The Blue Door Pub

By Aaron Brown

The Blue Door Neighborhood Pub is the Groveland Tap of north campus. The pub opened less than a month ago at the corner of Selby and Fairview across from a shabby antique shop. Upperclassmen and neighborhood yuppies flock to the Blue Door for its daily cheap brews-$2.00 pints of Summit, Moose Drool and Blue Moon from 10 p.m. to close (for the under-21 crowd, the hand-cut fries are also $2.00). The Blue Door is named in honor of the Puerto Rican restaurant it replaced, The Puerta Azul, and our waitress observed that many of the regulars from the first venture have stuck around for the latest reincarnation. While scouring an apartment on a late Sunday night after St. Thomas hoodlums in a party-gone-wrong inexplicably raided our refrigerator the night before, we were lured to the cozy, one-room pub, looking for some hearty food and a homey atmosphere, and we were not disappointed.

The menus arrived at our table, detailing the eight different ways we could clog our arteries with the Blue Door’s specialty, cheese-infused hamburgers dubbed “Juicy Blucys.” These included the Luau (cow topped with Canadian bacon and pineapple and stuffed with cheddar, $7), the Cajun (smothered with diced jalapeños and crammed with pepper jack, $6) and the Breakfast Blucy (featuring a fried egg). By now, it should be obvious that the Blue Door is not for vegetarians, though the menu includes three salads.

We found the burgers to be ultimately mediocre. They were large, but the meat was more chunky than bloody smooth. The concept of a silky melted cheese and meat concoction-which before the meal, seemed like the realization of the cheeseburger’s potential-failed in execution, and the Blucys were demystified as they revealed themselves as a couple of bland, overcooked patties surrounding too little cheese. The burgers are typical bar fare, not an epiphany. T—hose looking for the perfect gourmet burger might want to instead check out Wild Onion’s tender Chipotle Pepper Jack Melt or Shish’s sublime Shishburger.

The best item at the Blue Door was indisputably the somehow-classy, beer-battered white cheddar cheese curds, which the waitress hocked as “better than the State Fair’s.” The Blue Door cuisine is at its best when it ignores health concerns and plates its produce with crispy grease; the beer-battered green beans (“a mere $2.75,” according to the menu) will coat your throat when the beer-batter loses the batter.

The Blue Door Neighborhood Pub lives up to its name; the latest restaurant is a welcome addition to the larger Mac-Groveland community, and the patrons can best be described as 30-something Macalester graduates. The joint has hosted screenings of the Twins’ ill-fated attempts at playoff baseball and will likely be the gathering site for many upcoming Vikings/Packers matches. It was particularly heartwarming to see the bartenders politely advise customers to avoid being too loud at night after leaving for fear of waking the neighbors. This new venture gives a Cheers-esque “Where everyone knows your name” vibe that differentiates any random watering hole from the new local hangout. Students would be wise to make the Door a nighttime hangout for those nights when the Tap is not having drink specials.

The Blue Door is open everyday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. For more information, check out