The Foxfire Lounge is, or was a coffee house in downtown Minneapolis. Needless to say, they served coffee. More importantly, they served wonderful sandwiches. Wonderful. With blue corn chips.

Even more importantly, they had a room in back for music. It was a small room, an uncomfortably small room at times, but I spent some of my happiest hours there. I would stand sometimes with just 10 or 15 other people listening to an incredibly talented but unknown and underappreciated band. Sometimes there would be nearly 100 sweaty, writhing, bodies in that tiny little space, and I would go home both exhausted and at the same time invigorated by the sheer force of it all.

This was no mere building, but a gathering place, a center for expression. Every single person who ever saw a show there shared in something special, and that special something brought us closer together. It was a beautiful thing. That place was hallowed ground.

And then one day it ended. The management ran out of money, ran out of loans, ran out of options, and they closed it down. Forever. I cried with my fellow musicians, scenesters, and fans over the death of an important part of our lives. No, not just a part of our lives, a part of ourselves. Sometimes I think back on all the wonderful memories and smile. Sometimes I weep. I miss the Foxfire.

And I'll always remember blue corn chips.

In a city where the music scene is dominated by souless bars and clubs (The Quest, First Avenue, Ground Zero) that have as much charm and personality as *insert witty simile here*, Elizabeth Larsen's brainchild, the Foxfire Coffee Lounge, was a true diamond in the rough. At the time it was (and if it were still alive today, would still be) the only full time non-exclusive all-age venue in Minneapolis. And us kids loved them for it.

My band played its first show in Minneapolis at the old Fox. We were sixteen and thinkin' we were unstoppable. God I loved that place. It was a little more inviting than a hole in a wall, but just barely; that's probably what I loved most about it. The intimacy you felt with whomever you were seeing that night. The connection between artist and audience you just can't get at a bar or large club. The sound was terrible and the food was over-priced (if you ask me), but that made it all the cooler.

The space where the Foxfire Coffee Lounge once stood has since been replaced by another lounge/music venue, called Sursumcorda. Except, instead of smelly punk rock kids, there mainly upwardly-mobile twenty-somethings with black hair and leather pants who think a blank white sheet of paper can qualify as art.

Oh well.

The Foxfire Coffee Lounge (July 2nd, 1998 - September 7th 2000)

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