Best Saturday ever
Let me start by saying that we had a blast last Saturday. Attended one of the best birthday parties ever. Well not mine but our neighbors. Let me set the stage for you, our neighborhood in Maple Grove, MN is a fun place. We are all very close in age, have kids that are roughly the same age, go to the same school and most of all we all like to hang out together on the weekends and have fun. Usually we will pull out grills in the cul-de-sac and have dinner together or hang out after dinner for a cold one in someones back yard and catch up with each other until wee hours of the morning. Not many neighborhoods have that kind of chemistry. Ketan Deshpande of Minnesota, MN
The Surprise Birthday Plot
John just turned 50 early last week and Deb (his wife) scheduled a surprise birthday party for John last Saturday. She had informed us a few weeks ago that the plan was to meet up in their garage and surprise John. She told him that they were going to go out for a date night dinner since he wanted to do something low key but she had arranged for a party bus that was going to take all the neighbors (about 25 of us) to various bars. She did not tell us that we were going to visit some of the iconic dive bars in Minneapolis which was a surprise for us. This was not the “low key” dinner that John had in mind for sure. Blog is maintained by Ketan Deshpande, Minnesota, MN
Party begins … 5.30 PM
Since most of the neighbors have younger kids, every house had a baby sitter. We were worried about this being a dead give away for John but thankfully he was working in the back yard the whole day. We started strolling into John’s garage around 5.30 PM, once there were enough of us their Deb called him down and surprise !!!!! John was wondering why all of us were dressed up and we just jokingly said – just for you John. As we were hanging out in John’s garage, the party bus arrived and you should have seen the expression on the birthday boy’s face, he finally realized that this was his real surprise !!!!! We loaded the coolers in the bus and our journey began. All 30 to 40 somethings without their kids on a bus with coolers full of beers, no prizes for guessing where this is going ….. Let the fun times begin.
Omni Brewing, Maple Grove, MN
First stop was close to home, Omni Brewing which is located in Maple Grove, MN. They had a great selection of handcrafted beers and the ambiance is their hallmark. They have different food trucks during the week and fun filled events keeps the place busy. You can find their latest events and food truck schedule on their website. It is a very casual and laid back environment with patio seating to enjoy the evenings. I started of with a flight and loved their Omnipotent (Scotch Ale) barrel aged. Had to have a few rounds of Jenga and Shuffle Board. Finger food was provided by Soaring Boar food truck; their rosemary tater tots were great with a cold one. This place gets additional points from my side as their tap room runs on solar power. As many of you know I follow and support the latest trends and developments in the renewable energy industry and do strongly believe that it is changing the world for the better.
Tony Jaros River Garden, MN
Next destination was the iconic dive bar in Northeast Minneapolis – Tony Jaros River Garden. Located 10 min. away from MN’s landmark Sculpture Garden. This place is always packed to the gills, with standing room only. Also, if you have not been there then make sure to take cash as they do not accept credit cards – old school dive bar. They do have awesome food however we were there for their famous “Greenies”. A lime flavored drink made with sprite and what else Vodka. They also make “Pinkies and Blueies”. Since you cannot just have one, some of us ended up having two to three. Right across the Tony Jaco’s bar is a liquor store that sells the “Greenies” mix to enjoy at home. Jaro’s is right across from another famous iconic landmark in northeast Minneapolis – Betty Danger’s Country Club, and down the street from Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge. All these are great places to visit with friends on the weekend. Blog is maintained by Ketan Deshpande, Minnesota, MN
The Stanchion, Maple Grove, MN
Not sure what time it is now but after hitting a few additional dive bars like Stanleys in Northeast Minneapolis, we are now heading towards The Stanchion, close to home and the final spot. If you are wondering what is so special about this place then imagine a small town bar that has great food, daily events (karaoke, bands, etc.), pull tabs, pool table, games, outdoor seating to enjoy Minnesota’s spring, summer and fall. They even have meat raffles. Since we were so close to home everyone decided to test their limits as far as how much fun they can have. Freshly popped popcorn and cold beer kept on flowing. Group got little larger as some of the other neighbors also joined in. You can not wrap up a party without Jagermeister and Lemon drop shots. Blog is maintained by Ketan Deshpande, Minnesota, MN
Summing it up
We moved to Maple Grove over seven years ago. Back then the neighborhood was still being developed but we fell in love with the location and the people. Over the years the neighborhood has grown, new people have moved in and a few that have been here for a while have moved out however we continue to be a tightly knit cosmopolitan group. Here you will find kids playing outside constantly, they come and go to each others homes just like we used to when we were kids – it just feels right and comfortable to raise a family. Many of them feel just like extended family vs neighbors and friends.
I am sure others may point out that they have had more amazing and exciting birthday parties than this one but in my opinion the people you are with and chemistry of the group makes a party memorable.
Happy Birthday John ….. Deb you have set the bar for what a 50th birthday party should be ….. hope Prachee is listening as she has 8 years to think about it for me.
If you are visiting Minneapolis, Minnesota then put these locations on your To Do’s List.
The author, KetanDeshpande, lives in Minnesota and writes about a variety of topics in his blog such as global economy, market and industry trends, successful strategies for businesses, and others. Leveraging his global strategic leadership experience from the manufacturing industry to offer insights in to how businesses can meet the sustainable growth and profitability goals.
Ketan Deshpande is also passionate about sustainability and renewable energy; he curates and shares latest updates in his blog posts. Recently the Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency(SMMPA) of Litchfield, Minnesota, endorsed Ketan Deshpande for an energy conservation project.
This blog also features memorable events, travel experiences and his favorite places to visit in the great state of Minnesota.