Sure, Black Friday is the notorious shopping day after Thanksgiving. People go crazy on Black Friday. But now, Black Wednesday is becoming popular as well. Everybody is back in town and no one has to work the next day, so the Wednesday before Thanksgiving has become a famous party night. So famous, in fact, that cops make more DUI arrests this night than almost any other. Take public transit, find that friend who is willing to be the designated driver or find somewhere to crash within walking distance of these great Black Wednesday bars. Click here to see where people were going last year.
O’Gara’s Bar and Grill
164 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Come rock out with the Limns and Dead Larry for the Thanksgiving Eve party at O’Gara’s. The revamped stage area, now the “Shanty,” is lively and fun, and the music promises to be great. But, if you’re looking for it to be a little quieter, maybe to catch up with a friend or relative you haven’t seen in ages, you can always retreat in the restaurant area and grab a bite to eat. The drinks are strong at both bars, and you can always expect good service. O’Gara’s is a great place to kick back, relax and enjoy the fact that you have a midweek vacation.
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331 13th Ave. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
The KFAI House Party starts at 7 p.m. with Nikki and the Ruemates, and then Tramps Like Us hit the stage at 10 p.m. Expect good music, great vibes and, to top it off, no cover charge. The 331 Club is a great place to spend any night of drinking, but especially before Thanksgiving. You’re guaranteed to have a raucous time with your friends and a wicked hangover the next day that a big, heavy meal was made to cure. Of course, with crazy auntie babbling in your ear all day long, you might start to regret that hangover just a bit.
1601 University Ave. W.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Enjoy Weird Wednesday at the classic, grungy and awesome Saint Paul music venue on the night before a respectable family dinner. It’s not like you’re going to run into grandma at the downstairs Clown Lounge. On the main stage, it’s DJ Night with Neil and Martha Weir, an always fun event that is sure to get your hands in the air. Music starts at 9 p.m. The Turf Club always makes good, strong drinks and it always draws in an interesting crowd. Plus, there are drink specials on Wednesday nights.
918 Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
On Thanksgiving eve, the mighty Minnesota Timberwolves will be playing the Denver Nuggets. This is itself is an awesome (albeit expensive) place to drink on Black Wednesday. Before or after the game, however, there is always Mackenzie. The Scottish-tinged bar in downtown Minneapolis, a stone’s throw from the Target Center, is a great place to end up even if you’re not going to the game. The best beer list in downtown is a draw, and it also has a good selection of scotch and whiskey, perfect as the weather gets colder.
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Donnie Dirk’s Zombie Den
2027 N. 2nd St.
Minneapolis, MN 55411
One of the most unique bars around, Donnie Dirk’s is casual, goofy, fun and zombie-themed. The night before you tuck into turkey, stuffing and sweet potatoes, you’ll have mangled zombie heads staring you down. But it will probably be too many of the uber-strong drinks that make your stomach come up, not the decor. Donnie Dirk’s is a fun place with interesting and friendly staff that just happens to be ready for the zombie apocalypse.
Adrian Schramm is a resident Saint Paul writer with a passion for all things local. Through his work with Saint Paul Almanac and Minneapolis Examiner at Examiner.com, as well as in the kitchens of bars and restaurants around town, he has discovered what truly makes the Twin Cities tick.