Monday, July 13, 2009

Aww, Who Broke the Chatterbox?

I used to love the Chatterbox. I mean, aside from your own abode or that of a brother-geek, where can a 30-something man-boy grab a beer and get an old fashioned Nintendo blister while greasy food fumes clog your lungs and weave themselves into your clothes? The Chatterbox is a fantastic bar for gamers and gamer-ilk and those just generally looking for a good time.

So imagine my chagrin when a buddy and I went to the Highland Chatterbox this past Saturday to have a few beers and play a bit of Bo-Jackson-is-forbidden-Tecmo-Bowl and found the place teeming with kids. It was about 7 P.M. and the place was about a quarter full and I figured our chances of scoring a t.v. and some games was pretty good. But no. The place was a quarter full, but all the friggen game stations were being hogged by little kids. Little kids with little orange lips drinking big orange sodas, flashing big, orange-toothed grins and picking orange boogers. And there was a waiting list of more kids waiting for game stations. How very annoying. Granted, the Highland Chatterbox is a bit more of a family friendly bar (if there is such a thing as a family friendly bar), but come on. Strike one.

So, our little two-person brain-trust decided to head to the South Minneapolis 'box. Heck, I prefer that one anyway, but figured the Highland one had a better video game selection. As luck would have it, we were able to score one of the two games (the other was being used have it, kids). But alas, they did not have Tecmo Bowl. Hmm, strike two? Nah, I don't think so, but close. But then I went to the bathroom.

The South Mpls Chatterbox used to have damn cool bathrooms. I can't speak for the women's bathroom, having never been in there, but the men's bathroom had very cool cartoon murals. If I remember right, Spidey, the Scooby gang and other cartoon/comic personas had been painted on the dark blue interior of the bathroom. I loved those murals and the fact that someone thought to grace the walls with them and took the time to paint them. But the murals are now gone. In their are those tan plastic walls you often see in bathrooms. I was crushed. That place has lost a lot of character. Strike two.

So, the evening wasn't a total bust. I mean, I did score buffalo nachos at Sally's and 16 Grit and Farm Girl at Sturbs to salvage the evening. But for that, the evening could have been soul-crushing.


  1. Do you remember what the Midtown Chatterbox's bathrooms smelled like before they refurbished them? I miss the paintings too but man, the stench problems they had before really came out once the smoking ban took effect -- it needed to be fixed up.

  2. Yeah, I don't doubt there was a very good reason for the change. But it was still disappointing to see. Cest la vie, I guess.

  3. Did you read my review of the Chatterbox in Linden Hills? Similar experiences!

  4. I've been wondering about that location and now, thanks to you, I don't have to navigate that part of town just to be disappointed.