Classic Bars

Watering hole mainstays that have withstood the test of time

Inside The Local in Minneapolis.
The Local

photo courtesy the local

For a long time, bars weren’t just a place to stop off after a shift, but also a community touchstone. These state treasures have that worn groove in the bar, perfect for leaning into as your troubles melt away.

Dusty’s Bar

Not much has changed inside this neighborhood bar since it opened. (Kids, that tall walk-in box is called a “phone booth.”) Thankfully, the prices for drinks and the Italian sausage-based “dago” sandwich remain criminally low, too. Settle in under the glow of the old beer signs and stay a while.

1319 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis, 612-378-9831 |


Neumann’s claims to be the state’s oldest saloon, serving drinks since 1887. (It added an upstairs speakeasy during Prohibition.) They are big on Hamm’s, and there is a real bullfrog in the window, watching without enthusiasm.

2531 Seventh Ave. E., North St. Paul, 651-770-6020 |

The Spot

Opening in 1885, this bar has exchanged many hands in the decades since. Known as The Spot since 1983, not much has changed, but this West Side bar with the Pig’s Eye sign outside has seen an influx of new drinkers as the neighborhood around it changed. Don’t expect food—just a bag of chips and a cheap drink or three.

859 Randolph Ave., St. Paul, 651-224-7433


Gottlieb Gluek first began brewing beer back in 1857, with his sons carrying on the tradition. Glueck’s Bar in downtown Minneapolis was built in 1902, and some of the stained glass and the “G” in the tin ceiling have weathered the years. Gluek’s is best for a blue plate lunch or late-night, clubby atmosphere on the weekends.

16 N. Sixth St., Minneapolis, 612-338-6621 |

The Local

It’s rare to find a bar in downtown Minneapolis with so many rooms. There’s a snuggly little corner, a cave-like event space, and friendly Irish hospitality everywhere. Grab a pint of Guinness, some bangers and mash, and settle in for a nice, long drink.

931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-904-1000 |


Ralph Manning opened a grocery store at 22nd and Como back in 1927 but turned it into a bar and restaurant in 1932. Their beer schooners and free popcorn have fueled many an education at the nearby U of M. Try the onion rings, bathed in a uniquely substantial batter.

2200 Como Ave. SE, Minneapolis, 612-331-1053 |

The Commodore

For years, this Gatsby-styled jewel was closed to the public, but with the recent re-opening of the bar and dining room, its 1930s glamor is back. Choose from many rooms. (We love the mirrored bar, but the black-and-white ballroom is pretty sweet, too.)

79 Western Ave. N., St. Paul, 651-330-5999 |

Dan’s Bar & Grill

Now in its third generation of serving, Dan’s first opened in 1960. Now, granddaughter Danielle runs the kitchen with a culinary degree. That means imaginative and delicious takes on bar-food standards. Her mom, Danette, oversees the restaurant operations, carrying on a family tradition.

8485 240th St. E., New Trier, 651-437-5844 |