First, there's the patio. The wooden deck is actually being laid today, but last night offered a preliminary glimpse at how the patio is going to work with what's already there. Basically, all you need to know is that the patio is huge. It runs up to the sidewalk, along the length of the building and around the rear. There's also a private artist's patio for musicians playing the venue, and they're reworking the green room down in the basement to include a private bathroom. If that's not enough, they've put a super swanky apartment above Bar Bar for touring artists to stay at, if they choose. The apartment—which sleeps eight, has a washer/dryer, full kitchen, balcony, and a plan to put in a big-ass flatscreen TV—is, in a word, fuckingawesome. Basically, musicians playing Mississippi Studios are going to have a very good time, and I'll wager that apartment becomes the notorious site of many a band's legendary road stories.
Meanwhile, the main entrance to Mississippi Studios is going to move next door to Bar Bar; you'll walk through Bar Bar in order to see a show. And the bar that right now divides the Mississippi Studios venue is going to be moved, so that the show space will incorporate some of that existing front room. The bar, then, will move to the side, where that weird hallway is that leads into the show room. And the upstairs office has been moved as well, so the second-floor balcony will be extended further back, and there are plans to put in an upstairs whiskey bar, with a full selection of premium whiskey and maybe a beer or two. You wanted vodka, or maybe a pinot grigio? Too bad, wussy, go downstairs. Basically Mississippi Studios is getting bigger—not enormously bigger, but you will notice the difference.
Back to Bar Bar—a gorgeous mirrored bar, marble countertop, stained glass fixtures on the ceiling, cocktail menu, eight beers on tap, a spaciously pleasant and unfussy vibe with a menu that focuses on fast-food-style hamburgers. I believe they even come wrapped in paper—think high end In-N-Out. Yes, there's a veg burger; no, other than fries, onion rings, a shred salad, and some desserts, there's nothing else on the menu. I did not try the burger, but the word is good. The spot is all ages until 10 pm, which means that YES, the outdoor shows during Sunday afternoons in the summer are all ages. That is rad.
I did not have the foresight to take pictures, sorry, but you'll be able to see for yourself when Bar Bar has its official opening tomorrow, during the Mississippi Street Fair. Meanwhile, the first Sunday Session (with Pancake Breakfast and Adam Shearer) takes place on the patio this Sunday.
Bar Bar at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi
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