617 Central Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5541444.990538 -93.252104
Neighborhoods: Nicollet Island, University
Not At All What It Used To Be. Prepare to be disappointed. – Holy cow. WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS PLACE???
It used to be so incredible. Funny name, hilarious mural, great karaoke DJ, tons of character. Unfortunately this is no more. It appears that a few months ago this bar changed owners, and the new owner is disagreeable and trying to completely change an iconic Twin Cities bar.
First of all, he changed the name from U Otter Stop Inn (hilarious) to Otter's Saloon (far less hilarious).
Secondly, and most noticeably, he covered up the incredible mural outside with a giant banner. A giant banner that, by the way, misspelled both 'close' and 'Thursday'. Which I understand, because those are two words that are extremely difficult to spell. When I asked the (extremely grumpy) new owner about this, he first said, "You like the mural? MAKE ME AN OFFER." Then, regarding the awful banner itself, he simply said, "Meh, you get what you pay for."
Unfortunately though, covering up the mural outside was only the first of many character issues this place has now. The walls used to be filled on the inside with stuffed otters and funny albums and AOL free trial CDs. Stuff that, while divey, gave it character. Now, the asshat who owns the place ripped it all down, put up fake brick to nipple level, and painted the remainder of the walls beige.
Oh, and the amazing DJ lady who used to sing 4 Non-Blondes at the end of the night is gone. I'm guessing that since the new owner is a complete jerk when it comes to everything else, he was awful to her, too. New guy? Loves him some Train. Plays it a lot. At least the other lady used some discretion. But then again, with the emptiness I saw when I went in there last Saturday night, I'm guessing the DJ is struggling to find people who want to sing. Oh, and they moved the 'stage' to the other side of the bar.
Basically, if you loved the old U Otter Stop Inn, stay away. The ambience/decor/new owner of the place is going to crush your memories and you are going to leave quickly and upset.
New Ownership, New Name, New Employees – Whatever happened that everyone is talking about here is very unfortunate. Any form of intolerance is not okay at all.
Please keep in mind the Otter now has a new name, has new ownership and management, and has almost entirely new employees.
The Otter's Saloon (as it's known now) is welcoming to any and all. Unless you're underage or obviously intoxicated, absolutely everyone is welcome to enjoy the bar, sing karaoke, and have a good time. As the new bouncer, I personally guarantee it.
Has gone downhill :( – I used to love going to the U Otter - small bar, karoake, everyone was friendly. Last night my friends and I stopped in. A guy opened the front door for us and we walked in - the bartender about jumped over the bar, looked in my face (he was wearing CREEPY brown contacts that covered his whole eye) and said "You can't read the sign?" I didn't know what he was talking about..."the sign that says use the other door???!??!" I said "no!" and he pointed me to leave out the door and go around. We should have let then but it was getting late. We came in I bought one drink and the place was pretty empty for a Saturday night. They have the lights on so bright no one wanted to be in there. Such a shame how bad this place is now.
Homophobic bouncers do nothing and egg on anti-gay attackers – A friend got beaten at this establishment for doing nothing wrong. He hand his friends were beaten as the clubs security watched and made jokes about the fight.
My friend did nothing other than be there, and talk amongst his friends. They were beaten for "acting gay".
Security did nothing but laugh.
Boycott this place.
I heart this place – I love this bar and I'm truly sad at the fact that people are taking out the U of M Student that was attacked outside of the Otter , on the U Otter. It's not the bars fault that there are ignorant people out there. If the bar is locked from what I'm reading and a patron tried to break up the fight. Why should the bar be blacklisted. I think it's sad that someone was hurt and attacked but I feel bad for such a great place. I intend on standing up for a place that has always treated myself and my girlfriend with respect.
Good karaoke, but far too crowded. – If elbowing your way to the bar through Abercrombie & Fitch-clad jocks is your thing, than this tiny establishment is for you. Arrive extremely early for limited seating, or be prepared to stand all night. Karaoke fans will enjoy the decent selection and the enthusiastic crowd. Drinks are of the American variety, so expect something watery.
Saweet! – Curl up with a Grain Belt and kick back, watching the best karoke in town. A fun, cozy place (it's really small), great when you want to hang out with a couple of friends for a few hours.
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