Crowds gather on the dance floor as a rotating disco ball and colored spotlights fill the room with confetti-shaped rays of light. The Lodge of Robbinsdale keep its regulars entertained all week long with a diverse spread of events ranging from live music to trivia nights to wrestling matches hosted in the game room. The clack of billiards divides up the litany of play-by-play announcers calling games on high-definition TVs throughout the space and on an enormous projector screen that doubles as a sail in case the bar needs to move.
Servers weave through high-top tables, their arms lined with 10-ounce sirloin steaks and half-pound, charbroiled burgers made with both buffalo and all-beef patties. Sandwiches pack thin-sliced corned beef and hickory-smoked ham in heaping portions, and wings come coated in a variety of sauces, including buffalo bourbon and teriyaki.
Family owned since 1961, Broadway Pizza and its accompanying sports bar, the Eagle's Nest Lounge, serve fresh slices and their cool-brew counterparts in an atmosphere perfect for a family meal or a night out. Called the Best Pizza in Town by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Broadway's dough discs are topped with fresh ingredients that create such cheesy masterpieces as the Broadway Special ($10.49 for personal size) smattered with sausage, veggies, and shrimp. Scoffing at pizza's flat pool of lazily floating toppings, the house-baked lasagna ($9.99) reaches to the sky, buttressed by two pieces of crisp garlic toast, and the caesar salad ($8.99) provides a textural playground for vegivores.
A Minneapolis fixture since the glaciers receded and left early Minnesotans with the desire for a strong, strong drink, the 8,000-square-foot Broadway Avenue Merwin houses more liquid libations than Dionysus's former home, the Alpha Sigma Sigma fraternity house. Globetrot through German, Belgian, Irish, and domestic craft beers; $10 six packs of New Grist gluten-free beer are also available. Merwin adds elegance to candlelit evenings with a wine selection more diverse than the types of mold that grow on an old set of dentures. Harder stuff such as $10 1-liter bottles of Black Velvet whiskey and Clan McGreggor scotch ($14 for 1 liter) warms any chilly evening. With Bombay Sapphire gin ($26.99 for 1 liter), Casa Noble's two-year anejo tequila ($55 for 750 ml), and Grey Goose vodka ($34.99 for 1 liter), Merwin has 10 times the selection of even the swankest bar and usually fewer fistfights, so it’s an excellent alternative to a night on the town, especially since your bed will always drive you home safely.