Saturday, November 21, 2009

Piano Bars

Last night I went out to the Shout House with 2 gals I work with at the Y.  It was a blast.  This was my first visit to the Shout House although I have been the Bonfire on Grand Ave in St. Paul numerous times.  I've heard from various people that the Shout House is way cooler than the Bonfire.  I've always thought that the Bonfire was a great way to have some fun on a Friday night.  So I enlisted Kristina and Carissa to join me so I could experience the Shout House and do a side-by-side comparison.  So here it goes.


  • There are many locations throughout the Twin Cities.  Grand Ave tends to have the best crowd out of all of them, younger and rowdier.  Some locations don't have Dualing Pianos, ie. Blaine.  Woodbury leans toward jazz bands.
  • Usually don't have to pay a cover to get in mainly because it's considered a "restaurant" and not a "bar".
  • They have signature drinks and food.  Wood-fire pizza and martini's!
  •  Cowboy decor.  If you look up at the ceiling, chances are you are going to be looking at a bull made out of a hockey goalie pads.  If you get to sit at the LONG table, it has cowhide upholstery.
  • Music is more old school.  Only 2 musicians play at a time, but may switch out at end of shift.  One guy at Grand thinks he's Prince, but doesn't do a very good impression.  The Janis Joplin lady's pretty good.
  • Songs by request.
  • They restaurant is open all day but the piano's don't start until the 9 o'clock hour.
  • Seating is all around and usually available.  Tables, booths, bar-stools.  Standing room only in bar area.

Shout House 
  • Only one location in Minneapolis, located on Hennepin Ave between 6th and 7th Street.
  • Crowd tends to be more rauncy.  Birthday songs tend to lead to sexual embarrassment, mostly doing the Hokie Pokie with your boobies or dipstick.
  • Music is more rock-n-roll.  Fast and upbeat.  Four musicians rotate throughout night.  Sometime all playing at the same time, 2 on piano, and 1 on guitar and 1 on drums.  
  • Songs by requests too.
  • The facility doesn't open until 5 pm  or 6 pm, depending on the night, and the pianos play the whole night.
  • Seating is sparse and tables are teeny.  There are two long bar-tops and bar stools along the perimeter of the seating area.  Otherwise, it's standing room only.
  • Decor is basic, nothing fancy.  There are two giant mirrors behind the pianos so you can have a view from whichever directions you are sitting/standing.
  • Not much of a menu.  I never saw one.  No specialty drinks, just order the usual from the waitress or one of the two bar on either side of the stage.
  • Some nights there is a cover charge after 9 pm.  Friday night is College ID night and you can get in without a cover.  Hint:  You can flirt with the cashier at the door and get in with a college ID that's 9 years old and still get in for free.  Don't go stealing my move now.
  • Not only do they play instruments, but the stage security can dance!  Moonwalk, Mr. Roboto, the Worm, and Arielle the Little Mermaid (that was hot!).
  • Did I already mention the the stage security guy was hot!
Either one you go to, you're going to get entertained.  A night out with the parents...go to the Bonfire.
Out on the town with a date....go to the Shout House.

For more information, go to    or  and see for yourself.


simplicity said...

We were at Bonfire in Plymouth last night with friends. It is great food and great decor and all that, but having heard about the Shout House I have a feeling that's more of a "party" atmosphere than Bonfire. Thanks for the info on it :)