Ancient Minneapolis drinking history
October 10, 2008 1:35 PM   Subscribe

Anybody have a clue what the "Whale of a Drink" at the long-gone Moby Dick's bar in downtown Minneapolis was? was it a cocktail? Or did they just mean that you would get super, super drunk there, which I've heard was true. If it was a drink, anyone have a clue what the hell it was?
posted by Astro Zombie to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
Seems like it could be just a motto. It was definitely a sign.
If you’re a long-time resident of Minneapolis you probably remember the old Block E on Hennepin Avenue. It was the scourge of local law enforcement with its petty drug dealing, strip clubs and the occasional brawl. The one establishment that I remember from those days was that memorable old bar, Moby Dick, whose motto was "a whale of a drink." Source
/not a minneapoli...whatever you call yourselves.
posted by desjardins at 3:18 PM on October 10, 2008

...whatever you call yourselves

Minneapolitan, of course.

I also never heard of this referred to as a specific drink. I think it was just a slogan. Isn't this the same place where there is a persistent (but apparently unfounded) rumor that you could go in and trade an AA medallion for a drink? It doesn't seem like the type of place that would bother with the niceties of a signature drink.
posted by nanojath at 3:25 PM on October 10, 2008

Been there, I think, not sure... but just popping in to remind you that "whale of a" doesn't necessarily mean large, like... a whale of a good time.

So they were probably just taking the obvious pun there.
posted by rokusan at 3:25 PM on October 10, 2008

Ah, Moby Dick's. Before my time but so legendary.

Luckily I know lots of old-school alcoholics. I'll ask around and get back to you.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:34 PM on October 10, 2008

So far....two people claim to not remember what they drank at Moby Dick's. The others are not home.

BUT, here is a great picture of the old Block E (pre-purification) where the Moby Dick's sign can be seen. From looking at it, I'm guessing it was just a slogan and not a specific drink, but I'll keep asking around because I always like to hear people's stories about Moby Dick's.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:59 PM on October 10, 2008

Best answer: I was in there a couple of times. Don't remember a specific drink; I always assumed it just meant that you could get a bigger glass of rotgut than some place down the street (like the Carousel, or the dreaded Mousey's). In my life, I spent more time at Shinder's paging through the foreign newspapers than at Moby's.

I do remember Skyway News doing that April Fool's issue a few years ago, with the headline "New Tenant for Block E: Moby Dick's" and a photoshopped pic of the whale logo on the Block E promotion banner. Comedy gold!
posted by gimonca at 5:00 PM on October 10, 2008

I was in grade school or junior high when it was still around. We always went to "Suns, for rock and roll people" to buy our vinyl on that block.
posted by thilmony at 5:22 PM on October 10, 2008

Best answer: I recall it just being that they served larger drinks.

How I miss Block E.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 5:27 PM on October 10, 2008

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