Loretto Travel Guide

  • Beautiful downtown Loretto
    Beautiful downtown Loretto
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  • Not a bar yet either
    Not a bar yet either
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  • Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Loretto
    Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church,...
    by goodfish

Loretto Things to Do

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    by goodfish Updated Nov 18, 2011

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    To do penance for all that beer you drank, toddle up the street to Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. Those thirsty German settlers built the first chapel out of logs - down the road about 1/2 mile where the cemetery is - in 1867. It doubled as a school that was moved to a new building in town in the 1890s, and this church was built beside it in 1903. The parish school was enlarged again in the 1920's and 1960's but declining enrollment will close the doors in 2012.

    The church pretty much dominates the village landscape but is otherwise unencumbered by a lot of fuss and bother - sort of like the folks who live out this way. It does have a Perpetual Adoration chapel has been attended to 24/7 every day of the year since 1999. That's quite the achievement as it means hauling at least one half-sober parishioner out the bars every couple hours.

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Loretto Nightlife

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    by goodfish Updated Aug 23, 2011

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    This is the classic, small-town, very serious bar. How serious is it? They have 2-for-1 drinks Monday through Saturday MORNING from 8:00 - 12:00.* And from 10:00 - 12:00 on Sunday. They don't mess around. And just in case that's too early for you lightweights, they have afternoon happy hour every day too. I think there's about 20 minutes every day that beer ISN'T on some kind of special.

    This is another one that has been here since Hector was a pup. They tried to change the name a few years back but everyone stubbornly went right on calling it Detour so they finally gave up and put the old sign back. The bar is right in front of the door so you freeze your butt off in the winter. There is a deck of sorts out back with a screen porch and a pathetic excuse for a heater to appease the January smokers (they only think it does squat), the floors are scuffed, and the toilet handles occasionally stick. We love it.

    Here's where you find the locals. Attire ranges from snowmobile suits (sled parked outside) to bike leathers (hog parked outside) to the latest in Fleet Farm couture or golf wear. Feed or baseball caps are almost mandatory. The guys and gals behind the taps are as friendly as you'll find anywhere and the food is cheap, filling and very good: highly recommend the Saturday night 10-buck 1/2 rack rib special as one of the best ways ever to destroy a diet. They yanked the pool table out some years back to fit a few more tables and squeeze in some bands on Saturday nights.

    Open breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. Clean and family-friendly (booths in the dining area.) Stop in. Have a beer. Watch the game. B*tch about the weather/economy/Vikings/gas prices/etc. Have another beer. It's all good.

    (*No, I have not seen the inside of this place before noon. Yet.)

    Dress Code: If it needs to be dry-cleaned, you're overdressed.

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    by goodfish Written Aug 23, 2011

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    So here's another of the two fancy-schmamcy places. Axel's is a local chain and their smallest offspring is in Loretto. It's right across the street from Bistro 11 and the menu is pretty much in the over-$20 entree range with a focus on steaks. White tablecloths and all that but casual enough not to have to wear your scratchy-itchy church clothes. There are also burgers for the beer-budget folks, and daily happy hours with reduced-price apps. No patio here - grab a seat at the bar or take your brew/wine/cocktail out on the little front porch. Nice place and good food but probably my last choice for a summer bar-hopping foray as I'm a patio girl but the covered porch is nice if it's raining.

    Dress Code: Comb your hair again.

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    Quiet afternoon at the bistro 1 more image

    by goodfish Written Aug 22, 2011

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    This is the newest kid on the the block and one of the fancier-schmancier places. A bistro? In Loretto? Who woulda thunk it?!! But they're doing just great and appear to be settling in for the long haul. The bar/dining room is warm, cozy and surprisingly trattoria-like for out here in the sticks, and the dinner menu leans towards creative pastas, meat, chicken and fish entrees - all made from scratch - and really good thin-crust pizza. A small outdoor patio is a nice spot for summer lunch or dinner, and it has a gas fireplace for extra ambiance after dark. Sandwiches and salads jolly up the lunch crowd (who are learning to pronounce "croque monsieur") and there's a little-bites bar menu as well. Just thirsty? Grab a seat at the bar or on the patio for a beer, cocktail or glass of vino: decent little wine list, and weekday happy hours with 1/2 price apps and pizza by the slice. Nice place and nice folks.

    Entrees here can easily top $25 so if you're on a beer budget, go during happy hour, grab the bar menu, or head on out to one of the local dives. Check out the info on the website, and nightly specials on FB:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bistro-11/261939527265

    Dress Code: Comb your hair.

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Loretto Sports & Outdoors

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    by goodfish Written Aug 25, 2011

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    The fourth thing any real Midwestern town should have is a baseball diamond. Yup, Loretto has one of those too and in the summertime when the Larks are playing home field, you can plop your fanny on the bleachers or a lawnchair in the shade and root, root, root for the home team. They'll have burgers and brats on the grill at the concession stand, and your tots can play nice in the sandbox while you're cussin' bad calls.

    And you can drink beer here too. Duh.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
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