Driving through downtown Minneapolis on a Sunday at noon revealed a few things: no one seems to actually live downtown. And the baseball fans have all gone home. But not all of the partiers. Not the ones on the moving bar heading north on 2nd Avenue.
We rubbed our eyes. Had we stayed up too late? What exactly were we seeing here? Have we been drinking under a rock?
A bike-powered bar is not a fast-moving vehicle. It goes 5mph. We slowly pulled around it, one biking and drinking guy checking us out while we were checking it out. I promise you, buddy, we are not the interesting ones here.
Downtown Minneapolis on a Sunday morning (or anytime, really) is perfect for a pedalling pub. The streets are flat, it's relatively mellow, and the city plays host to lots of business travellers and tourists staying in one of the many downtown hotels. So the business, which works mostly on private rentals, seems to be thriving, enough so that they've spread to Chicago and St Petersburg, FL. (Really, Key West must be next. This seems like a very Key West kind of thing.)
It's not terribly expensive, either, between $240 and $380 depending on the time and route, and patrons bring their own alcohol (either in coolers or in a 'pony' keg).
These bike bars hold 17 people - one pilot (supplied by the company), 10 pedallers, one standee/bartender (from the group), and five people in non-pedaling seats. Currently there are operators in multiple cities in Germany; Budapest; Belgrad; Reno or Carson City, Nevada; Boise, Idaho, and, of course, Amsterdam, where it all began. London has the pedibus, which also serves Champagne (thank goodness).