Pinup-Bedecked Lyndale Tap House Opens Tomorrow

I got a press release, reproduced in full below, from Shea, the local restaurant design powerhouse, announcing that the new Lyndale Tap House (in the old J. P.’s American Bistro space on Lyndale off Lake Street) is slated to open tomorrow. Seriously? I thought they were ages away. Well, evidently no. They’re here.

I made a flurry of phone calls trying to reach restaurant principals to find out what the place was really going to be like, but no luck. In my searches, I did find this blog entry by Viva Van Story, the self-described “East Coast’s number one pinup photographer” and these links to her girls-as-beef pics for our new restaurant’s walls… They’re moderately unsafe for work, so be warned: Calamity Amelie and I [Viva Van Story] in Minnesota Shooting on a Farm.

The Shea press release clarifies that the models are Swedish, and were shot at a Clearwater Angus farm.

I wonder if the work will seem less… (The word I’m trying not to use here is sexist.) Less risque? Less sexy? No, I guess I mean sexist. I wonder if the work will seem less sexist in context?

This is supposed to be a neighborhood bar, but I live in the neighborhood and I’d have an awfully hard time explaining these photos to my neighbors’ kids.

“You see, Vivian, there’s something called the male gaze, and something else called strippers, and a couple more things called patriarchy and pornography. Traditionally, the reading of these images would have been as women as food/property, presented for male consumption. However, a recent intellectual movement in which women claim to be reappropriating sexually stereotypical images for their own control has been raging and… Um, did you want juice or milk?”

I guess we’ll have to see what it’s really like in context. Oak-smoked pit-beef sounds promising, anyway.

The Lyndale Tap House
2937 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls.


MINNEAPOLIS (September 28, 2009) – This Tuesday, September 29, owner Gene Suh is opening the doors to his new Lyn-Lake establishment, The Lyndale Tap House. Suh pulled together a band of local restaurant experts,
including managing partners Ryan Burnet, Tim Rooney and Josh Thoma, and Minneapolis design firm, Shea, Inc., to develop the Lyn-Lake gastropub concept, which occupies 2937 Lyndale Avenue S. (formerly jP American Bistro).

The management team and designers from Shea recently collaborated on the development of the wildly popular Barrio Tequila Bar, which has one location on Nicollet Mall and a second location that opened in St. Paul’s Lowertown in June. Suh selected the team in part because he wanted The Lyndale Tap House to echo much of the same spirit as Barrio: casual, comfortable, and slightly irreverent, with a chef-driven menu that takes pub food to a new level. Chef Patrick Weber was brought on as menu consultant and worked with executive chef Phil Dvorak on a menu centered around Baltimore pit beef, which is a rare cut of top round that is rubbed with a special spice blend and slow-cooked over a 6-foot oak-fired pit grill. Other meats from the pit include pork, ham and sausage, and the menu also includes a wide range of starters, sandwiches, salads, burgers and dinners that are unfussy yet upscale and clearly chef-driven, from the garlic sausage bites to the roasted beet salad with maple-glazed pecans to the Newcastle fish and chips with charred jalepeno tartar sauce. The tap house moniker refers to the eighteen available tap beers but a full bar is offered and an interesting list of specialty drinks gives lots of options.

Dark wood flooring, an enormous rich dark wood bar, dark green booths and antique mirrors evoke a traditional European pub while modern lighting fixtures and custom artwork give it an Uptown edge. After placing a call for original local art on craiglist, Suh commissioned artist Jason Dorweiler for a handful of custom paintings. He selected Dorweiler for his urban, neo-expressionist multi-media art which is featured throughout the space. Another commission involved New Jersey-based pin-up photographer Viva Van Story who provided large framed photos of Swedish pin-up models who were flown in to pose for a shoot that was set at a Clearwater Angus farm. With seating for 125 in the 2800 square foot space, the energy in the room is palpable, and with a dart board, video games, a juke box and photo booth, people are encouraged to stay a while and have fun.

Shea, Inc. is a marketing and design firm integrating expertise in marketing, architecture and interior design. Shea blends diverse perspectives, skills, cultures and knowledge into solid creative strategy for clients. Shea’s client list includes Macy’s, TCF National Bank, Morton’s The Steakhouse, Wells Fargo and Midcontinent Communications. For more information on Shea, please contact Andy McDermott at 612.594.4245 or visit our Web site