In a city which prides itself on professional advancements, corporate establishments and an all-together high work ethic, it’s no wonder so many people in the Twin Cities need a weekly happy hour to de-stress. The 40-hour workweek takes its toll and by the end of the week, or for some even earlier, you’re in need of a drink and a place to wind down. This list offers a selection of places to do just that.
The Shout! House
650 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Hours: Open Tue-Thu 7pm-2am; Fri-Sat 5pm-2am
Everyone who is familiar with downtown Minneapolis knows the Shout! House is always a good time. Most famously, the Dueling Pianos draw a huge crowd. Located in E Block of Hennepin Avenue, the Shout! House is a great place to forget about the worries of the workday. While Dueling Pianos is a trademark part of your experience, the establishment also has themed nights that hold fast on their own. Every Wednesday, people from around the metro get decked out in wild and bright fashion to celebrate 80s night. This bar is a crowd favorite and is usually a full house. To avoid cover charge and get yourself a great seat up front, arrive before 8 p.m. on the weekdays and 7 p.m. on the weekends. But, even standing gives you ample opportunities to dance to your favorite rock and roll hits.
G.B. Leighton’s Pickle Park
7820 Northeast University Avenue
Fridley, MN 55432
Hours: Mon-Sat 10 am – 9:30 pm / Sun 11 am – 7 pm
Just north of the city is the town of Fridley in which G.B. Leighton, a hometown rocker, set up shop with Pickle Park. Bar game favorites, guest shows by G.B. himself and live music are just three things that make Pickle Park an après work spot. Happy Hours starting at 3 p.m. might lure you away from your desk early but every Thursday is Pickle Park After Dark and ladies… you drink for free! A calendar of events is listed on the site so you can plan accordingly after work. The establishment also has a patio and full dance floor for when you just want to dance. G.B. Leighton’s Pickle Park allows you to indulge without breaking the bank and blow off steam after a long day at work.
3849 Gallagher Drive
Edina, MN 55435
Hours: Mon-Thu 11:30 am – 11 pm / Fri 11:30 am – 12 am / Sat 10 am – 12 am / Sun 10 am – 10 pm
If you’re looking for a more sophisticated hang out spot that offers a great selection of vino and cocktails, Pinstripes in Edina caters to your needs. Just off 494 and France Avenue, Pinstripes is a multi-level, smorgasbord of fun. Indoor and outdoor bocce ball courts, 18-lane bowling, live music and a patio on Edina’s Centennial Lakes pond gives patrons room to roam and space to play. With an elegant selection of Italian and American food, you won’t go hungry. No need to change out of your suit and tie, or feel free to come as you are, the laidback, yet refined atmosphere is sure to please anyone looking to unwind.
Dave and Buster’s
11789 Fountains Way
Maple Grove, MN 55369
Hours: Mon-Thu, Sun 11 am – 12 am / Fri-Sat 11 am – 1 am
You’ve seen the commercials; you’ve heard the specials, now it’s time for you to experience it yourself. Remember those arcades when you were younger? Now that you’re older, there’s Dave and Buster’s. You can play like a kid, but drink like an adult. What’s better? Happy hours with half off drinks and hundreds of games to play will help you completely forget about the long workday. With a wide array of brews, margaritas, sangrias and other cocktails, Dave and Buster’s has just what you need to take the stress away.
Grumpy’s Bar Nordeast
3849 Gallagher Drive
2200 4th St NE, Minneapolis
While the Northeast side of Minneapolis is a thriving bar community, Grumpy’s Bar is definitely a staple with locals. Every Tuesday, like clockwork, Happy Hour begins bright and early at 2 p.m. with dollar off drinks. Known as the “Classic Northeast Joint,” Grumpy’s Nordeast is one of three locations. While it doesn’t have a kitchen, the patrons seem to respond nicely to their “frozen pizzas and bag ‘o peanuts.” The Minnesota Nice staff is always willing to pour you one of their many local and domestic taps at a cheap price. When you’re feeing a bit bogged down during the workweek, stumble into Grumpy’s and you just may leave feeling quite the opposite.
— Emily Buss is a music journalist from Minneapolis and author of On the Rechord blog. On the Rechord is a music site dedicated to the local music scene in the Twin Cities. Emily writes concert and album reviews, band and artist profiles, and provides information about local shows. A college graduate with a degree in Mass Communications with an emphasis on Journalism, Emily has been professionally writing for newspapers and online outlets for six years. You can find Emily at www.ontherechord.com, on Facebook at On the Rechord and on Twitter @TheEmilyB.