“Jedzcie pijcie i popuszczajcie pas.” For those who don’t speak Polish, the motto at Nye’s Polonaise Room may seem complex, but its translation is simple: “Eat, drink, and loosen your belt.” In fact, expansion has been the running theme at Nye’s since it set its roots back in the '40s. By 1964 Nye's original form, a bar, provided owner Al Nye with the funds necessary to purchase the space next door. Though he added a dining room, the bar's original features—gold-flecked booths, dark paneling, a curved piano bar, and a portrait of Chopin—remain, creating a vintage and homey feel.
Nye’s lengthy menu dishes up Polish classics, such as cabbage rolls and pierogi, as well as hearty 14-ounce new york strip steaks, cold-water lobster tail, and aged, bone-in, slow-roasted prime rib. Specialty martinis and the eatery’s inherent ambience make it a cozy place to talk, much like a candlelit phone booth. Nye’s also curates a full wine menu with pours from California, Spain, and Australia. All these ingredients come together to create a restaurant that's distinct and locally lauded, earning it a feature on Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.
Hailed by StarTribune writer Tom Horgen as “two guys who know their beer,” Mark van Wie and Paul Schatz have worked for the last decade to put their pub The Muddy Pig on the maps of local and international beer connoisseurs. At their second venture, The Pig & Fiddle, they have raised the bar even higher with 36 beers on draft—including a slew of Belgian-style brews—to go with chef Stephanie Kochlin’s menu of European-inspired pub fare.
Each day from 4:00 p.m. until 1:00 a.m., Chef Kochlin prepares hearty dinner entrees using recipes gathered from rustic European locales and cooking oils derived from melted Renaissance paintings. Along with artisanal cheeses, house-prepared meats, and boiled pierogi, the kitchen specializes in European pasties—pouch-shaped pies filled with roasted lamb and house-made pickles. Aside from the nightly dinner menu, The Pig & Fiddle frequently curates events such as special dinners with course-by-course beer pairings.
In the shapes of fruit, forest creatures, and frothing pint glasses, tap handles at Stanley's Northeast Bar Room stand out against the brick walls. The ranks of colorful silhouettes hint at the varied flavors of the 30 rotating draft beers, which may include Sierra Nevada’s Southern Hemisphere crafted with fresh New Zealand hops or New Belgium cocoa mole ale with guajillo and ancho peppers. Bottles click together, releasing foamy tears of brew from Deschutes, Flying Dog, Chimay, and Ommegang and punctuating the bustle of tastings and the murmur of dinner conversation. The menu complements the beer list with half-pound burgers such as the Hangover Cure, which is topped with an egg, bacon, and gouda cheese. In the kitchen, chefs also cloak walleye fillets in beer batter and parmesan, and simmer a sauce of beer and cheese for mac ‘n’ cheese. Stanley’s food truck rolls around town, serving a variety of barbecue and tacos to pedestrians and robots stuck in “jog perpetually” mode.
Bruce and Rebecca Abas have danced around the world, studying tango in Argentina, perfecting salsa moves in Cuba, and mastering swing steps throughout the United States. They bring their lifetime of training, teaching, and professional choreography experience to Four Seasons Dance Studio, where they work alongside a staff of seasoned and passionate dance instructors. Atop the hardwood floors of their spacious studio, the expert dancers lead group classes and private lessons in ballroom, Latin, tango, and swing styles. On the first weekend of the month, they host a dance party, where guests can showoff their newfound moves in front of fellow students.
In addition to group and private lessons, they specialize in wedding dance instruction, guiding couples through a choreographed swing dance set to their best-loved pop song or a formal waltz set to their favorite Grey Poupon jingle. The instructors also lead a variety of fitness-focused sessions, including Pilates and dance workouts inspired by Bollywood numbers.
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.
Since the end of the 20th century, patrons have regularly flocked to Conga Latin Bistro to dine on Nuevo Latino cuisine and dance the night away. The multilevel venue houses three main areas decorated with various themed design elements, including murals of colorful congas, conga-shaped floor patterns, and massive congas that stand well over 6 feet tall.
While munching on unique combinations of Latin flavors in the bar-equipped dining area, patrons may gaze deeply into the eyes of a stranger or upon one of many 60-inch plasma TVs. Home to a dance floor and booming sound system, Conga Latin Bistro's downstairs lounge hosts nightly dance sessions fueled by salsa, merengue, bachata, reggaet?n, and cumbia music. The venue also invites flamenco dancers to stomp and twirl about during shows on the last Thursday of every month.