It is hard to imagine a bar this popular could be located in such an odd place. Nestled among a bunch of warehouses on the northwest corner of downtown Minneapolis sits this hot spot for live music, immortalized in song and with a loyal following. It is a modest joint that blends well with its surroundings. Inside is a retro time warp complete with an Elvis shrine. Playing host to live jazz, rock, punk and R&B, the schedule offers something for most music lovers. You will not catch many national acts here, but some of the best local and regional talent makes an appearance.
1111 Washington Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55415 +1 612 340 9738
Situated within walking distance of the Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Vikings and the Twins, Grumpy's is a great place to meet before or after a game. If you do not have tickets for the game, hang out and play darts or pool. Chances are the game is on one of the TVs and you can watch it in comfort. If you do have tickets, then get your fill of good food and cold drinks before you head to the game. After the game, expect a crowded house, especially if the home team wins. The menu features juicy burgers, sandwiches and huge potato skins. The bar also has something happening every night, from comedy to karaoke, so patrons always have something to be entertained by. Check the website for details of upcoming events.
212 South 7th Street Corner of 7th Street and 2nd Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55402 +1 612 333 2644
This bar is not much to look at from the outside, but once inside it is worth the stop. Dan Kelly's Bar & Grill boasts Tiffany-style stain glass along the rear wall of the long, magnificent bar. Stake out a high-backed wooden booth in this popular, after-work watering hole. Juicy burgers, chicken sandwiches and salads dominate the menu. Entrées featuring smoked-on-the-premises turkey and ribs are long-time favorites of the regulars. Most of the items are named after local celebrities and because of the location, do not be surprised if you see some of the local radio talent downing a few after their broadcast. The bar serves up the usual mixture of beer, wine, call drinks and soda. Check website for more details.
This sexy, sophisticated lounge and nightclub, formerly Daddy Rocks, is one of the only venues in the city that is open until 3am. The decor is a lush blend of deep purples and reds, there is a huge chandelier in the foyer, and the dance floor is massive and usually able to handle the crowds that flock here on the weekends. Drinks can be expensive; unsurprising given that there is Cristal champagne on the menu. Check the website for details of upcoming events.
This joint rules the Twin City music scene. As a converted bus depot, the large two-story room offers excellent acoustics and sight lines. If live music is on the agenda, get there early and grab a table in the balcony or you will stand all night. The music menu runs the gamut from reggae to punk to rock to country. If a local or national act is not scheduled to play, a DJ takes over and gets the dance floor jumping. Pool tables, pinball machines or video games offer quieter amusement. Oh yeah, Prince is known to drop by unannounced and play a set or two. Call the box office for ticket prices and hours. Both vary based on schedule.
318 First Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55401 +1 612 338 8100
The Warehouse District has many fine nightclubs and bars, but this unique music cafe is a crown jewel. Every night the best local talent or well known national acts take the stage playing rock, pop, jazz or R&B. If you like to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, let it be known that local celebrities are known to frequent this café. The menu consists of ribs, chicken and pasta.
16 North 6th Street Between First Avenue and Hennepin Minneapolis, MN 55403 +1 612 338 6621
Located near the Target Center, Gluek's draws a huge crowd on event nights, otherwise it is a relatively quiet spot frequented by the after-work crowd. If you want to watch the action on the street, ask for a table by the huge windows. Don't want to be bothered? Grab one of the over-sized, intimate booths. The long bar sports comfy bar stools while the back room has a fireplace and large tables for group gatherings. The food is a step above the normal bar offerings. Try Wiener schnitzel, walleye or a roast beef sandwich smothered with cheese and mushrooms. Seventeen different beers are on tap and served in glasses so big you will need both hands free to hoist it.
With eight bars, two restaurants, a drag lounge, and three huge dance floors all under the same roof, it is no wonder this is considered the mega mall of gay bars. The complex draws huge crowds, both gay and straight, looking for a place to hang out and dance or listen to jazz, blues or rock. If you want to get a peek at the gay life in the Twin Cities, the '90's is the only place you need to visit. Although the crowd is mixed, be forewarned the Men's Room is the only strictly gay bar in the joint. The bouncers are big, the drinks are potent, the food is excellent and you will get your money's worth. The burgers are consistently rated as the best in town by many local publications. Any beverage you can think of is available here. If you are looking for a real experience, this is the place to go.
1319 Marshall Street North East Minneapolis, MN 55413 +1 612 378 2118
This humble but clean meeting place for the after-work factory and warehouse crowd is the epitome of a Nordeast bar. Darts, pool and video games bring the regulars back. Belly up to the bar or stake out a table or booth and knock back a beer. The kitchen stays open until closing and serves up greasy burgers and juicy sausage. The specialty of the house is Polish soup. This potato, cabbage, sausage and ham mixture is homemade and always steaming hot.
19 West 15th Street Minneapolis, MN 55403 +1 612 871 5553
Ever wonder what Cheers would be like if it was a gay bar? Check out "The 19," as the regulars affectionately call it, and you will find out. A favorite hangout for the Minneapolis gay scene, this is one of the oldest gay bars in the Twin Cities. The joint is known for its quaint charm, friendly atmosphere, well-maintained pool tables and electronic dartboards. The real draw, however, is the diverse music cranked out on the antique jukebox. When is the last time you heard Nancy Sinatra, Radiohead or Vic Damone? The bar has a full liquor bar and a nice selection of beers. The bar is also popular with smokers, since it has a sheltered smoking patio which can be very important on a cold and snowy night.
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