilizing the existing drive thru canopy for some sun and minor weather protection. And for those of us, who might happen to lose that type of motivation after a beer or two, the ability to ring up any of the local food delivery joints, whose numbers and menus are clearly posted.

Yes, admittedly it’s a pipe dream. Heck, the property doesn’t even have an official for sale sign yet. There are probably zoning restrictions in place that would prevent this type of casual but desperately needed place to sprout in a highly visible location, easily accessible from two major highways. Plus, I have yet to find someone come knocking on my door offering to fund my pipe dream.

But it’s March. And I was just enjoying the warmth and sun, albeit bad beer, in Mexico only 48 hours ago. It’s grey, rainy day with the potential to require the snow shovel to make an appearance tonight. So it’s a day for dreaming.

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