Polonaise Room (www.nyespolonaise.
com) in Northeast Minneapolis—or
“Nordeast” as the locals affectionately
call it. Named the Best Bar in America
by Esquire magazine, Nye’s welcomes
patrons with a polka band, sing-along
piano bar, strong drinks, Polish home
cooking, and décor that hasn’t changed
since the 1960s.
There’s no shortage of things to do in
St. Paul, either. Gastropubs like The Blue
Door Pub ( www.thebluedoorpubmn.
com) take bar food to the next level, while
keeping a cozy atmosphere and top-notch
beer list. Catch a rock show at the Turf
Club ( www.turfclub.net), which is well
known for showcasing up-and-coming
local bands, or settle in on a couch at The
Chatterbox Pub ( www.chatterboxpub.
net), where you can show off those rusty
Nintendo skills or challenge a friend to
a heated game of Battleship. St. Paul’s
Lowertown district offers up a blocks
worth of fun hangouts, including Barrio
( www.barriotequila.com) for tacos and
tequila and The Bulldog ( www.thebulldo-glowertown.com) for burgers and brews.
Minneapolis boasts several great neighborhoods for barhopping. In Uptown, the
young and hip residents of Minneapolis
hit Chino Latino ( www.chinolatino.
com) for fancy drinks, or Stella’s Fish
Café ( www.stellasfishcafe.com) for
fresh oysters before catching an indie
flick at the Uptown Theatre or Lagoon
Cinema ( www.landmarktheatres.com).
Besides being home to Nye’s, Northeast
Minneapolis is a great area in is own right.
Ginger Hop ( www.gingerhop.com) offers
affordable Thai tastes and cocktails, while
The Front holds a dance floor bound to
make you bust a move. Then head to the
University of Minnesota’s Dinkytown
area and recline in the bohemian atmo-
sphere of the Kitty Cat Klub ( www.kit-
tycatklub.net), or catch a concert at the
intimate Varsity Theater ( www.varsity-
Downtown Minneapolis, of course,
has more than enough options for a night
on the town. Take in the game and some
post-win dancing at Bar 508 (www.
bar508.com), hit up The Shout House
( www.theshouthouse.com) for the raucous
dueling piano nights, or try an inventive cocktail at Bradstreet Craftshouse or
Relevé Champagne Lounge in the Graves
601 Hotel ( www.graves601hotel.com).
In the summer months, bring the party
upstairs and outside at Brit’s Pub (www.
britspub.com) on Nicollet Mall for rooftop
lawn bowling, or be seen at Union (www.
unionmpls.com), where you can eat and
drink under a retractable roof.
We Minnesotans might take it easy in
the winter months, but a little wind and
snow is no reason to hibernate completely.
There’s a reason why the Twin Cities is
consistently named at the top of the list
of healthy and athletic cities—we put
all four seasons to good use. With year-round outdoor recreation like skiing,
snowshoeing and skating in the winter,
plus running, cycling, kayaking and
hiking throughout the rest of the year,
Minneapolis and St. Paul provide the per-
Whether it’s a local band or a nationally
recognized superstar, First Avenue has
served as a home to the all. With a stage
where performers such as Prince, B.B. King,
Run DMC and The Strokes have played a
set, this “danceteria” and intimate concert
venue has set the precedent for a live music
experience nationwide. Accolades from
Rolling Stone and TIME have encouraged
fans from around the country to check out a
concert here. The bus depot-turned/-music
venue opened in 1970, and the names of
the famous performers from the last four
decades can be found emblazoned on the
exterior walls, painted on white stars.
First Avenue is also home to the 7th
Street Entry, an even more intimate venue,
the building. For smaller shows with smaller
crowds, this spot allows concertgoers to see
their favorite band or singer up close and
If you’re waiting to pass the time before
the show and are feeling a bit hungry, head
to The Depot right next door, the official
bar and restaurant of the venue. Serving up
dishes like grilled cheese and meatball sandwiches, plus a full bar, The Depot provides
any groupie the energy they need to make it
through the concert.
Recently, First Avenue bought The Turf
Club, a historic music venue in St. Paul. The
Turf Club has been open since 1945, ushering in rock bands to bring the house down
ever since. The club will remain open and
rockin’, continuing to put on its own shows
and concerts while being a part of the First
play | lifestyle