Interior of Jake O'Connor's Public House

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Pub Guide

All the Twin Cities pubs in one place.

68 Bar/Clubs found

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318 Café

318 Water St., Excelsior, 952-401-7902

While it's a café/coffee bar by day, Excelsior's 318 is a lively music venue and wine bar by night. Local and national artists play music in the intimate 54-seat setting every Wednesday through Saturday. If you're searching for a cozy spot outside the Cities with consistently great made-from-scratch food, a good wine selection, and top musicians, 318 is your answer. Continue Reading

331 Club

331 13th Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-331-1746

In 2005, Northeast’s neighborhood bar got a makeover—a coat of paint and a slew of other improvements. It was time, since it’s been a fixture since 1899. But the 331 Club remains a cozy, railroad–style watering hole: narrow enough to keep things intimate, but not so cramped that the furniture kills elbow room. Continue Reading

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7th Street Entry

701 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-1775

Some of the most influential and revered bands of all time have rocked the stage at the Entry—before hitting it big. With that in mind, any show at First Avenue’s minor-league stage has the possibility to turn into tomorrow’s lore. Other than the chance at witnessing history in the making, the Entry is the quintessential box where local and national acts cut their teeth in a club the size of a walk-in closet. The scene can be physically uncomfortable or inspiringly intimate, depending on why you’re sweating and who you’re sweating next to. But there are those special nights, when that band you’ve never heard of kicks into high gear and the roof starts to levitate, and you suddenly feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself—because you’ve stumbled on the Next Big Thing before anyone else, and can’t wait to tell the world about it. Just being able to say, “I saw these guys at the Entry,” will give you street cred for a year. Continue Reading

Acadia Cafe

329 Cedar Ave. S., Mpls., 612-874-8702

When you stop by for a beer and some tunes, don’t expect to hear any Beatles tribute bands or Stairway to Heaven covers. Acadia only books artists who perform original songs, most of which are local acts and often come back multiple times. The menu is by no means stingy either. Everything from breakfast favorites to salads and burgers are reasonable and diverse. The beer is where Acadia really shines, however. Tap selections of organic local ales and Irish stouts from Cork complement both the innovative music and neighborhood atmosphere. Continue Reading

Bar Lurcat

Bar Lurcat

1624 Harmon Pl., Mpls., 612-486-5500

The hipster clientele wandered down the block to Nick and Eddie, leaving the groups of ladies from the Hills and the Lakes to gossip and giggle among the foodies and downtowners who mingle around the curved bar—there for the edgy comfort food and Italian–rustic-meets-Italian–contemporary décor. While the bar still attracts plenty of groups, the wall of windows and view of Loring Park makes for one of the most romantic settings in town. Continue Reading

Barbette

Barbette

1600 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-827-5710

This lively Bohemian bistro may be best known for its simple French fare, including, of course, its salade Niçoise. But it's also great for after-work cocktails or late-night eats. The hip atmosphere fits right in with its Uptown location. Brightly colored decorations and framed photos of old circus acts reflect the reason behind the restaurant's name (Barbette was a famous circus aerialist in the early 1900s). An extensive wine list is available (and easily paired with Barbette's fabulous fare), plus a full bar. Come early on Wednesdays to grab a seat for the free late-night music series. Continue Reading

Black Forest Inn

Black Forest Inn

1 E. 26th St., Mpls., 612-872-0812

An Eat Street institution since 1965, everyone seems to have a story that begins with: "One time at the Black Forest Inn . . ." The restaurant features variations on the German meat and potatoes theme, and the helpings are generous enough to split three ways. Indoors, the atmosphere is appropriately dark, but the Black Forest really gets going during the summer, when its outdoor beer garden is in full swing. Beers from all over the world are available from the bar, and the occasional live band keeps the conviviality going all through the night. Continue Reading

Blue Nile

2027 Franklin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-338-3000

Enhanced with colorful East African décor and friendly service, the Blue Nile remains a hip, multicultural nightlife spot despite its relatively low profile in the Twin Cities. Patrons love the spicy Ethiopian and Mediterranean fare, especially when accompanied by the long list of beers on tap (including Surly, Bells, Sam Adams, and several imports). Located in Minneapolis's Seward neighborhood, the Blue Nile also features a nice outdoor patio and a dimly lit lounge, which houses live international music and dancing most nights of the week. Continue Reading

