This is another of Kieran Folliard's four excellent local Irish pubs (the other three are in Minneapolis) and a great spot, in the summer, for cocktails in the sun or under the stars. The Liffey is downtown and almost across the street from the Xcel Energy Center so it's a hot spot during winter hockey season. The interior is all lovely carved wood and etched glass - very cozy on a winter's day - but the real bonus is the large, 2nd floor patio that looks up at Cathedral Hill. Fabulous.
The menu includes appetizers (around $10.00), salads ($10.00), sandwiches, ($9.00), a few entrees ($11.00 and up) and a few desserts. I haven't eaten anything at any of Kieran's establishments that wasn't good.
There's live music on Friday and Saturday nights (Oct - March only) and Happy Hour Mon - Fri from 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM. Open 7 days a week - check the website for exact hours.
Dress Code: Come as you are.
The ridiculous name conjures up images of flaxen-haired waitresses schelpping pancakes to bad polka music but not so. If the Muddy Pig is beer heaven, this is Nirvana: 70 beers on tap, and 350 in bottles. All of this hoppy splendor is housed in a beautifully restored former firehouse with an upscale, ambitious (and pricey) menu besides. Fortunately for those of us who can't swing the dinner prices, there is a pub menu with sandwiches and pizza starting at about $10. No? Ok, just come for the beer. Don't know which one to have? Try one of the flights - you can pick six, 5-oz sample sizes from a predetermined list.
We come for the beer AND the patio. In the warmer months, it's a nice place to hang out. There's a large fireplace to warm it up on chilly evenings, the outdoor bar has almost as many taps as the indoor (although you can order any beer you want), and knowledgeable staff can help you choose.
Not convinced? The Gnome was listed in the May, 2008 issue of All About Beer magazine as one of "125 Places to Have a Beer Before You Die." It's also just 2 blocks east of the Muddy Pig (see previous tip) - which is only two blocks from Sweeney's (see previous tip). With a very short cab ride from downtown hotels and back, the three of them make for one dandy pub crawl! I love St. Paul...
Check the website for hours, directions, menu and lots of good pictures.
Dress Code: Anything (clean) goes on the patio or main floor pub. If eating in the dining room upstairs (Firehouse Room) I might tidy up a bit more.
I hear that you can eat here but with as many quality beers as The Pig carries, food is strictly optional. I count 48 on the tap list and 63 in bottles. Not to mention a mind-blowing stock of scotches, bourbons and whiskeys. Oh yes, this is a very serious pub and not for sissies - they don't even have a Happy Hour. No matter, we were here for Hop Fest last winter ($8 flights of 3, 5-oz hoppy brews from a menu of 48) and the place was mobbed. Standing room only. Check the website for any current events and a full list of the goods. Good bar staff that's knowledgeable about the brews, and the usual pub-like decor. Great place.
Sun-Thu 11:30am-1am | Fri-Sat 11:30am-2am
There's a very small outdoor patio mainly for smoking. If it's outdoors you want, Sweeney's (see previous tip) is only 2 blocks away (south) on the same street ( (N. Dale.)
Dress Code: Shirt, shoes, whatever.
Yet another terrific patio for pubbing and grubbing. There is a raging debate out there about whether McGovern's is, or is not, an Irish pub but when the beer's cold and you're under the sun (or the stars) who really cares? Located in the historic Smith Building - a nice bit of Victorian Romanesque architecture built in 1888 by a former mayor of St Paul - it has a large main floor bar/restaurant, upstairs sports bar and a large patio and outdoor bar. Visiting in the winter? The interior is pub-like and comfortable with the requisite TVs for catching the game. Decent food, good selection of beers and just a fun place to hang out for awhile. One warning: it's packed to insanity before concerts or sporting events events at the nearby Xcel Center.
Artists' Quarter is THE place for jazz in downtown St Paul. Owned and operated by local musicians and situated in a club-like basement room right next to Great Waters Brewing, acts range from local to national and covers are usually lower ($5 - $10) than at the Dakota in Minneapolis. It doesn't have a kitchen but you can have food delivered from Great Waters or Wild Thymes pizza - the bar has menus for both and you can call in your order from the club.
