Water Bar

A water-only bar will help educate communities in a variety of ways


Facebook | Water Bar and Public Studio

Have you ever wished you could go to a taproom completely dedicated to water? That dream will soon become a reality. Water Bar will be opening its doors in Northeast Minneapolis in May, and—you guessed it—they will be serving water. In fact, they will educate you on tap water across the Twin Cities, as well.

One of the main goals of Water Bar is to start conversations about the importance of local tap water in communities. It plans to bring to light issues such as pollution, urban development, climate change, and environmental injustice.

The project was developed by artists Shanai Matteson and Colin Kloecker, collaborating alongside environmental advocates, arts organizers, public employees, educators, and members of the community. Since then, Water Bar has popped up in four different states and served local tap water.

But this is more than just an art project and water taproom. “Water Bar is an itinerant open space for the generation of conversations and connections around the life-sustaining, precarious, communal activity of drinking tap water,” according to Water Bar’s website. “Water Bar is a place to talk, to quench your thirst, to inquire, and to share personal stories and reflections.”

Using the tagline “Water is all we have,” Water Bar strives to raise awareness of the many issues the world faces with water on a daily basis. And since humans are made up of 70 percent water, this is relevant to everybody. “Water is not something people think about, but we have potential water shortage problems and water quality problems,” Matteson told City Pages. “Across Minnesota, most people get their drinking water from groundwater sources, and those are not immune to pollutants.”

In the wake of the Flint water crisis, it is more important than ever that we know what’s in our water.

Water Bar hopes to start new spin-off projects based on the experiences of volunteers and visitors. “Water Bar is a creative expression of a whole system and a conduit for the lived experiences of people within that system,” according to the website. By gathering these experiences, the bar can help create a community that is conscious and proactive about issues that revolve around tap water.

By visiting Water Bar, community members will have an opportunity to learn about the water they drink on a daily basis. In the wake of the Flint water crisis, it is more important than ever that we know what’s in our water. Water is also a basic human need for survival. It’s a force that brings us all together, because everyone needs it.

Water Bar will be located on Central Avenue near Lowry Avenue, and the opening is slated for May.