Here’s some good news for hard times: Nick and Eddie, the Loring Park restaurant, is now hosting after-dinner circuses. Seriously. Doug Anderson, Nick and Eddie’s impresario, tells me that the restaurant has installed equipment to allow aerial work.
“Aerial work?” I gasped.
“There’s a bar across the width of the restaurant that’s removable, and using a big metal ring and fabric, the girls can hang off and do aerial acts.”
The girls in question are the ones from Le Cirque Rouge, the burlesque and cabaret troupe, who will be performing every other Friday night starting at 10 p.m. or so, and going till 1:30 a.m. or thereabouts. The next performance is scheduled for this very Friday, Halloween night. The circus will be viewable, of course, to anyone dining at Nick and Eddie on chef Steve Vranian’s remarkably good, straightforward food, but it will also be open to anyone wanting to drop by just for drinks. If you’re seeking the middle path between drinks and dinner, please know that Anderson also tells me the restaurant is working on getting out a more extensive bar menu: “With the economy the way it is, we want to make the bar menu bigger, with more small plates, and more shareable items,” Anderson told me, wryly adding: “Also, we want to appeal to aristocrats and whores, so we’re thinking maybe blini with caviar and cream.” How much will such a circus run aristocrats and whores? $10 per person. Reservations are being taken now.
If you can appreciate Anderson’s joke, which functions on a particularly Andersonian level—it’s true and it’s not quite true and it’s actually happening—here’s another one you’ll love: Nick and Eddie will be hosting an after-dinner Halloween Party on the 31st, the centerpiece of which will be a Scott Seekins Look-Alike contest. (Anyone unfamiliar with the iconic Minneapolis artist is encouraged to do a Google image-search this instant.) Who will be judging? Scott Seekins himself, of course. He will anoint winners in both the winter Scott Seekins look-alike category and the summer Scott Seekins look-alike category (again, for the unfamiliar, this will make sense post Google-search), each of whom will receive an original Scott Seekins painting. Yes, on Halloween night, Loring Park will be overrun with dozens— hundreds?—of Scott Seekinses.
I find this funny on so many levels my head is about to pop. On the one hand, little did the old Scott Seekins know, in the 80’s and 90’s, when he was slouching around the old Loring Bar, that his iconic look would one day be iconic in quite a different way—a way he would both control and not control at all, as mockery and tribute conflate. On the other hand, I would love to see the looks on the faces of people pulling up to valet their Range Rovers at Café Lurcat as they steer through a crowd of infinite Seekinses. The whole thing strikes me as brilliant, showing a perfect sense of place that can only and ever be Minnesotan; it’s arch and amusing and unique.
“We just figure if it’s going to be such a bad year economically, at least it should be fun,” Anderson told me.
Hallelujah for that.
Nick and Eddie
1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis
Le Cirque Rouge