When Heidi Farrell became co-owner of Geno’s Bar and Grill last year, she knew one of the first things she wanted to do was lighten the place up.
“When you have no windows, you have to make your own light,” Farrell said, pointing upward to the recently renovated ceiling. What was dark ceiling tiles for years is now a patchwork of clean, light-colored panels, beer logos, rustic light fixtures and decorative nuance. In addition to the warmer colors on the walls and ceiling, the bar recently added screen doors so a gentle breeze and natural light can pass through.
Many people around the area probably still associate Geno’s with its former moniker, The Purple Doors, but Farrell and co-owner, Geno Falconer, want to get the word out that there’s a new kid in town.
“I really want people to know this is a place where they can come and have great food and a great atmosphere,” Farrell said. She confessed she is obsessed with Hobby Lobby, and looks to have a knack for interior design. Those two facts combined lead to a fresh facelift inside of the once overlooked watering hole. Both the men’s and women’s rooms are theme-decorated. The men’s room is designed to be a “man cave” and the women’s room plays on a “motivational” decor. “The men don’t come out and say it,” Farrell said, smiling, “But I know they like the man cave feel.”
Within the last year, the bar has seen its one small television replaced with four large, state-of-the-art LCD screens running from multiple cable boxes to allow different programming in different areas of the bar.
But fret not, Farrell guarantees you’ll find every Vikings game on more than one of those screens every week.
“We always do something for the Vikings games,” Farrell said. “We do giveaways and raffles. We’ve given away Vikings cutting boards, t-shirts and blankets.”
The bar is holding their annual Halloween party on Saturday, Oct. 28, which they call Fright Fest. They plan to have prizes and plenty of decorations. (There was a full-size fake horse skeleton not far from where Farrell spoke.)
The party will go until close, late on Saturday evening. As fate would have it, the Vikings game the following day is in England and starts at 8:30 a.m CST.
But rather than this being a hinderance, Farrell is excited that they can show off their new breakfast menu items during the game.
“We’re going to have a Bloody Mary bar,” Farrell said. Geno’s now crafts its own homemade Bloody Mary mix, which Farrell said requires her to do a lot of travelling just to find all of the specific ingredients. These include lemon, horseradish and a pinch of jalapeno juice. During the Vikings game, they plan to have Bloody Marys that customers can adorn with all of their own fixin’s, including meats, cheeses, olives and more. To coincide with kickoff, the kitchen will also be up and running at full tilt.
“We have a great breakfast,” Farrell continued. “We do a stuffed hashbrown breakfast.” She explained this hashbrown smorgasbord gives customers the opportunity to exercise their creativity. “Some people might say, ‘I want a meatlover’s hashbrown’ and so I’ll pile it high with ham and bacon.”
The new menu at Geno’s is one of the things Farrell and Falconer are most proud of. They now make homemade pizza, reuben sandwiches and offer a $5.95 lunch daily.
“We’re doing a lot more home-cooking now,” Farrell said. She is confident that you’ll find the new atmosphere warm, welcoming and calling you back for seconds.