Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The place where everybody knows your name… August 12, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:00 AM
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DO YOU EVER WONDER about a business name, how it came to be? I do.

A popular watering hole in Courtland, Minnesota. Look closely at the sign and you'll see a small crow perched on the letter "O."

A popular watering hole in Courtland, Minnesota. Look closely at the sign and you’ll see a small crow perched on the letter “O.”

Let’s take The Crow Bar and Grill in Courtland along U.S. Highway 14 just east of New Ulm. I’ve passed this bar countless times on my way to and from my native southwestern Minnesota. I even imbibed there many decades ago.

But not until this last trip, did my husband and I discuss the bar’s moniker. I’d always assumed The Crow Bar was linked to the obnoxious bird by the same name. I write “obnoxious” because crows  awaken me too many mornings with a raucous caw, caw, caw. I’m right, according to the miniscule crow perched on the “O” in the bar’s signage.

My husband, however, contemplated that the name could also refer to a crow bar, as in a tool. How clever. Perfect. The Crow Bar.

Never been inside this bar in downtown Farmington.

Never been inside this bar in downtown Farmington.

Over in Farmington, south of the Twin Cities metro, I came across Gossips Bar & Grill with the tag line, You heard it here first!

Now isn’t that the truth when it comes to bar talk and old crows.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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11 Responses to “The place where everybody knows your name…”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    Oh so clever on all counts!!!!!

  2. Ha! – love it – nothing better than small town living where everyone pretty much knows you and your personal biz 🙂 Happy Tuesday!

  3. ryanware Says:

    Audrey, do you remember the Cat and the Fiddle near New Ulm. I’d never been inside but it always looked interesting. It had a cat with a fiddle on the side of the building and the words all ye who come refreshment bent will find your time well spent.

    It was on highway MN 68. Apparently it had a long history. I would have seen it in the late 80’s or early 90’s towards the end of its run. Here is a story about the owner with a little info on the place.

    http://www.nujournal.com/page/content.detail/id/501176/Cat-N–Fiddle-owner–lived-her-own-life—says-brother.html?nav=5009


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