The Bowery Tavern was located at 9400 – 6th Ave. No. (Highway 55 and County Road 18) in Golden Valley. The address today would be 9400 Golden Valley Road.
Note: There were other Bowerys, in particular one at 9 Washington Ave. No. in Minneapolis.
This one in Golden Valley was in place as of June 1939. It was strictly a tavern, with 3.2 beer and setups.
In 1952, the Golden Valley Village Council approved the transfer of the Bowery’s liquor license from Chester Tomchek to an employee, Frank J. Gracyasz. (Minneapolis Tribune, February 6, 1952).
In 1955, the Bowery figured in an inquiry about the fitness of Police Chief Al McGinnis to remain on the force. Testimony of a temporary policeman was that McGinnis, then off duty, called the temp and ordered him to get a bottle of gin from the Bowery and bring it to the address of his girlfriend – in the Village squad car. (Minneapolis Star, September 13, 1955) McGinnis was discharged on 11 counts of malfeasance, and he appealed the action in a court case with a jury. The jury found that he should be reinstated, but the Village Council took the case to the Minnesota Supreme Court. In the meantime, McGinnis was fined for doing electrical wiring without a license…
In November 1955, a church got a permit to build within 400 feet of the bar, which wouldn’t have been legal the other way around. (Minneapolis Star, November 16, 1955)
In 1959 there was live music and dancing on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
On June 17, 1959, owner Frank “Lefty” Gracyasz sold a pint of vodka, a fifth of vodka, and a fifth of whiskey to a 17-year-old from his adjacent liquor store. The teenager then took a friend’s car and got into an accident on Glenwood Ave. and Glenwood Parkway. On July 6, 1959, despite his claim that he did not even sell one of the brands, Lefty was convicted in Golden Valley Justice Court of selling liquor to a minor. He appealed his conviction in Hennepin County District Court, but lost and was sentenced to a $100 fine or 30 days in the workhouse. He paid the fine. On December 15, 1959, Lefty lost his off-sale license for the liquor store, but kept his 3.2 beer license for the tavern. The Village Hall was packed for the hearing, and boos went up as Lefty’s license was revoked. (Minneapolis Star, December 16, 1959)
Lee Lofstrand was the new owner as of May 26, 1960.
Joe LaRocque was identified as the owner in a report of a robbery on November 15, 1961.
By 1965 the building was home to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7051.
A new building replaced it in 1976.