Work: Ellie Blades, Blingo Lady

JAHNA PELOQUIN | Updated 7/16/2013

Ellie Blades’ Blingo night brings bingo, with a party, to a bar near you.

Ellie Blades has been hosting Blingo for 5 years.
Photo by Carlos Gonzalez

Ellie Blades

Age: 32.

Lives in: Northeast Minneapolis.

Occupation: The Blingo Lady.

Start date: July 2008.

Q: How did you get the idea for your Blingo bar night?

A: I live in Northeast and was raised in Wisconsin. It was pretty much my destiny to create a bingo night.

Q:  What’s the difference between bingo and Blingo?

A: With Blingo, you win prizes versus money, I play hip-hop music and wear a lot of sparkles, and the grand prize is a chalice. The short answer is that bingo can be boring — Blingo is a party.

Q: Have you always played bingo?

A: Since birth. My mother has my first dauber bronzed.

Q: What is your first memory of playing bingo?

A: Some of my very first memories involve bingo. When a 21-year-old comes to Blingo for the first time and tells me that he or she has never played before, I question their upbringing.

Q: What do you like most about playing bingo?

A: The absolute best part of bingo is the buildup to a win. I’ve talked to many people about this, and there is almost nothing more satisfying, that can be done in public, than yelling “BINGO” at the top of your lungs. Plus, it is pretty mindless. You know numbers 1 to 75 and have use of one hand or foot? Good, I’ve got you covered.

Q: Got any bingo tips?

A: Try not to get too intoxicated. The numbers tend to blur and the dauber coordination decreases. This can be a very tricky rule to follow.

Q: Besides the 331 Club, where you’re having the Blingo fifth-anniversary party on Aug. 16, what are your favorite Northeast hangs?

A: Martinis are my weakness, and no one pours them better than the Peacock Lounge. The Knight Cap has a fish tank, dollar burgers and a patio with outdoor TVs. I mainly go for the fish tank. And believe it or not, I enjoy playing bingo, even with calling it three times a week, and Arone’s has been my spot to get my daub on as of late.


Tuesdays: 8 p.m. at the 331 Club, 331 13th Av. NE., Mpls.

Thursdays: 8 p.m. at the Triple Rock, 629 Cedar Av. S., Mpls.

Sundays: Blingo Brunch, noon at the Herkimer, 2922 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls.

5th anniversary party: 8 p.m. Aug. 16 at the 331 Club, 331 13th Av. NE., Mpls.