Minneapolis Is Getting Its Very Own Water Bar

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This is one taproom that won't give you a hangover. According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the city of Minneapolis is getting its very own water bar this spring. Patrons can sip on free varieties of local and regional H20, and also order tasting flights.

The establishment, which is fittingly called Water Bar, might elicit eye rolls from people who are sick of seeing the “artisanal” label applied to everything from soup to shaving cream. However, Water Bar isn’t just a watering hole, Minneapolis City Pages points out—it’s a public art project that’s intended to get people talking about the beverage’s importance to local communities around the world.

Works Progress Studio, a public arts and design studio in Minneapolis, created Water Bar as a traveling pop-up installation in 2014. Its director, Shanai Matteson, and her husband, Colin Kloecker, journeyed across Minnesota, Arkansas, Illinois, and North Carolina, serving local waters to over 30,000 people. Now, they’re setting up permanent shop in northeast Minneapolis.

Aside from the no-alcohol part, how does a water bar differ from a regular one? Instead of your average bartenders, visitors will be greeted by environmental scientists, activists, artists, and mixologists who are moonlighting as "watertenders." As they pour guests a tall one, they’ll talk about water pollution and scarcity, land use, climate change, and other issues that impact the way we consume the liquid. As for the H20 itself, it’s collected from local utilities, public buildings, and house taps.

Want to raise a glass to Water Bar’s mission? You’ll have to wait until later this month, or early April, to pay a visit. However, Water Bar will likely celebrate its grand opening on the weekend of May 20-22 during Art-A-Whirl, an annual arts festival in northeast Minneapolis. To donate to the arts project, check out Water Bar’s GoFundMe page, or visit their website for more information.

[h/t Minneapolis Star-Tribune]