Hopkins Tavern gives customers plenty of reasons to stop in, offering 32 local, regional, and craft beers on tap and pub fare ranging from wings to cheese curds. But the staff knows how to keep patrons entertained as well as satiated. Along with daily happy hours, the tavern hosts team trivia and bar bingo nights. Wild fans can look forward to watching each game live on the bar’s TVs along with cheap domestic brews and shots to celebrate every Wild goal.
Conversation at Mainstreet Bar & Grill moves in buzzing orbits around pool tables, live musicians, and big-screen and projection TVs broadcasting Minnesota Viking games. Banter slows to a halt as half-pound burgers and chicken sandwiches arrive with occasional adventurous twists, such as sliced pineapple or Cajun spices. Button-tufted red leather booths line one wall, where patrons chow down under railroad crossing signs and vintage soda signs. Thursday nights acoustic open mic shows let songwriters try out new songs when cover bands aren’t performing past hits or reading aloud from Elvis’s partially completed crossword puzzles.
Over the last 50 years, The Park Tavern has perfected the convivial trifecta of eating, drinking, and bowling. A menu of gourmet burgers and traditional pub fare mingles with a drink menu of domestic and imported beers and wines for between-frame refueling. On Mondays, the alley fills with high-energy tunes, and bowling balls careen all night during the $5 all-you-can-bowl nights. The Park Tavern rolls out its varied bowling buffets for corporate events, birthday parties, or the anniversary of the end of bowling prohibition during the Nixon administration.
McCoy's extensive menu pairs updated comfort fare for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with more than 55 barley pops, including Fat Tire, Boulevard Wheat, and Belgian-style Ommegang Hennepin Saison on tap. Complement a flagon of Rogue Dead Guy Ale with a starter of three soft, Bavarian beer pretzels ($6.49) sprinkled with rock salt and served with a “blue ribbon” cheese dip, or snorkel through a plate of crispy lobster spring rolls ($10.59) with Thai peanut sauce and plum chili. Herbivores and herbivoyeurs, meanwhile, will take heart in McCoy’s large selection of supper-sized salads ($4.99+), while inventive brick-oven pizzas such as the roasted vegetable ratatouille pie ($10.99) reimagine the classic disced dinner in a more rustic light. Entrees at the eatery are as decadent and diverse as the UN General Assembly's annual rave, and include the excelsior grand ($12.99), a smoked chicken-, bacon-, and green pea-loaded mac 'n' cheese. Hearty handhelds such as the 12-hour Reuben ($10.29)—corned beef brisket-, Swiss cheese-, and sauerkraut-filled beauty toasted between slices of marble rye bread—vie for your attention with the bleu cheese-encrusted beef tenderloin filet ($19.99).
Steel Toe Brewery's founder was a home brewer, fermenting beer in his bedroom overnight, until the gurgling sounds of the carboy began to disturb his wife's sleep. Origin stories like these are just one of the attractions of Taproom Tours' brewery tours, which also explore the Belgian yeast of Boom Island Brewing, celebrate session ales at 612 Brew, and enable sud savoring in the wood-paneled taproom at Indeed Brewing Company. Visitors taste sample brews at each location, and, helped along by a knowledgeable guide, explore the breweries' inner workings until they have learned every yeast strain's first name and favorite sports team.