Library Bar & Grill reopens

Jared Roddy

The new managers of the Library Bar & Grill said they are hoping to create a downtown-style bar in Dinkytown.

They said they want to give students the option of not going to the warehouse district for a good dance club.

“Why drive when you can stumble?” 28-year-old owner George Mendez said.

The Library Bar & Grill, which opened under new management Sept. 11, will soon offer three separate entertainment venues within the building, Mendez said.

“We want to provide a service for students, give them something to do besides the same old, same old,” general manager Troy Kelle said.

Both Mendez and Keller recognize that the previous Library Bar & Grill had a reputation for trouble.

In February, The Minnesota Daily reported the Library Bar & Grill had been allowing underage student-athletes to drink.

Lt. Jeff Rugel of the Minneapolis Police Department’s 2nd Precinct said that under the former management, the Library Bar & Grill had several problems, including overserving and altercations outside the bar involving its patrons.

“Part of it was some of their staff wasn’t as careful or well-trained in noticing behavior as they should have been,” Rugel said.

Mendez said his entire staff will be taking alcohol servers’ training, and they had no intention of maintaining the Library Bar & Grill’s old reputation.

“Anyone already intoxicated will not be allowed in the bar, and the bartenders are good at cutting people off,” Mendez said. “My security staff is a really good one.”

Mendez said that after three years of planning a nightclub, he is excited about finding the Library Bar & Grill building. He is leasing to own the property from its former owner, George Medich, Jr.

The bar is separated into three entertainment areas. Upstairs will remain a sports bar, the main level will host techno music and downstairs will feature Top 40 music, Keller said.

The Library Bar & Grill’s upstairs, with the exception of minor rearrangements and cleaning, is unchanged. Football games, Mendez said, will be a big part of the business.

“And this is a Vikings bar,” he said, “None of that Green Bay crap.”

The basement is currently closed for storage, but will eventually have space for dancing.

The main level has had a facelift since Mendez took over the property on July 15. All the walls have been painted, and a new bar was installed.

Patrons will find the main floor has been painted blue. Mendez said that’s because he and Keller plan on changing the bar’s name to Club H20. They said they are not sure when the name will change.

The most obvious change in the Library Bar & Grill is the new bar on the main floor, which has a countertop that glows a stark white.

Keller said they are planning further renovations once the bar starts making profits.

Family members and close friends, such as Keller, helped Mendez raise the money to lease and redecorate the building.

Mendez and Keller said they are planning for future events, including a disc jockey spin-off before winter break, 18-plus nights and the possibility of salsa dancing and karaoke upstairs.

“We want to take the downtown out of downtown and put it in Dinkytown,” Mendez said.