Six Things You Learn on a Mall of America Bar Crawl

Six Things You Learn on a Mall of America Bar Crawl


1. The Mall of America is actually pretty boozy.

Really, though — these days, there are about a million places that serve alcohol at the Mall of America, so you have a lot of flexibility when planning your MOA bar crawl. Our most surreal stop was probably Burger Burger, a fast casual food stop where I ate buffalo chicken caesar salad straight off the paper lining of my aluminum tray (it’s called Burger Burger, not Bowl Bowl or Plate Plate) and drank a Fireball milkshake while kids waiting in line snooped at us over the back of the booth.

2. On a Mall of America bar crawl, time stands still.

When you really allow yourself to relax, the Mall of America is like Las Vegas: you totally lose track of what time it is, and everything takes longer than you think it will. We took a break at one point to hop on the roller coaster, and boom! There went an hour. If you make the mistake of being seated at a table instead of bellying up to the bar at any given venue, your server might disappear for dozens of minutes on end. Both the pro and the con of this is that we actually ended up drinking a lot less than we thought we would — suddenly it was 8:00 on a Sunday night and the mall was totally shutting down and we realized that we’d been on our Mall of America bar crawl for an amount of time that was impossible to imagine sustaining, say, a Lyndale Avenue bar crawl while remaining upright and cogent.

3. You should always sit at the bar.

See above. You’ll get served more quickly, and people who work at MOA are full of good stories. The highlight of our crawl was a climactic stop at the Rainforest Cafe, where we had a bartender who mixed a quick blue drink, explained what happened to the water features, and gave me my choice of souvenir glassware.

4. Your friends will be jealous.

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#moabarcrawl stop one: the hotel bar

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And you’re like, well, yeah, it is pretty awesome — but maybe not quite as awesome as it sounds.

5. It’s super-satisfying to ride the Blue Line to and from the mall.

If all you’ve ever known is entering and exiting the mall through the behemoth parking ramp, you’ll be surprised at how gratifying it is to emerge from the subterranean tracks, take care of your business, and then jump back onto the train to be swept off into the night.

6. The mall itself might congratulate you on drinking at the mall.

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#moabarcrawl stop two: fast casual

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Jay Gabler