Bryant-Lake Bowl

Bryant-Lake Bowl

810 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-825-3737

Bryant-Lake Bowl isn't just a bowling alley (and serious gamers who come to roll strikes and spares may find themselves disappointed). But if a forty-three-bottle globetrotting wine list that includes Minnesota wines, a contemporary American menu served past midnight, or the adjacent theater-cum-performance space appeals to you, this might be a fit. And if you just want to fling ten-pound balls down the rough and tumble lanes with a knowing irony, or at least hyper self-awareness, that's okay, too. Where else can you enjoy a Belgian Trappist ale and ill-fitting rental shoes? Continue Reading

Bunkers Music Bar & Grill

761 Washington Ave., Mpls., 612-338-8188

Where local rockers, including Mick Sterling, G. B. Leighton, and Kip Blackshire, play to a crowd. There's music nightly; on Monday, come out to catch funk/rock group Dr. Mambo's Combo. See Solacious on Tuesdays and Smart Mouth on Wednesdays. Continue Reading

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Café Maude

5411 Penn Ave. S, Mpls., 612-822-5411

Enjoy an inventive cocktail or glass of wine in this South Minneapolis neighborhood gem, which goes by the tagline "civilized leisure." The happy hour or “Leisure Time” is only an hour, but it happens seven days a week. There is a comfortable bar area with a special corner set aside for live music on Tuesday and Wednesday nights—usually jazz. Wednesday nights are often busy with locals, regulars and newcomers. Continue Reading

Caspers & Runyons Shamrocks

Caspers & Runyons Shamrocks

995 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-228-9952

Who needs four-star restaurateurs when you’ve got Ted Casper and Mike Runyon, the barely-old-enough-to-drink-their-own-beer boys behind St. Paul’s Shamrocks and the legendary burger haven The Nook? Shamrocks serves the same great beer and burgers as it’s well-known sibling, but the Sham gives its typically younger crowd a chance to shimmy with regular live music and DJs. Burgers, beer, and booty shakin’—now that’s a lucky charm. Continue Reading

Club Underground

Club Underground at the Spring Street Tavern

355 NE Monroe St., Mpls., 612-627-9123

Club Underground might be off of Northeast’s main drags, but the place seems to prefer it that way. If it were too easy to find, after all, it wouldn’t be very underground, would it? Connected with the Spring Street Tavern and located at the corner of Monroe Street and Spring Street, the nondescript building in which it hides only enhances its aura of eclectic iconoclasm. And don’t feel bad if you feel out of step with the crowd, because this is a crowd that prides itself on being out of step. All manner of alternative lifestyles and aesthetic sensibilities are welcome here, and DJs and bands play most every night, often sharing the same stage. If you’re into rockabilly, house, punk, or drum and bass, and are haunted by a vague feeling that you don’t quite fit in anywhere else, chances are you’ll feel slightly less alienated here. Continue Reading

Conga Latin Bistro

501 Hennepin Ave. E., Mpls., 612-331-3360

You don't have to be a pro to brave the dance floor at Conga, but don't expect the twirling Latin lovelies at this salsa club to pity you or either of your left feet. Maybe you should just hang back, grab a table near one of the massive conga drums at the entrance, sip on a rum cocktail, and wait and wait for somebody to ask you to dance. And maybe take a flyer on group lessons on your way out. Continue Reading

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Cooper Irish Pub

1607 Park Pl. Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-698-2000

From the guy who brought you the Local and the Liffey comes an Irish Pub for the suburban set. Located just off 394 in St. Louis Park, Cooper Irish Pub is already becoming a local hot spot, due in part to the free heated underground garage parking and the popular tomato soup. Happy hour could be better described as happy long afternoon, and with food all day and late-night appetizers, it's a great place to grab a beer and a bite without heading downtown. Continue Reading

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant

1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls., 612-332-1010

Now that locals and tourists can actually find the Twin Cities' top jazz club, don't be surprised if you swing by for a nightcap only to be turned away by a packed house. The handsome warm-wood-and-exposed-brick interior, superb American wine list, and bargain happy hour grub draw a sophisticated after-work and late-night crowd in addition to the jazz aficionados who've been coming to the Dakota for decades. Owner Lowell Pickett lures national names early in the week and local favorites on weekends. So slide into a banquette early, order a glass of red, and await the show in what is arguably one of the country's best jazz venues. Continue Reading

