poster by Tony Buckland
This weekend marks the fifth and final Kräftskiva! Is this the end of an era, before it was truly able to become one? Or is it simply the closing of a chapter in the story behind The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar? The latter seems to be the case, according to owner Eric Dayton.
Dayton says he looks at Kräftskiva! as part of the first chapter in what hopefully turns out to be a longer story. Five years ago, the first Kräftskiva! was a little crayfish festival in the North Loop before it was really even “the” North Loop. This year, after securing Metric for a headliner, and Alpha Consumer, Fort Wilson Riot, and DJ Jonathan Ackerman for the local acts, they feel they reached their max. The block party has grown so quickly that it’s not really a crayfish festival anymore.
photo by Alysse Gafkjen
Kräftskiva! hit a growth spurt in its first year, when about 2,000 guests showed up instead of the few hundred they initially planned for, says Dayton. Though they’ve enjoyed throwing the bash every year since, it’s not the only fast-growing success they’re having that’s making Kräftskiva! difficult to continue. With Paul Berglund winning a James Beard Award earlier this year for The Bachelor Farmer, and the increasing pressure associated with throwing the festival each year, they’ve decided to save their energy for the restaurant, bar, and café.
And since this is the fifth and final Kräftskiva!, it's set to go out with a bang. The Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar will take over the street with crayfish, Swedish meatballs, adult sno cones, chilled aquavit, and Fulton beer. Gamle Ode will debut an exclusive aquavit, “Celebration on Rye,” aged in an eight-year-old rye barrel just for the occasion. Proceeds from this year’s celebration benefit the work of Climate Generation, which works to educate Minnesota students on becoming leaders in the fight against climate change.
So the Kräftskiva! chapter is closing for this restaurant and bar duo, but it seems that’s only because the Daytons anticipate the plot thickening in the future.