I’ve never reviewed a restaurant before, but I guess there’s a first time for everything…
Last night, on our way to check out some amateur poetry at the Artists’ Quarter, Patty and I spotted what I can only describe as a giant glowing pink room through a window at the corner of Wabasha and 6th. Turns out that we had stumbled upon the new Pop! restaurant, which, as it happens, was celebrating its grand opening — just in time for the RNC.
It seemed like an interesting place, and we decided to stop and have a drink. I have to confess that I wasn’t even aware of the Pop! in northeast Minneapolis, and so really had no expectations before walking through the door. It’s a huge space — formerly occupied by a French Mediterranean restaurant that closed in June — and very inviting. The decor, despite the obvious nod to Andy Warhol in the form of a towering Campbell’s soup can screen, seemed more reminiscent of Ikea than of an overhyped 20th-century art movement, but the lighting and the overall atmosphere made it a pleasant experience. There were also a number of little touches — like a vibrating hand-held massager at each table — that I thought were original. And the staff were really friendly and eager to please.
We didn’t try any of the food, but most things on the menu looked good. Prices seemed comparable to Pazzaluna or some of the other downtown restaurants — which is to say, a little on the high side — but they offer a number of smaller plates of appetizers, soups, etc. that are pretty cheap. They also had what appeared to this (not totally discerning) patron to be a decent wine selection, and the beer selection was definitely above-average. (Any place with more than two different kinds of Surly is generally OK by my standards.)
Pop! seems like the kind of place that has potential to become a cool local haunt — that is, if there were ever any people to be found in downtown St. Paul outside of work hours. Like everything else after dark in my beloved city, Pop! seemed almost empty; the staff outnumbered the customers. That will almost certainly change during the RNC, of course, and hopefully they’ll have better luck after the convention too.
It’s a cool place. Check it out.
(More pictures here.)
A word about saintpaulitan:
I may be changing the look and possibly even the name of this blog very soon. The whole point of my starting this blog was that I was going to use it as an excuse to learn some XHTML, CSS, PHP, etc. Now, I’ve actually got around to doing that, and I hope to launch a much cleaner and more customized version of saintpaulitan in the near future.
‘Til next time.