The bar scene in Minneapolis is currently undergoing a huge transformation. Chic rooftops and trendy lounges have began popping up everywhere leaving a stark contrast in many of the city’s neighborhoods. Take Mortimer’s for example, a sleepy, game filled “Dive” with 3 separate bars and TV’s everywhere vs. Moto I; a swanky Japanese style sake brewery and lounge (yes it has a rooftop). Both of these places are awesome in their own way and for separate occasions, but if I’m just trying to knock back a couple of brews, I’m taking Mortimer’s all day. Serving up some damn good burgers, cheese curds and 2 for 1 drinks just about all day; Mortimer’s is a great place to kick back and watch the Vikes or simply get wasted for the low (Pregame!!). All in all this place is a cool bar with crazy drink specials and awesome games, if you’re looking for a chill place to have a brew in Uptown; look no further.
(P.S: This place attracts patrons of all types, beware some are less than cordial)
As Minneapolis’ bar scene becomes more and more introverted, the old diamonds in the rough are beginning to reclaim their old shine. Dive bars like Liquor Lyle’s, Mortimer’s, Gringo’s & C.C Club are busier than ever proving that it’s not all about the trendy spots. Situated on 28th Street and Lyndale Avenue in Minneapolis’ Lyn-Lake neighborhood, the C.C Club maintains a staple, statue like presence in the area. Popular for it’s happy hour specials (2 for 1s) the corner bar also serves up some damn good “dive” food (cheese curds, burgers etc). Pool tables, dart boards, and video games complete the scene; along with plenty of thirsty locals looking to have a good time. A perfect place to pregame or grab a last call, don’t be surprised if you bump into someone you know after a few visits. If you’re ever near 28th & Lyndale and in need of a drink, stop on into the C.C Club.
The cheeseburger is about as American as it gets, whether you’re kickin back at a dive bar or eating at one of the fanciest places in town, you’re sure to find one on the menu. As we all know, Minneapolis is home to a unique brand of burger, the Jucy Lucy. While Marquee restaurants like Matt’s Bar and 5-8’s Club fight over inventors rights, one place in the Twin Cities has created an entirely new lane for the cheese-filled burgers. The Blue Door Pub has quickly risen the ranks to becoming the “go to” place to get “Minneapolis’ burger” or the popular blue-cheese filled Blucy, the good people at The Blue Door are taking things to the next level. The original St. Paul location is great (a tad small), but Minneapolis’ Longfellow location has them beat by a mile. The dining room is much larger resulting in shorter wait times and a more enjoyable atmosphere. Throw in $2 drafts from local brewers (Indeed, Summit) during happy hour (2PM-5PM) and a clear cut winner starts to emerge. The menu is chalk full of tasty Frankenstein like burgers, take the “Hawaiian” for example. This Jucy Lucy comes stuffed with pineapple, Canadian bacon and mozzarella cheese making for an extremely daunting sight when placed in front of you. Bacon Lucy? Sure, stuffed with cheddar and bacon it’s definitely a favorite among regulars. All in all, The Blue Door Pub is for the adventurous; Matt’s Bar retains it’s true spot as THE home of the Jucy Lucy, but The Blue Door Pub is for people who want to spice things up. If you’re ever in the Longfellow area, or if you some how manage to get a table in St. Paul; stop in and grab yourself one of the Cities’ best burgers.
Location: 1366 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago P: 773-697-7922 Hours: Mon-Thurs: 5PM-2AM, Fri: 3PM-2AM, Sat: Noon-3AM, Sun: Noon-2AM
In June 2012 Emporium opened it’s doors at the forefront of the then current “barcade” trend. Situated in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood, just down the street from the bustling “6 corners,” Emporium established itself as one of CHI’s premier barcades. Location aside, they have an awesome beer menu, and if you’re into whiskey (we are), they have a separate menu dedicated entirely to the “Ruckus Juice.” When it comes to the games, these guys hit the nail on the head; you’ll find ALL of the classics: The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA JAM, and Street Fighter. If that wasn’t good enough, they have a separate room dedicated entirely to pinball and live music. Emporium is dope but beware, if you come here late on a Friday or Saturday night, you’ll probably end up doing more waiting and watching than actual playing; so go early or on odd days if you’re there strictly for the games. This place is ideal for a pre-game before the night begins, I’d highly recommend a stop if you’re near “6 Corners”.
