At Dive Bar & Grill, the rules are simple: the party goes late, flip-flops are permissible, and cowboy hats are always welcome. The sports bar and dance club fires up a group party each night with thumping DJ sets, group events, and VIP bottle service. Take a break from the action to scarf down sizzling bar treats from the kitchen, including tater-tot nachos, crinkle-cut fries, and burgers stuffed with fillings from mushroom and swiss to jalapeño bacon. The kitchen also serves breakfast dishes all day, and tosses wings in a choice of eight sauces, one for each nostril on Mount Rushmore.
When you walk into Kitty Cat Klub, you might feel like you're on the set of a modern remake of a Vincent Price movie. Candelabra-style chandeliers and colored spotlights illuminate gilded mirrors and huge tropical trees that look like they were imported straight from the Copacabana. During the day, college students sit on vintage-looking, mismatched velvet furniture with laptops open, trying desperately to classify the various plant species. After the sun goes down, live music or DJ-spun tunes resounds through the cozy den's exposed-brick walls.
To complement more than 20 types of beer or a glass of wine, housemade chili and chicken noodle soup warm insides, and burgers and sandwiches zip down from Annie's Parlor upstairs. Diners can also opt to sit on the outdoor patio, which is either warmed by the sun or a resident heat lamp.
Chorizo, chihuahua cheese, lemongrass, and bamboo shoots are equally at home in Señor Wong’s kitchen, where executive chef Cody Monson fills the menu with Asian Mexican fusion plates. Tacos topped with barbacoa or smoky black beans join entrees such as szechwan steak stir-fry served with jasmine rice. Señor Wong also pairs more traditional bar bites, such as what the Star Tribune thinks “might be the best sweet potato fries in town,” with 18 draft craft beers from breweries such as Surly Brewing Co. and Summit Brewing Company. Weekly special events such as trivia and karaoke further foster the laid-back pub vibe, as patrons can sample sakes or sing lullabies to the Yuzo Sour Baby cocktail, which mixes rye whiskey, sour mix, egg whites, and lemon-peel essence.
The Lounge's posh décor and pulsing electronic beats lend itself to late-night mingling and premium-alcohol sipping. Beverages such as rail drinks ($6), glasses of wine ($7), and premium mixed cocktails ($7–$9) share fridge space with domestic bottled beers ($5) and imported bottled beers ($6). Electronic music induces robot dance moves, and exotic animal prints, plush velvet pillows, and oil-painting-lined walls complement modern furniture and little black dresses. The club's dress code allows unripped jeans, but athletic apparel, baggy clothing, white T-shirts, and slacks made of live squirrels are prohibited.
Part dance club, part sports bar, 508's two-level venue features contemporary American cuisine and plenty of space to catch the game or cut rugs into parallelograms on the dance floor downstairs. An extensive menu features starters such as hand-cut fries ($6) and asparagus flat bread ($8.95), while heartier fare includes a 12 oz. NY strip steak topped with roasted garlic and herb butter ($19.95). Gourmet sandwiches include the earthy portabella ($8.25), which melds the hearty mushroom with herbed cream cheese, butternut squash, and the savory envy of other, less handsome fungi. Irrigate your stomach soil with a pint from the extensive beer list or wet your whistling epiglottis with a specialty martini.
A new addition to Minneapolis' downtown nightlife, Whisky Park serves country-themed ambience alongside a menu of comfort-food favorites, including pulled-pork sandwiches ($9.50), fresh margherita pizzas ($11.50), and homemade beef jerky ($8.50). Behind the bar, bartenders concoct whiskey-based whistle-whetters such as the Dolly-Would, a combination of Southern Comfort, Dekuyper Peachtree, orange juice, and a splash of ginger ale ($7), and the Ring of Fire, a shot of Jack Daniel's mixed with Tabasco sauce ($6). On Saturday nights, sip on Whisky Park's selection of specialty drinks ($7–$8) and digest dinners while struggling to stay upright on the free mechanical bull.