Harold’s on Main is coloring outside the lines when it comes to supporting staff during the bar’s closure.
Co-owner Sean Tillman is publishing a coloring book about the Moorhead bar. Sixty percent of sales of the activity book, selling for $16.30, will go to an online Staff Fund Tip Jar, with the rest going to the artists and to cover printing costs. Books will ship the first week of May.
“It’s a way to raise a little money and to give people an activity to do at home with their kids,” Tillman said from his home in Minneapolis. “It’s a little bit of fun among all of the weirdness.”
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz closed bars in March as part of a measure to fight the corona outbreak. Soon after that, Harold’s announced an online tip jar where patrons could support out of work staff.
Tillman, also known as the singer Har Mar Superstar, and his fiance Laura Hauser started Coloring Books for a Cause. They previously published activity books about the iconic Minneapolis club First Avenue, which has raised about $15,000 to benefit the Twin Cities Music Community Trust. A similar book about Minneapolis bars Grumpy’s and Palmer’s have raised money for personnel at those bars.
The Harold’s book features art by Amy Jo Hendrickson, who studied at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her husband, Dale Flattum, both of whom have created graphics designs for the bar. Lonny Unitus, another artist from MSUM, worked with the couple to create images and activities for the book, which incorporate likenesses of the bar’s owners, Tillman, Eric Odness, Aaron Hanson, Tom Kemmer, Preston Olson, Frank Bevan and Rob Pope.
Tillman says the end product is fun for the whole family and even includes a recipe of one of the bar’s signature drinks.
Ultimately, Tillman says the hope is to raise enough to ease some of the financial stress for out-of-work employees.
Owners had just started planning the bar’s annual outdoor party, Harold’s Fest, to be held in the summer, but even after bars are allowed to reopen, Tillman doesn’t see a big show happening this year.
“Personally, I don’t think it’s a good idea to do something this summer,” he says. “I’m just going to say it, it’s not happening this year.”