The best singles’ bars are in the neighborhoods where the singles live. There was a time when Franklin Avenue was the Mecca for singles. Soon, the influx of energetic, young hormone-crazed youth crammed themselves into every nook and cranny of The Wedge and then down to Uptown. All of the Best Singles Bars In Uptown Minneapolis are highlighted in a previous article. But the Uptown renaissance is reaching middle age and Figlio left Calhoun Square for a new relationship with West End.
Cooper Pub and Restaurant
1607 Park Place Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
The savoir-faire order ginger whiskey at this Irish pub, a baby sister to Kieran’s, The Local and The Liffey. Thrifty revelers like the generous happy hour times lasting until 6:30 p.m. Hardy partiers like the late-night markdowns. It pays to come early to stake out patio seats in the summer. Located in the southwest quadrant of I-394 and Highway 100, West End was conceived as a pedestrian-friendly urban village, complete with shops and sidewalks. Developers are building upscale apartments across the north end with several hundred residential units opening this year.
Related: Best Cocktail Bars In Minnesota
Northeast Minneapolis Arts District
331 13th Ave. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Plentiful live music with no cover, numerous activities like spelling bees and generous happy hour prices create a shortage in elbow room. This small and unpretentious bar just up from Broadway on University Avenue attracts singles seeking social settings. Don’t expect fancy food, just decent prices for a brew or two. The chemistry of the Northeast Arts District, just over a decade old, is creating quite a cauldron of hormone-crazed youth seeking leisure and libation. For more music and fun, go to nearby Stasiu’s, Mayslack’s or Grumpy’s Bar. Chill out in upscale Peacock Lounge. Find the best food at Anchor Fish and Chips or Erte Restaurant.
50 N. 2nd Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Hard to find, hard to forget – that’s Marvel Bar. You feel as though you travel down a tomb by Tut through secret doors that open up to an amazing luxury lounge. As you embark into this space, you come to know how Al Capone must have lived. This is not a restaurant that happens to serve drinks after dining hours. This is a bar where rock star mixologists can entertain you with exotic drink creations all night long. Watch folks sip and connect in a laid-back vibe. See young vixens come as a troop to score lady points. Catch young bucks demonstrating their grace in covering tab and tip before their date even sees the bill. Some patrons are from the ‘burbs, enjoying the fruits of their labor before midlife slows them down. Sprinkled throughout the lounge are the hipsters who probably ventured down from the Arts District in Northeast Minneapolis to breathe in the ambience. Marvel’s neighborhood was called the Warehouse District, but with all of the big brick boxes now converted into upscale apartments with high ceilings, it is now known as the North Loop.
235 6th St. E.
Saint Paul, MN 55101
Barrio is young, loud and packed on Friday and Saturday night. Twenty-somethings from around the metro boogie to the booming bass of R&B, top 40, hip hop, oldies and a bit of salsa. Try the top-rated tequila drinks and fresh guacamole. Partiers who prefer a wider selection of beers go to Bulldog’s next door or amble five blocks down 6th Street to Amsterdam Bar & Hall. Take the light rail to Union Depot two blocks away as of this summer. Next season, the Saints will be playing just east in their new stadium.
The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
Classy ladies prefer the first date experience of the more refined Gnome to most other bars and dives. Craft-beer pilgrims value the more than 70 beers rotating on tap. Following the resurgence of renovated mansions, the area has seen an emergence of bistros, boutiques and businesses on the east end of Selby Avenue in the 1980s.
Northeast Minneapolis Brew District
1029 Marshall St. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Unpretentious ambience, mouth-watering Smack Shack food, affordable drinks plus entertaining karaoke pack the place Wednesday through Sunday. Food Network has been there for the lamb sandwich and regular folks go for lobster rolls. The fast-paced karaoke creates opportunities to relate to others and is made even more fun by the wait staff hamming it up. The casual atmosphere at this bar has not changed for decades when gritty workers from nearby small houses with neat little yards came to enjoy a locally brewed Grain Belt. But the neighborhood changed. And now young singles attracted by the affordable rent and artsy shops pack the place. Parts of police cars and police uniforms adorn the walls with bras hanging from the ceilings to add to the informality.
Robin Johnson was born in Annandale, Minn. and graduated from Richfield High School and then the University of Minnesota where he studied Political Science, Business and Industrial Relations. A writer for Examiner.com, he also consults with a variety of organizations and individuals helping them develop and grow. His work can be found at Examiner.com.