Open 7:00 PM - 1:00 AM Mon - Sat, and sometimes Sundays. Tuesdays are strictly for ages 21 and over - other nights are 18 and over (but 21 for alcohol). Reservations really only needed for national acts.
Dress Code: No dress code. Attire is all over the board.
This is one of my favorite outdoor spots for a pint! Sweeney's has a terrific outdoor patio that snuggles up to their vintage brick building - out of the wind and nicely enclosed so you don't look at a parking lot or busy street. There's an outdoor bar that's open during busier periods, heaters and a fireplace for taking the chill off cool spring and fall days. The patio is multi-tiered, strung with twinkle lights and shaded by trees.
Inside, there's a basic bar (with a fireplace, and TV's for sports enthusiasts) on one side, and a slightly more upscale wine bar on the other. The menu is standard pub-grub - appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, soups, etc. - and there's 16 or brews on tap with at least half of them being "craft" varieties. Daily happy hour specials 4-6 and 9-closing. Oh, and they have a nice rental space upstairs for special events. Check out the website - they have better pix that I have here.
Dress Code: Come as you are.
I was introduced to this lovely Irish pub at my last visit to Saint Paul. The crowd is a happy one and the band playing was alright - I didn't pay much attention to it, I'm afraid. Conversation and Kilkenny's kept me busy ;-)
Fellow VT Don Guan (a.k.a Guantanamera) joined us that night and graced us with his presence :-)
There is live music at the weekends - you can take a look at their schedule on the website if you are interested.
Liffey's also has a wide range of tasty appetizers if you are craving for some food.
Dress Code: No, no. There is none I think - An Irish pub with a dress code? Does such a thing exist?
Dance Club, serving the GLBT community.
We like this club because of its location - an easy walk across the street from where we live.
This is a large venue The building was formerly a warehouse.
- Cruise bar with food service (burgers)
- Dance floor and stage
- Tables & stools (wait staff provides bar service)
- Pool tables & darts
Dress Code: Casual
Comfortable, casual, and intimate. On the weeknight I was there, a mixed gay (70%) and lesbian (30%) crown. Small dance floor, djs, occasional drag shows. The kind of place where ""people know your name." (I like this kind of place much better than those "corporate" kind of gay bars that try to cater to everyone and have all the charm of the Mall of America.)
Dress Code: casual - come as you are - not a place to show off your conspicuous consumption
Pretty good food, and not too expensive. Has their own onsite brewery, and a good selection of other drinks. It also has a small concert hall that plays live music. Great place for relaxing with a drink, or watching live music. EXTREMELY busy on St. Patrick's day.
Dress Code: People are fairly well dressed
One of the Twin Cities best kept secrets, the Half Time Rec is an Irish Bar on the north side of St. Paul near Como Park. Separated into two sides, one half is your regular neighborhood bar and the other is a large room with a small stage for live music. Regular bands play every weekend, and the crowds can get rowdy. If all that gets boring, you can always go down to the basement for a game of bocce ball. For a hidden away place, there is a surprisingly large and young crowd. One of my favorite bars. Scenes from the movie 'Grumpy Old Men' were filmed here.
Dress Code: A relaxed atmosphere, but some people do dress up.
One of the greatest music venues in the midwest. This venue draws both local and nation acts, so if you love live music there is no better place to start than the Fine Line.
Dress Code: Anything goes, but depending on the band may change.
There are many places to go in St. Paul, like Grand Ave and downtown, but the drive out to Stillwater in the summer to make it to the Freighthouse is worth it. It's an old train station in downtown Stillwater that's been converted to a bar and a resteraunt. One half of the building is a resteraunt, and the other half is a night club. A huge plus is that the whole length of the building has a huge deck overlooking the St. Croix River. So if you want to have a nice dinner, enjoy a night on a deck with the friends, or dance the night away you can. Another huge plus is that you can cross the river at the end of the night for another hour of drinking.
Dress Code: Casual
Gay bar, with dancing and pool. While welcoming everyone, this place is a little bit more lesbian, with drag king shows, and more women than men. People definitely jump around and get sweaty on the dance floor, but it's not as much of a zoo as the Gay 90's.
The Half Time Rec is a great place to go on Saturday night to hear great traditional Irish music. And they have a bocce ball court in the basemant.
A scene in Grumpy Old Man was filmed here.