MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Sunday is St. Patrick’s Day. To celebrate, many of us will wear green and gravitate to our favorite Irish pub.

Our own resident meteorologist Chris Shaffer takes us to his hometown of Stillwater to one of the oldest bars in the state, and your choice for “Best of Minnesota” – Charlie’s Irish Pub.

“I suggest to you that people don’t go to a pub to have a bad time, they’re predisposed to be friendly,” Steve Pollard said.

That sage wisdom comes from one of Charlie’s Irish Pub’s oldest patrons.

The beer, the ambiance, the music – it’s all spot on for an Irish pub. Spend a little time with Steve and his friend, Jim, however, and you may find that the clientele has as much to do with setting the tone at Charlie’s as anything.

“If you go back to Ireland, the pub was kind of the center of town,” Chuck Dougherty said.

Dougherty and his wife, Judy, own the historic Water Street Inn, which houses Charlie’s Irish Pub.

“This building was opened in 1890 as the lumber exchange building, and this saloon was owned by Charlie, Charles Ludwig,” Dougherty said.

No doubt, it was a huge undertaking converting this historic building, which used to be home to many of the period’s lumber barons and their money.

“The walk-in vaults have been converted to bathrooms so you can get extra privacy in the bathroom,” Dougherty said.

But at the end of the day, it’s time to grab a pint and converse. Live music from some of the area’s best Irish bands every Friday and Saturday night will bring the Irish out of anyone.

Chris Shaffer

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