Zombies won’t be partying in Dinkytown

While the area could profit off the event, organizers say the hot spot isn’t large enough.

by Nick Wicker

Partiers dressed as the undead took over the streets of downtown Minneapolis on Saturday as part of the city’s 11th annual Zombie Pub Crawl, an event that some say could benefit Dinkytown if it moved there.
Attendance has grown annually as the pub crawl has migrated across the city — from Northeast Minneapolis to the West Bank near the University of Minnesota and finally to downtown Minneapolis two years ago. Some Dinkytown business owners have considered getting involved, but other owners and festival organizers don’t think the University-area hot spot is spacious enough.
Serving zombies would be profitable, said Mike Mulrooney, owner of Blarney Irish Pub & Grill in Dinkytown and president of the Dinkytown Business Association.
Blarney’s business increases before and after the event, Mulrooney said, adding that while he has dealt with stragglers in costume, he hasn’t seen them in large crowds.
“Most people associate [the pub crawl] with crazy, wild drinking,” he said. “How’s an Irish pub not going to benefit from that?”
Other local business owners, like Kitty Cat Klub and Annie’s Parlour Owner John Rimarcik, said they’re worried about the rowdy crowd the event would attract if it took place in Dinkytown.
Rimarcik said some might dress up and take advantage of their disguise and the large crowd to commit crimes.
“I can see that it’s a wonderful, fun, exciting event for those people that take part,” he said. “But as a location venue, Dinkytown is too small and unprepared for the crowd and nature of the people that they will attract.”
Dinkytown Qdoba Owner and DBA Vice President Randal Gast said cleaning up after the pub crawl crowd wouldn’t differ much from usual Dinkytown procedure.
Bars participating in the Zombie Pub Crawl have to pay a fee, which Gast said doesn’t appeal to some Dinkytown businesses owners.
Because about 20 bars and pubs in a six-block area downtown work with the pub crawl organizers, Dinkytown would be too small to host the event, said Zombie Pub Crawl organizer Jonathan Ackerman.
According to the pub crawl website, around 30,000 people attend the event each year.
“We are flattered when we are approached to bring the pub crawl to a new area or city, but in Minneapolis, we are very happy with our home and partners in the warehouse business district,” Ackerman said.
City officials said they don’t plan to work with organizers to relocate the event.