Tucked in the corner on one of Dinkytown’s busiest intersections, above the Kitty Kat Klub; lies one of Minneapolis’ best burger spots. At night the old school signs reading “Annie’s” in bright lights can’t be missed. Up the stairs and through the old parlor door, Annie’s interior looks as if it has never seen a makeover (in a good way). They have a decent variety of sandwiches, including a pretty good BLT; but everyone knows the burgers are the only way to go. No frills, no special sauces; just straight up hand/homemade burgers with lots and lots of cheese. Annie’s is a true parlor, they serve some of the city’s best malts and milkshakes to accompany any of the tasty burgers you decide to try. Overall this place is definitely the best spot for a classic “no nonsense” burger, the price is right and the service is fast; if you’re ever on campus make sure to stop in for a bite. You won’t regret it.
As chocolate peanut butter porters start to become full effect this season, we came across another that came out on top. The brew is made by our brothers to the east in Wisconsin, at Horny Goat Brewing. If haven’t tried a brew of this style, I highly recommend it.
This brew pours thick and dark as molasses, with a yellowish head to it. This beer is what I like to call a dessert beer, because you can only have one. Rich in chocolate and peanut butter, this beer is bold and rich in roasted malts with a creamy marshmallow feel to it – it’s delicious. Overall, it is very well balanced in flavors, mixing both chocolate and peanut butter – even those who hate dark beers tend to enjoy this one. Sitting at a solid 6.5% ABV, you are getting your money worths with this brew. Grab a sixer and enjoy!
Lagunitas Brown Shugga’ This beer is no surprise, as it has been around for a few years now. Lagunitas has some of the most remarkable beers around, and they constantly do things their way. One of their highly sought after brews that they continue to pump out during the winter season, is their Brown Shugga’ American Strong Ale.
First off, do not let the price tag fool you ($9.99 a six pack), because these beers are pushing 10% ABV. Literally two beers in, am I am feeling warm and buzzin’ heavy. For real, don’t sleep on this beer if you have been. Each sip brings sweet carmel malt flavors packed with heavy fruit hops – this brew is velvety smooth, leaving me wanting every last drop. If you’re into hops, this beer doesn’t disappoint. Did we mention this one’s seasonal? Yes, and this is why Lagunitas continues to be different, releasing a sweet and hoppy, yet powerful brew for the winter months – instead of a porter or stout.
Location: 2506 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis When: Saturday, October 10th // 2PM-Midnight
This weekend, Fair State Brewing Cooperative will once again host their annual “Co-Optober Fest.” The event will feature 17 beers on tap throughout the day as well as Gerhard’s Brats, Mini Donuts and Bark and The Bite’s BBQ truck for those who come hungry. There will also be plenty of games along with Octoberfest themed music setting the mood. Finally, Fair State will be holding a special release for 2 Barrel Aged Sour brews. Straight from the source, these will run $20 each and are limited to 1 bottle each per person. Mark your calendars and click the link below for more information.
Sadly, Rodan in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood has closed it’s doors for good. Not many details regarding the reasons why, but the owners did release a statement saying that rent had increased by $2,000 and they “no longer had the fire” to run the place. Hopefully it’s not replaced by something like Urban Outfitters.
The Red Stag will host their annual block party this Sunday at their HQ in Northeast Minneapolis. Billed as “A collaboration of craft brewing,” In Cahoots splits 10 local breweries into 5 teams pitting them against each other in a battle of the best brew. The teams are pretty solid this year with Dangerous Man & Sociable Cider Works as early favorites. There will also be live music from Mixed Blood Majority, Black Market Brass, Lydia Liza and many more. The event is FREE and the winning team gets to have proceeds donated to their charity of choice, click the link below for more information and make sure to head up to Northeast on Sunday.