Man, with all the January news of all the closings, isn't it nice to hear of an oldie getting another shot?
If you've never been in the old dive off of 7th in downtown Minneapolis, you haven't missed much. I spent the World Cup holed up in the back room, despite the lackluster menu: Sometimes a girl's gotta stay within the blocks of the office. What's great about the new Dan Kelly's is that it's just a better version of the old Dan Kelly's. "We didn’t have to do that much to the space, it had such good bones. The old bar is still the old bar, and the beautiful stained glass just needed to be cleaned and lit. We really see this as more of a restoration than a remodel,” O’Reilly told me. I couldn’t believe it was the same carpet. “You’d be surprised what a good deep steam clean can do.” Guntzel pointed out that they painted the ceiling and the walls, getting rid of the green and bringing in a warm treatment, but left the old booths, which have a nice wear to them. Also gone, a few TVs and lots of beer signs and sports paraphernalia. “And there are new touches, like the chalkboards and the small drink tables near the front for people just hanging out.”
Also new (PTL) is the menu. Chef Keven Kvalsten has been hard at work on some serious Irish fare featuring local ingredients. Salt cod fish cakes with a cider cream sauce, colcannon with a dill butter sauce, shepherd’s pie with Star Thrower lamb, corned beef and cabbage made with Peterson Farms brisket, and of course, a DK burger with whiskey onions and cabbage, blue cheese, and stout mustard. Hello.
Of course these guys are the local beers guys, but what of their commitment to the Irish drinking sensibilities? The former Dan Kelly was sadly bereft of good beer save Guinness. “You know, Guinness was the only beer that made it from the old menu to the new menu” O’Reilly said. The beer list is mostly local and craft, save the few Irish, but there’s plenty of stout available. There’s also a nice round of ciders on tap, I tried the “Bareknuckle” which is an exclusive collaboration with Sweetland Orchard and is a whiskey-soaked-oak aged cider. Bracing and fresh. Cocktails are whiskey heavy, bless them, and they’re making their own Irish Cream for kicks.
Here’s the great news: DKpub will be open from 11 a.m.-1 a.m., seven days a week. Yes, people, Sunday nights in the downtown will have an 11 p.m. open kitchen. Happy Hour runs from 3-6 p.m. daily with deals like house cut chips for $4 and a ½ Irish breakfast for $6.