On December 31, just in time for New Year’s Eve, Tickles bar is moving from its present location in Northeast Minneapolis to its new one in Downtown Minneapolis. Near the corner of Fourth Street and Fifth Avenue, the space formerly was occupied by The Little Wagon. Tickles debuted at its current address in November 2008, so the relocation is the soonest ever in local GLBT bar history.
Why the move?
Tickles owner Roy Caples says, “Our new location is way larger—twice the size of our present place. It’s closer to a number of other GLBT bars. Being in the heart of Downtown will allow easy access for our customers. We now can stay open another hour in the evening—until 2 AM—unlike our current 1 AM closing, so our new hours will be 11 AM-2 AM.
“Additionally, we’ll have much more parking. It’s on the main floor of the seven-story Jerry Haaf Memorial Ramp, which offers overnight parking at a minimum cost. Plus, ample parking is available on nearby streets—60 metered spots within a block radius are free on weekends and after 6 PM weekdays.”
How are Tickles customers reacting to the imminent move?
Caples shares, “We have spent a year developing our clientele, and the response has been very positive. We have gotten excellent feedback from most of our customers, who are very excited about the move.”
What a beautiful ambience the new Tickles provides! It has three spacious areas: an enormous main room with a huge bar, along with tables and booths; a large entertainment lounge with a stage; and a sizable game room with two pool tables. Customers will appreciate much more seating than at the old Tickles, as well as an outdoor patio when weather permits. Throughout the interior, wood paneling makes for an elegant appearance. And windows give it a bright, open look.
Over the past year, Tickles has developed a reputation for excellent dining at affordable prices, which certainly will grow after it reopens.
Tickles General Manager Joel Jansen explains, “Our larger and expanded kitchen will allow us to serve longer hours. We’ll be open during the day to provide lunch weekdays and brunch on weekends. It’s close to many businesses, apartments, and condos. We will continue to offer our complete menu, while widening the selections.”
A hallmark of Tickles has been its piano entertainment, featuring such impresarios as Mark Bloom, Gary Collins, and Jeff Olson tickling the ivories. Chanteuse Nichola Miller will grace the stage at the new Tickles.
Jansen notes, “We will have a cozy and intimate dining room area for our performance and stage area. We will continue to focus on our piano entertainment, while also offering other music options for the rest of the bar. And as always, sports fans will want to make us their headquarters.”
The last day at the old Tickles is December 28, which just happens to coincide with a Monday night Vikings football game screening there. Then, on December 31, watch the ball drop on New Year’s Eve at the new Tickles.
As Caples sums up, “At our new home, our goal is to further expand the Tickles experience in a quality and fashionable atmosphere with a quiet and intimate open setting. We presently have a great loyal following, but we hope to reach out to the many community members who have not been to visit us yet. We are extremely excited to build on our first-year success with the new Tickles!”