Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Free beer coupon makes “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” November 9, 2012

WHY, OH, WHY didn’t I think of this? Someone submitted the L & M Bar & Grill “free beer with breakfast” coupon, the one I posted about here on October 25, to NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

The coupon was featured in Leno’s Monday night, November 5, “Headlines” monologue. You can view the piece by clicking here. Note that the Dundas bar coupon is highlighted near the end of the clip.

One of two coupons published in Rice County Coupon Connection. I’ve voided this free beer coupon.

Here’s what Leno had to say when he placed the coupon on display before the television camera:

OK, OK, this is when you know you have a drinking problem. L & M Bar & Grill. Free beer with purchase of breakfast. OK, if you’re drinking at breakfast…

So what’s the story behind that coupon and what has been the reaction to “The Tonight Show” exposure at L & M Bar in tiny Dundas, which is just south of Northfield? Well, I phoned manager Pauline Koester this morning to get some answers.

Pauline used words like “cool,” “awesome” and “way to go” to describe her reaction and that of customers to Leno’s inclusion of the coupon.

“How often do you hit national television?” she said. “That’s pretty rare.”

She was shocked to learn of the national exposure via Facebook, Pauline says, but is pleased with the advertising for the bar her father, Lyle Koester, owns. Reaction has been only positive, she added.

So how did the manager come up with this “free beer with the purchase of breakfast” idea at a place that serves breakfast only in the mornings, from 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. weekdays and Saturdays and from 8:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Sundays?

Well, on a recent visit from her newspaper advertising rep, Pauline blurted, “Throw in a beer for breakfast.” The bar often offers a free beverage or drink “with purchase of,” she explained. And so two coupons offering “free beer with purchase of breakfast ($4.50 or more)” were printed in the Rice County Coupon Connection book distributed recently with the Faribault Daily News and the Northfield News.

The impromptu beer and breakfast coupon idea was an effort to boost breakfast sales among third shift factory and healthcare workers who like to have a beer before going to bed, Pauline said.

Thus far only a few free beer coupons have been redeemed. They expire on November 30, 2012, and on January 31, 2013.

Pauline’s curious, as are her customers, and me, about who sent the L & M Bar free beer coupon to Leno.

She’s contemplating sending a thank you—an L & M Bar & Grill coffee cup with a free beer coupon.

Now…if Leno shows up at the Dundas bar to redeem that coupon, wouldn’t that be something.

© Text copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling
Edited coupon from Rice County Coupon Connection