Hidden beneath The Bachelor Farmer is where you’ll find Marvel Bar, which, despite its name, is not a bar dedicated to comic book aficionados. With a super cool secret entrance, Marvel Bar is truly one of Minneapolis’s best kept secrets. So how do you get there? Once outside of The Bachelor Farmer, walk down 2nd Avenue North toward the rear of the building. To your left will be a set of stairs leading down to a patio, illuminated by strings of white Christmas lights. Head down the stairs and enter the taupe-colored door. Traverse the short hallway and choose the purple door and…voila! You are now inside Marvel Bar, where you may marvel at the selection of unique, craft cocktails (like the Oliveto, made using olive oil, egg whites, lemon, Licor 43, and Gordon’s to create a frothy, boozy concoction). Not a craft cocktail fan? Order a can of Hamm’s for $3 and a side of Cheetos for $1. Seating is limited, so go early or patron on a weekday if you expect to snag a seat at the bar or relax in a posh, circular booth.
Bev’s Wine Bar
250 3rd Ave North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Bev’s Wine Bar is not so much a secret per se, but more of a tucked away treasure that is often overlooked in lieu of its ostentatious neighbors, which include the Deja Vu and Sex World. Raved about by locals for being a romantic place to take a loved one, Bev’s location is either decidedly ironic or convenient (or both?). The perfect place to take a date for a romantic nightcap, Bev’s small, yet spacious interior, strategic dim lighting coupled with candle-lit ambiance combine to create an intimate atmosphere. With a sizable wine selection and several popular brews on tap (including Grain Belt Premium and Bell’s), you can’t forget about the assortment of delectable snacks (cheese plates, etc.), Bev’s has options for the romantically inclined couple to the close-knit get-together.
The Artists’ Quarter
408 Saint Peter St.
Saint Paul, MN 55102
The Artists’ Quarter is a sexy, subterranean jazz club located in the basement of the Historic Hamm Building in Downtown St. Paul. To find Artists’ Quarter, enter on the pedestrian mall side between the Park Square Theatre and Great Waters Brewing Company. Upon entry, head down the stairs or take the elevator. It’s dark, underground atmosphere gives it a speakeasy essence that pairs perfectly with the sweet sounds of jazz, which can be heard most nights of the week. Despite attracting the occasional national act, the Artists’ Quarter continues to fly under the radar. Possessing a decidedly unpretentious vibe, locals encourage those nervous about their first visit to a jazz bar to give the Artists’ Quarter a shot. Be forewarned that the Artists’ Quarter is bar only, sans food. However, if you are looking for something to nibble on, the staff will be more than happy to set you up with food delivered by nearby restaurants.
W Minneapolis – The Foshay
821 Marquette Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Located on the 27th floor of the Foshay Tower at the W Hotel resides Prohibition, a speakeasy style retreat that boasts one of the best views of the Minneapolis skyline. Upon entrance in the W Hotel itself, take the elevator up to the 27th floor which opens directly into the bar itself. Originally intended to be Wilbur Foshay’s private bungalow, the space possesses unique, hidden nooks and lofts ideal for intimate socializing among smaller groups. Prohibition stretches around the building so first-timers are encouraged to explore and soak up the amazing view. Prohibition is also an ideal people-watching locale, as it attracts an eclectic mix of patrons. Be prepared to shell out for their signature cocktails, most of which are priced in the double digits. Can’t stomach paying an exorbitant bar tab? Attend Prohibition’s happy hour, which runs from 5-7 p.m. daily, for $5 cocktails.
The Graves Hotel
601 1st Ave. North
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Rarely is a hotel’s bar the basis of its appeal, which is why a second hotel bar makes the list. Located on the first floor of The Graves Hotel is the Bradstreet Crafthouse, a bar/restaurant whose decor can best be described as a modern envisioning of pre-prohibition era opulence. Divided into four unique seating areas, the Bradstreet Crafthouse consists of a Chef’s Counter designed for chef-patron dinner interaction, a Parlour Room hidden behind a velvet curtain, perfect for intimate occasions, and a Main Bar and a Main Dining Space ideal for those who prefer more traditional seating and social interactions. Bradstreet’s dimly lit interior is an ideal place to bring a date or hang out with a close group of friends while enjoying an artisan cocktail made by one of Bradstreet’s well-informed mixologists.
Related: Review: Bradstreet Crafthouse
Below Tycoons Alehouse & Eatery
132 E Superior St.
Duluth, MN 55802
Recently opened beneath Tycoons Alehouse & Eatery, Rathskeller is a speakeasy-esque establishment that prides itself on its beer and top-of-the-line liquor selections. Both Tycoons and the Rathskeller are located in the historic city hall of Duluth’s gilded 1890s, further adding to the charm and overall ambience of the pre-Prohibition theme the bar attempts to achieve. Patrons wishing to pay a visit to the bar are escorted down an elevator into the sub-basement. Not your average bar, there is a maximum capacity of 77 people, which is strictly upheld to preserve the Rathskeller’s air of exclusivity and dedication to customer service. An exposed brick ceiling and a leftover coal chute add unique touches to Rathskeller’s while simultaneously preserving historical fixtures of the original city hall. Bring a group of friends and pull up a seat at a wooden table or bring a date and park it a tall-top for two and enjoy your visit to this speakeasy-esque hideaway.