Louis Sirian wakes up at 9 every morning. He chases down supplies until 11, then unlocks the doors of the Minneapolis bar he’s owned for going on four decades.
“I’m here until about 6,” Sirian said. “I go home to have a sandwich and then I come back again at 1 o'clock to clean. And I’m here until 4.”
That’s a Tuesday. Days for the 80-year-old bar owner can be even longer on the weekends, when the iconic Lee’s Liquor Lounge hosts rockabilly, country and roots rock shows on a mirrored stage at the back of the room.
Lee’s is a Minneapolis institution known for its immaculate early 1960s decor, its long bar and its cash-only service. And, of course, for its music. Country singer Dale Watson even commemorated Lee’s with a song that refers to the modest owner:
“He bought it from a man named Lee, but he didn’t change the sign,” Watson sang. “‘Cause Louis thinks what really counts is what you’ve got inside.”
Now Sirian has agreed to sell the bar to a regular patron, who says he wants to preserve its unique character even as the neighborhood becomes gentrified around it.
so i’ve been in Minnesota since Saturday doing “media” for Soundset. i’ve been running around Bloomington, Minneapolis & Saint Paul the last couple days doing all the touristy things i wanted to do, but i’m most thankful to have visited Eyedea’s memorial. got to pay my respects to this legend. i hope you all get the chance to visit one day. 🙏
On Sunday, June 7, St. Paul’s Grand Avenue will once again become a maze of street food, paraders, and, most of all, music. Grand Old Day, the Grand Avenue Business Association’s yearly start to the summer, is now in its 19th year. All along the avenue, more than 15 local bands will perform on six stages (plus a family-friendly stage). Once your candy bag is full and your fried food craving slaked, here is where the bands will be so you can give your ears a grand old time, too.
I work at the YMCA, and I do whiteboard drawings for the members because they like it. This one I really like, so I am going to make it into the real deal. This is just a color study I did digitally. I am going to finish it in gouache.