Harold’s on Main, a former auto shop, has become a unique breath of fresh air for local bar-goers. For those who have visited Harold’s thus far, it’s plain to see that the establishment is beginning to hold a special place in many hearts.
Although it has been open since February, Moorhead’s newest watering hole has generated a buzz that doesn’t seem to be dying anytime soon. But the place has more to it than just an addicting atmosphere, Harold’s is a place to call home for many reasons.
Is it the $3 Hamm’s on tap? Is it the Instagram-worthy swan sinks in the bathrooms? Is it the perfect mood lighting while sharing a Heggie’s Pizza?
Upon entry to Harold’s, you’ll immediately feel the welcoming warmth of the mid-century modern-style décor with the forest green leather booth seating, detailed lighting and wood-paneled walls. It’s the perfect mix of upscale lounge aesthetics while maintaining that dive-bar home feel that everyone loves. From the straight-forward, simplistic beverage selection to the style of seating, every detail of Harold’s was carefully crafted and the attention to detail shows.
“We just wanted to do something different in Fargo-Moorhead. We wanted to bring a place that looked different, had different lighting and a different mood. Every nook and cranny of Harold’s was thought about and we tried to make every inch of it feel cozy and unique,” said owner Eric Odness.
The ownership group of Harold’s was born from close friendships and musical bonds–a group of gentlemen who either grew up together in town or have been involved in music together for the better part of their adult lives.
Let’s start with Eric Odness (Primitive Weapons/Ageist), Rob Pope (Spoon/The Get Up Kids) and Frank Bevan (Freedom Fighters). The trio, in addition to Bobby Drake of The Hold Steady, also own and operate a Midwestern-themed bar called Lake Street in Brooklyn. The rest of the Harold’s includes Preston Olson of Moorhead, musician Sean Tillman (better known as Minneapolis-based Har Mar Superstar), Tom Kemmer of Moorhead, and general manager Aaron Hanson of Moorhead.
“I wanted some connection to Moorhead–Preston and Aaron and I grew up together here–and make it more of an organic thing to where I’m from,” said Odness.”
So who is Harold?
He’s the grandfather of Odness, and a former local Hamm’s beer delivery driver. The Harold’s logo is modeled after Odness’s grandfather’s embroidered Hamm’s work shirt, which is on display on the walls at the bar. You see–Hamm’s is on tap and $3 for a reason.
“Harold was my grandpa, and he was a really cool dude. I have this memory of the local Hamm’s sign when I was a kid–the second ‘m’ was broken off so it looked like ‘Hamn’s,’ and that’s how I grew up thinking it was spelled,” said Odness. “The Hamm’s plant he worked at was just down the street, and he was my first real introduction to beer and liquor.”
Other notable aspects of the atmosphere include the lack of TVs, which is purposeful to generate more genuine conversation and maintain adequate lighting. However, the bar has held special projection showings of certain events such as the Academy Awards, Moorhead Spuds Hockey, Minnesota Twins Opener and more.
Harold’s also plans to host live music going forward, and will also have an outdoor patio for patrons to enjoy during the summer months. Be sure to catch the DJ sets by Har Mar Superstar when he’s in town, and you can’t forget about Happy Hour Monday-Friday from 4-6 p.m. with $1 off well drinks, wine and taps.
As stated earlier, Harold’s is something special and the public is making that loud and clear. We could go on and on describing the place, but the comments speak for themselves.
While Harold’s might no longer be “brand new” on the timeline, the positive stir it continues to generate would make you think otherwise. From the Prince logo on the bathroom doors to the cozy fireplace in the corner, we can guarantee you’ll find a number of things to fall in love with at Harold’s on Main.