Boxes of food, crates of beer, and new equipment are delivered to restaurants and bars daily. In the case of Keegan's Irish Pub, the most important delivery ever made to its St. Anthony East neighborhood location was not supplies, but the pub itself. Designed in Waterford, Ireland, in 2001, the pub immigrated to Minneapolis via boat and train in 2002. Once on American soil, its pieces underwent multiple crash courses on the career of Kirby Puckett before getting re-assembled in a Victorian-era style that keeps with the area's historic character.
Today, perfectly poured Guinness beers and seasonal craft beers swirl around clinking glasses as patrons tackle hefty burgers and pub favorites, such as beer-crisped fish 'n' chips. Soft music plays in the background most of the time, except for when the pub plays host to live events, which fill the weekly schedule with energized rounds of trivia and rollicking performances from bands.
Over the past three decades, The Original Gabe's by the Park's proximity to Target Center, along with the eatery’s 20 high-definition televisions, have encouraged fans to drop in for pre- and postgame meals. Beneath a trellis of wooden rafters, darts and raucous cheers fly to a soundtrack of hand-plucked TouchTunes jukebox jams. On an American-themed menu, snacks of nachos prelude entrées such as crusted new york strip steaks, and signature burgers—aptly titled to celebrate the kitchen staff’s forge-proof condiment designs.
At Sam’s Grill, formerly known as Oak City, the menu's bounty of sizzling and hearty dishes reflects the best of American cuisine by incorporating a variety of our country's ever-present international influences. Though stir-fries and pastas abound, the Mediterranean is clearly the restaurant's greatest inspiration—dishes such as filet mignon kebobs and pizzas topped with gyro meat create a fusion of local and overseas flavors, and more traditional American dishes, such as the Cajun burger or baby back ribs keep palates firmly at home. Meanwhile, wine-savvy waiters educate clients on the wines available by the glass. Sam's Grill also adds a splash of nightlife to the mix by bringing in DJs with Thursday nights dedicated to Latin music and Friday and Saturday nights focusing on Top 40.
On May 28, 1958, Bob Kinnan welcomed patrons to his new bar, Bob's Lookout, with 30-cent beers. Two years later, Bob's mother contributed a concise menu complete with hamburgers, fries, and a porterhouse steak dinner. These days, Bob's joint—now known as The Lookout Bar and Grill —offers a much wider array of drinks and comfort food. To create their from-scratch meals, the grill's chefs draw on Bob's family recipes as well as their own, which range from jumbo mushrooms stuffed with sausage and cream cheese to burgers infused with Cajun spices.
Not everybody shows up to The Lookout for food, which is now as renowned for its cuisine as its entertainment. The award-winning eatery's outdoor patio stands amid palm trees and a flower garden, not to mention a children's play area, cozy hammocks, and a horseshoe pit. The Lookout's backyard even hosts its very own volleyball court, where visitors can play pickup games or devastate newly-built sand-kingdoms. More festivities await inside, including weekly rounds of bingo, karaoke, and eclectic live music every Thursday–Saturday night.
Amid Icehouse’s old brick walls and exposed ductwork, the energy of the men who wrangled huge blocks of ice there a century ago is almost palpable. Before the days of electric refrigerators, these blocks were plucked from frozen lakes and rivers and brought to the Cedar Fuel and Ice Company for year-round storage and sale. As the years passed and cryogenic chambers replaced most iceboxes, the storied space became Icehouse Studios, a refuge for bands and businesses to conduct video shoots and rehearsals. Today, the walls echo not with ice scraping across the floor or directors shouting, "Action!” but rather with the songs of local musicians. Rachel Hutton of Minnesota Monthly observed how the "reclaimed wood boards and C-shaped leather booths add warmth and polish to the raw, gritty—and acoustically impressive—cavern."
Between sets, guests might hear forks pinging eagerly against the small plates that hold from-scratch creations. Some dishes, though, apparently require no silverware—Hutton admits to "gleefully" licking the duck demi-glace from the plate of a burger topped with foie gras and truffle butter. Listen also for the clinking of glass: local brews and specialty cocktails, a chandelier comprised of empty bottles, or guests trying to smuggle scoops of housemade bacon ice cream home in mason jars.
A five-minute drive from downtown, Uptown’s public spaces entice visitors with bike paths, sculpture gardens, and locals blasting impressions of Björk's pet swan over a megaphone. Nearby, rented canoes crisscross Lake Calhoun’s calm waters, and restaurants serve eclectic cuisines from fresh seafood to Japanese cuisine on outdoor patios. Visitors to Uptown can feast on American fare at restaurants such as Primebar, which serves up sandwiches, steak, and seafood with largely local brews; The Herkimer Pub & Brewery in Lyn-Lake, known for its small batches of craft beer; and the Uptown Cafeteria, offering trendy contemporary meals. Evenings out at Bar Louie tempt guests with martinis, margaritas, and other cocktails accompanied by pub food, and Chino Latino delights palettes with dishes small and large, spicy and explosive. Wayward mermaids dining at Stella's Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar can enjoy a feast fit for the sea with raw, grilled, and baked items, or step on shore and visit moto-i in Lyn-Lake to sample the food you’d find on Japanese streets.