Sunday, July 28, 2013

McGoon's Taxi Co (Rochester, MN)

McGoon's Taxi Co Pub and Restaurant
Tonight's evening of fun and laugh's was my first visit to this downtown location since it was O'Neill's Pizza Pub.  In fact, until an invitation by friends for dinner and open mic night, I avoided going into the old place where we spent so much time waiting for Dan's heart transplant.

Walking in, it's hard to recognize the old place when I walked into McGoon's for dinner. A themed restaurant like Friday's down to the taxicab menus, it's a very friendly and cozy place to chat and drink. Limited drafts on tap and different from what is listed online. Something to be said for how a server pitches a tap list, ending with the "dark and bitter" Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shutdown Ale, which was the best on the list. It seemed obvious that he wasn't a fan of hops, but it's nice that they have at least one hoppy beer on tap for those of use of the persuasion.  Oddly, in spite of having been to Lagunitas on vacation earlier this month, Undercover is as a draft is missing from my list. Sticking with Lagunitas for the night, the draft upstairs at Goonie's seemed a bit brighter than the tall I had downstairs.  No specific problem I noticed; both were served just fine.

After finishing a very good dinner, we headed upstairs to Goonie's Comedy Club for open mic night. All stand up comedians, each on a tight time limit.  An interesting mix of veteran comics with several on stage for the very first time. Going in with relatively low expectations (because I had no idea), I was pleasantly surprised by how often I laughed out loud. Most of the comics were good (or tolerable) and only a few that I would have been a good opportunity to get a drink, especially since there's no cover. A diverse crowd trickled in through the show until nearly full at the end and seemed quite merry.

Greek Veggie Wrap and potato salad
I found the night interesting, not just for the laughs, but to see the developing skill of each of the comedians as writers, especially the younger performers just starting out. I half-jokingly credit much of I initial knowledge of writing from my days as a bouncer during Comedy Caravan at Nick's, a nightclub on the levee at Purdue. Bored at my post since no one fights when drinking Long Island Ice Tea for a $1.75 while listening to top comics on the circuit from New York to LA. As a communications major, I took the time to analyze the structure of humor, much of which ended up in my "writing buddy" format that I use to teach freshmen. Tonight's open mic night was a flip side of this old practice by seeing budding comics as opposed to the professionals at Nick's.

McGoon's and Goonie's is an amusing diversion with good beer and food and more than a few laughs for a Thursday cheap date night, plus I would be optimistic that the full weekend comedy shows would be worth the price of admission.  While I was slightly disconcerted underneath from my personal history with the space, it was a great time that helped me erase ghosts of my past. While not a beer bar per se, there's a couple good drafts to while away an evening with in good humor, upstairs or down.


  1. Scott and I have always been happy with the service at McGoons. The food and beer are good, but the service is what sells the place for me.

  2. Glad to know that a local likes it as well. Wish the tap list was a bit better to compete with O'Neill's and others.