The small-town fair of checkered patterns, fried food, go-karting, and games meets the urban world of Mall of America, all inside the new, imaginative entertainment and restaurant hub called the Fair on 4.
The Fair on 4 is in the eastern wing, on the fourth floor of the mall. The new spot was originally supposed to open in November, but COVID-19 restrictions pushed it off until mid-March.
Jeff Brown, the managing partner at the Fair on 4, said he wanted to create this space for people to have a good time together again, after all the challenges 2020 brought.
Despite reopening under current guidelines of 50% capacity, the Fair on 4 is spacious and features seating areas around the go kart track, axe throwing area, and two bar areas. The walls of the entrance and “the Lodge” seating area are lined with novelty fair games like skee ball, basketball tossing, claw machines, and more to bring out your inner kid.
What’s better at bringing people together than an amazing menu of fair-food favorites? Not only can you indulge in fried cheese curds, corn dogs, burgers, and pizza, you can also revel in knowing the ingredients are locally sourced from the Food Building in northwest Minneapolis. The Food Building connects local farmers, producers, and suppliers to businesses.
The “Mill City curds” and “bucket o’sunnies” fried sunfish are accompanied by two of numerous homemade sauces. The chili aioli enhanced the flavors of the savory and crispy breading on the sunfish, while the fresh, warm marinara added to the lightly fried curds—need I say more?
Brown and his business partner own an axe throwing, mini-golf, and dining location, Victoria Burrow, in Victoria, Minnesota. Although I didn’t try my hand at axe throwing at the Fair on 4, there are a few different selections of virtual throwing stations in addition to traditional ones with an axe and a target.
Another element of the Fair on 4 is the dual-level go-kart track. The karts are electric and not as loud as you might think. The team walks you through safety procedures and how to properly drive the cars. The karts are properly cleaned in between the races of up to six people.
A pro tip I got from Brown is to tap the brake as you come to a turn, rotate the wheel as far as it goes, let go of the brake and floor the gas to bring you around the curve. From experience, it is a lot easier said than done, as Brown lapped me once or twice.
The Fair on 4 is currently running on a walk-in-only basis for the restaurant, axe throwing, and go-karting. Be sure to check it out, because there’s something for all ages, from carnival games to specialty cocktails.