Never, Ever ask what the CC stands for...
This grundgy nook on the corner of 26th street and Lyndale Ave in the Uptown area of Minneapolis is a safe hideaway with roadhouse appeal. Smokey air lingers below the brown fabricated ceiling and the tile floor has been released from under the dank, beer soaked carpet that once covered it. The wooden bar and round red pleather with button booths frame the cramped entryway. Backed swiveling stools tightly kiss the curved bar that has a mirror behind the spirits giving the bartender eyes in the back of his head. The entry leads into a split room:
On one half, tables and square booths crowd together in front of the two red doors of the restrooms. Between the doors sits a typical jukebox filled with Jimi Hendrix, Tom Waits, Lou Reed, and the MPLS born Replacements who used to play here on the small stage in the adjacent room.
The rooms are separated by a half wall with decorative banister type wooden beams that reach to the ceiling. Neon beer lights hang obtrusively throughout the bar. Wall papered walls are velvety paisley red. The adjacent room has the half moon
booths along one wall and scattered tables throughout. A raised area where The Replacements
once sang is next to the tapering curve of the bar and in front of the kitchen. Though I don't recommend eating here, I hear the breakfast is good. Well at least the Bloody Marys are good.
Now we get down to the real appeal of this bar…
In the back of this room is the game area. In a 20 X 15 foot area; Two pool tables, two pinball machines and various video games of youth reside together in spatial harmony of arcade pasts. Donkey Kong, Mr. Do, Raiden and Joust stand ups blink their historic screens hoping for a bit of nostalgia to seep though the piercing and tatoos of the cliental. The pool is a cramped pit of preying sharks. It is necessary to jockey for position in the gaming area, and if you play the silver ball, expect to feel a few cues in your kidneys from time to time.
This is a fantastic place for a few drinks and people watching. All sorts drift in and out, most in leather with rough edges but all maintain Minnesota Nice deep down. Folks keep to themselves but this enables the laid back perspective. If you bring a date, be sure they aren't allergic to smoke.
I've spent my fair time in this establishment and appreciate the ambiance, history and cultural significance of the place. Good sorts flock here to escape the high brows and prices of the cheesy downtown bars. You don't need to put on airs in this place, but contrary to the tone of my w/up you don't need to take them off either. Wearing a tux might be too much, but only because people will think you're getting married. Wear what you want, do what you want.
The two story stucco building is easy to spot on Lyndale. A wood sided overhang has large white letters on the façade CC CLUB it has one window on the Lyndale side and that's it. Can't miss it.