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This is one of the most beautifully decorated places in the Cities. The Loring Pasta Bar, the little scaled down version of the original Loring (in Loring Park) was built years ago to cater to an up-scale student crowd, as the only place of its kind in Dinkytown. However, the decor and hype of the place quickly replaced its campus bar status. All kinds of well dressed, good looking folk can be seen dining here.
Most of the crowd is very artsy, like the original Loring. However, rail drinks do offer a higher level of booze (Beefeater is the rail gin) and concerts are usually quite cheap to get in to or free and are happening all the time. If you choose anywhere to go for decor, this is the place to be. Huge vaulted ceilings and funky brick-work are a telltale sign of the Loring, but the interior is constantly changing and is always eclectic and interesting. There is also outside seating which is even projected to the inside when the large windows are opened on the hotter days.
Although it's common to have live music acts, there is usually little dancing as patrons prefer to sit and the large tables and sip their drinks, unless you attend on a Friday or Saturday night, when Latin Salsa Dance Night is going on from 11pm-2am. People are usually pretty friendly and music changes nightly.
They also offer cheap valet parking (although parking is easily found in warmer months a few blocks toward the residential). Oh, and don't leave until you check out the bathrooms, we used to go there sometimes just for that, but now we go for Sunday brunch which is superb. Lastly, they offer a terrific 25% discount to students with a student ID, and 10% discount with a Varsity Theater Concert Ticket (can't combine the two however).