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.
A modern take on the classic movie-going experience, ShowPlace Icon Theatre takes the legwork out of dinner and a movie by pairing comfortable sophisticated theaters with upscale, on-location dining, and advanced reserved seating. With digital cinema projectors capable of displaying 35 trillion colors and premium digital surround-sound systems, each stadium-seated auditorium is equipped to showcase buzz-worthy films exactly as the director, assistant director, second-assistant director, and second second-assistant director intended. Patrons to the theater pick their viewing spots ahead of time, eliminating the usual frenzied, darkened search for ideal seating and guaranteeing guests find seats together.
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.
The bustle of patrons and the action of vintage video games fill Chatterbox Pub, echoing against walls checkered with old paintings. Customers nestled atop overstuffed couches train their eyes on flickering screens filled with Atari, Nintendo, and Sega Genesis video game characters or board game pieces from Yahtzee or Connect Four.
Based on this casual, laid-back atmosphere, it might surprise guests to open the menu, which lists neither standard greasy pub fare nor a detailed treasure map to a VHS copy of The Road to El Dorado. Instead, its pages boast a wide range of artisanal pizzas, gourmet sandwiches, and steaks, along with a lengthy list of homemade desserts. Meals pair with pints of the pub’s own microbrewed draft beers, wines, and a wide range of specialty cocktails that wet whistles during sporting events, karaoke, open mics, and bingo competitions held throughout the week.
Manned by professional drivers, the pedal-powered Traveling Tap carts up to 16 passengers around Minneapolis and Saint Paul via one of three routes listed here. It's up to guests to supply their favorite beers, wines, or malt beverages which the personal bartender pours into cups or stores in the bar-on-wheels’ built-in coolers. Throw on your ear-flap cap and goulashes for early season rides or let the misting system keep you cool on warm summer days. Traveling Tap also boasts adjustable seats to fit all sizes, seat backs, and a smooth ride even Grandma would enjoy. Listen to tunes from a six-speaker overhead stereo while you take in the sights and sounds of the Twin Cities on each 7-mile-per-hour trek.
Aura's culinary crew pulls together Italian and international flavors to craft their menu's cosmopolitan offerings of pasta, meat, and seafood. A full cast of pasta creations includes the linguine pescatore ($12), which nestles calamari and shrimp into noodles that patrons can then cross-stitch into a convenient bib. Baked pizza dough cloaks a gyro wrap ($8), and beer-battered onion rings form an edible foundation for an 8-ounce house steak ($16). For honey-mustard chicken ($10), chefs blanket tender breast in layers of potato, broccoli, and bacon, drizzle on a honey-mustard sauce, and bake their culinary masterpiece inside of a clay oven. Patrons break from dinner conversations to treat their palates to the flavors of domestic and imported wines, such as a glass-full of Canaletto pinot noir ($6) imported from Italy's vast sub-surface grape mines.
The Independent is a locally owned dining and cocktail destination boasting one of the happiest happy hours around. From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day, city dwellers gather in the restaurant's chic yet casual confines to mingle over impressive daily specials, including $5 select appetizers, $5 specialty martinis, and $3 select draft beers and house wines. Pair a frothy Bells’ Two Hearted Ale tap brew ($3) with a classic Margherita pizza ($5), or wash down a chipotle-tinged plate of onion rings ($5) with a glass of crisp chardonnay ($3).