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The Bridge Tavern

Crosby, Minnesota

We stumbled into this place by accident. We were coming home to the Twin Cities from our annual Spring Trip to Woman Lake, up by Longville, and decided to drive past Mille Lacs instead of coming home the usual way through Brainerd and St. Cloud. We wanted to see what the Big Lake was looking like in the wind, to see the waves and the boats. It was far better than the corn fields of Highway 371, to be sure.

Map to The Bridge Tavern

But before we got to Mille Lacs, there at the intersection of Highway 6 and County Road 11, some 5 or 6 miles north of Crosby, we chanced upon the Bridge Tavern.

I have to admit that we drove past it. But then, as I Looked back over my shoulder, I realized what we had done.

"Peters! Back! We gotta stop there."

"What?" Jerry still had visions of the Walleyes that we didn't catch this year rattling around in his head, apparently distracting him. He didn't seem to realize what I was talking about.

"Beer, man, beer! I'll buy you a beer."

That penetrated his consciousness. The Big black Dodge truck swung around in a U-turn in the middle of Highway 6, all by itself, the Lund boat on the trailer behind us followed obediently, and we pulled into the parking lot of the Bridge Tavern.

When we entered the pleasantly dim bar, the one customer, a gentlemen seated at the bar followed the rules and turned to look at us. We nodded. He nodded back.

But behind the bar, the bartender, whose name was "Kris" as we came to find out, did more than that. She smiled, and immediately the place lit up. We were welcome.

We sat there, at the nicely old–fashioned wooden bar, for quite a while. We each had a "Bridge Burger," several beers, we talked about the week's fishing and catching, talked to Kris about bar business and life in small town Minnesota, listened to the mildly off-colored jokes the other gentlemen insisted on telling us.

The Bridge Tavern

It was nice, it really was. The beer was cold, the burgers had loads of onions and mushrooms. The barstools were comfortable, the bar properly scarred and stained by countless beers passed across it to generations of beer drinkers. Kris was a joy. (But she did break the rules – her pool table had no torn spots.)

It was a nice way to spend a couple of hours, on the way back from a week's worth of hard, dirty, nasty Walleye fishing....

We recommend it to you without hesitation – The Bridge Tavern, Crosby, Minnesota. And tell Kris hello for us....

Kris Smiling Behind the Bar

Postscript

Peters and I stopped at the Bridge Tavern last September, coming home from a fruitless week chasing the Muskies that allegedly infest Leech Lake.

Kris was there. She smiled at us, again.

I bought beer, again.

Peters bought pulltabs. We hit a $100 winner. We left it for a tip for Kris. When she realized what we had done, she first scolded us and refused the whole thing. But then a gleam came to her eyes and she said, "I know just who can use this..."

And I'm sure our hundred bucks went to an exceptionally worthwhile cause.

When you stop by, contribute to her cause too.

We were saddened to learn this spring, on our annual journey to Woman Lake that Kris has sold the Bridge Tavern after twenty years – But don't let that stop you, I'm sure the new natives are just as friendly. The Bridge Tavern, Crosby, Minnesota. Our first and favorite "Fishing Bar."




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Date Created: January 20, 1999
Last Modified: June 27, 2000
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