The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Happy hours

By Matt Seidholz

For a little while in March, the Minneapolis City Council gave us a scare. They were entertaining a horrible idea: banning happy hour in all bars across the city. Thankfully those goons came to their senses and happy hour is now alive and well, but after that little shock, I thought I should take some time to appreciate what I had, in case happy hour ever came under threat again. Last Friday I visited four places in downtown Minneapolis to see what they had to offer.Some friends and I took the bus into downtown Minneapolis. We didn’t really have a clear idea where to go (except for one place-we saved it for last), but we knew we were hungry, so we hunted around for a bar with some deals on food. It didn’t take us long to stumble upon Brit’s Pub. Loyal to their theme, Brit’s has a distinctly British atmosphere, with brass rails at the bar, fish and chips on the menu, and a selection of British candy bars available near the front door. Their happy hour runs from 3:00 to 6:00 on Monday through Friday, and the gettin’ is good. The drink special is unexciting-a $10 pitcher of Amstel-but it comes with a free appetizer! We discovered that the kitchen at Brit’s is a serious operation. We got artichoke dip and toasted baguettes with our pitcher and they were absolutely delicious.

But by the time we left Brit’s, the Amstel had gotten us a bit tipsy, so the hunger we felt before never really went away. We asked a passer-by for another good appetizer spot, and he recommended Bulwinkle’s Saloon. From 3:00 to 6:00 every day of the week, Bulwinkle’s will knock $1 off the price for every domestic bottle, $2 off every pitcher, and it will give you any appetizer (other than chicken fingers) for $3.50. This bar had a cozy feel to it. The word “tavern” came to mind, because the whole atmosphere reminded me of Cheers. We all split a pitcher and an order of mini-burgers, which hit the spot but didn’t blow me away. They were a strong improvement on White Castle, but that’s about all I can say about them.

After those burgers we didn’t feel like walking far, so we went to the nearby Triple Rock Social Club. Ordinarily a music venue, this place was a little subdued and empty on a Friday afternoon. But their happy hour’s great! From 4:00 to 9:00 on Monday to Friday, you can get $2 pints, and if you want fries and a burger with that beer, it’ll only cost you $6. My friends weren’t so hungry by this point, but in the interest of thorough journalism, I made sure to get a full meal here. The beer selection was not amazing, but the price was right, and the burger and fries were delicious. This a great place to start out your evening. (But note that prices increase significantly later in the evening.)

Finally, after a couple hours bar hopping, we decided to head to a very special place: B.A.N.K. Voted the best new bar in America in 2008, B.A.N.K. can be found in the lobby of the Westin hotel. When we walked in, we immediately felt under-dressed and outclassed. With 50-foot high ceilings, ornate chandeliers, at least a dozen couches, and hand-carved wooden relief statues on the all the walls, B.A.N.K. was certainly the classiest place I’ve ever had a drink. Their happy hour runs from 2:00 to 6:00 on Monday to Friday, but because we went on a Friday, we got to take advantage of their complimentary Mexican buffet. I’ll say that again: Complimentary. Mexican. Buffet. Even if you just walked off the street and ordered nothing, you could go in and make yourself a fajita with freshly sizzling pulled pork, grilled peppers and onions, pico de gallo, black beans, and sour-cream. It was blissful. The bar also offered $5 margaritas, and $3 domestic taps. My B.A.N.K. experience was indescribably positive. You must go.

So even though the Minneapolis happy hour is not under attack, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t experience it. Three friends and I had a great time out for about $60, and we got good and tipsy and ate the equivalent of three entire meals. If you’re of age, you should get out and experience what Minneapolis has to offer.

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