Wine Wednesday: Roof Deck at JJ’s Downtown

JJ's Coffee, Open Book,

John Garland / Growler Magazine

You stand at the railing of a rooftop deck on the edge of downtown Minneapolis. You notice it’s not crowded with pretty people or high top tables. You don’t hear Top 40 blasting from the speakers – there aren’t speakers at all. You know that a waitress is not on her way to tell you about specials. You’re alone. In fact, you’re not even conscious of another living soul out on this deck.

You’ve found it sheltered behind Washington Avenue on the rear flank of the Open Book Building. But first, you stopped at JJ’s Coffee + Wine Bistro on the main floor. You would have been happy with some regular old pinot grigio, but then you saw the Oveja Negra blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Carmenere, and you thought today would be a good day to try something different. You notice that happy hour runs 4-6pm, with $4 house wines and tap beers (you notice 612brew Mary Ann, Indeed Shenanigans and Lucid Air on the tap tower). You congratulate yourself for leaving work when you did.

Then you took your drink up the elevator to the third floor, to the deck across from the offices of Milkweed Editions. You sat down on the sparse patio furniture, retrieved your copy of The Wish Book by Alex Lemon from your bag and noticed your surroundings. It’s impossibly quiet. Riverside Plaza, with its Mondrian-like arrangement of windows looms in the east. In front of you, a collection of cranes hover about the pit once named for Humphrey. And to your right, the heart of the Mill City beats in the distance.

And you, with a tall tumbler of wine, a quiet reading spot, and 45 minutes on your parking meter. You smile, take a sip, and dive into your book while the busy world floats on by.

JJ’s Coffee + Wine Bistro, Open Book Building, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.215.2626, 

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.

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