Dixie's on Grand

Dixie's on Grand

695 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-7345

Dixie’s is a restaurant/bar that bills itself as specializing in “Southern hospitality,” which means they’ve got ribs, steaks, chops, and coconut shrimp on the menu, and plenty of bourbons and whiskeys behind the bar. When the dinner crowd clears out after 10 p.m., a relatively civil crowd settles in on Saturday nights to listen to an eclectic mix of live rock, jazz, blues, and R & B, depending on the band. Thursday night is karaoke night, and every Friday is live salsa night—so pick your poison. Like nearby Billy’s, the outdoor patio scene at Dixie’s can be lively on weekend nights, especially those warm, sultry evenings that remind everyone of life down on the bayou—whatever that means. Continue Reading

Driftwood Char Bar

4415 Nicollet Ave. S, Mpls., 612-354-3402

Driftwood is the ultimate hole-in-the-wall joint where people come to relax, have a drink and enjoy one another’s company. There's live music almost every night, from an eclectic range of local musicians. Juicy burgers, big sandwiches, plenty of great wine and beer—what’s not to love? It's easy to hang out here all night, and many people do. Play an arcade game, shoot a round of pool, catch a football game on one of several TVs. Continue Reading

Dubliner Pub

2162 University Ave. W, St. Paul, 651-646-5551

This modest St. Paul pub is known to pour some of the best Guinness in town, and can be a lively place to have a drink, especially on St. Paddy's Day. They host a variety of Irish folk music groups pretty much every night, and even have Irish dancing on Wednesdays. Many of St. Paul's so-called "Irish mafia" hang out here, but they don't look any different from anyone else—except that sometimes they're friendlier. If you're looking for a casual, authentic Irish experience, you could do worse than the Dubliner. Continue Reading

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Dulono's Pizza

607 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-827-1726

Come Fridays and Saturdays for the no-cover bluegrass and acoustic, stay for the hot pizza and cheap beer, plus imported beer and wine. Continue Reading

Elsie's Restaurant, Bar, & Bowling Center

729 NE Marshall St., Mpls., 612-378-9701

Never let it be said that Elsie’s doesn’t have something for everyone. One of the few places where you can eat, drink, bowl, and sing karaoke in a single night, this Nordeast stalwart has a kind of irreducible authenticity, mainly because of it unaffected style, or lack thereof. Inside, Elsie’s is a time machine of sorts, which is why it’s not uncommon to be rubbing elbows with boomers, students, and scenesters all singing “Summer of ’69” on a Friday night in the twenty-first century. Glow-in-the-dark bowling is always a hoot, and everything is reasonably priced, so a lot of fun can be had for relatively little money. Continue Reading

Epic Nightclub

110 N. 5th St., Mpls., 612-332-3742

Epic isn't your typical nightclub, rather a space that opens for parties, events, and concerts featuring some of the best R & B, rap, and DJ-ing talent in the world. Not the country...the world. Continue Reading

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Fine Line Music Cafe

318 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-338-8100

The Fine Line Music Café is a club dedicated to live music (as opposed to a club with music). Indie rock, prog-rock, jazz, blues, funk, R & B, and world music are the mainstays, but just about every type of music has been featured here at one time or another. A different live act is featured every night, from up-and-coming local bands to national headliners, and the crowd changes with the music. No two nights are the same, and the cover charge fluctuates according to the drawing power of the band. Tickets to see national headliners are around $30 for the main floor and $60 for mezzanine.Seating is first come, first serve, unless you buy an X-Gold ticket for an extra $50, which guarantees a primo seat on the upstairs rail. The club has two levels and a dance floor, and all shows are either 18 or 21+.  It’s all about the music here, so there aren’t many frills—just top-notch sound in a great setting for listening, and moving, to some great grooves. Continue Reading

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First Avenue

701 1st Ave. N., Mpls., 612-332-1775

There's no denying that First Avenue has played an integral role in the history of Twin Cities music. First opened as The Depot in 1970, the notorious club brought in DJs, disco, and performances from Tina Turner, Frank Zappa, and B. B. King, to name a few. It wasn't until 1981 that the venue became known as First Avenue. Continue Reading

Gluek's

16 N. 6th St., Mpls., 612-338-6621

Its rich history and century-and-a-half-old beer recipes are what draw the crowds to Gluek's. This charming German-style pub dates back to 1857, when Gottlieb Gluek began brewing beer in Minneapolis. To this day, Gluek's continues to be a hot spot for live music, good food (including brats, spaetzle, walleye, and burgers), and big mugs of housemade beer. Continue Reading