Why travel to the same cocktail bars with the same group of people night after night? With the upcoming trend of creative and fashionable beverages and spirits, new cocktail bars are popping up all over to delight the social drinker with delicious new refreshments. With the goal of attracting new customers, newer cocktail bars are offering some of the best specials in town while hand-crafting cocktail ingredients to perfection. Find your new favorite drink or new favorite bartender at one of these great places.
3501 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
This food truck turned restaurant has not only perfected the art of cooking fresh and amazing food, but it has expanded into cocktails and perfected that as well. A really neat place on the corner of 35th and Nicollet, Hola Arepa is a great place to meet friends or enjoy a date night. Its unusual cocktail menu pairs perfectly with its unusual menu. Find your favorite craft cocktail made with fresh and homemade ingredients on the seasonal menu. Favorites include the homemade sangria and house-made cola cocktails. Try a twist on an old favorite with a designer gin and tonic or a newer old fashioned. Get yourself a designated driver; with all of the great cocktail choices, you’re sure to overindulge.
1665 Park Place Blvd.
St. Louis Park, MN 55416
A new and fun sports bar in St. Louis Park has become a great place to meet friends and enjoy drinks. What appears to be a beer-dominated menu actually has a lot of great cocktails and fun drinks. The atmosphere of the Yard House is energetic and friendly along with the service and staff. Try something you have never had before like one of the signature beer cocktails or martinis. Also included on the menu are a large list of “mules,” or cocktails made with house-made ginger beer. For the dieter, there are also “skinny” cocktails, those with fewer calories but not any less tasty. This may not be the intimate cocktail bar you are used to, but the large space and fun environment is worth the trip out to the suburbs.
Public Kitchen And Bar
229 E 6th St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
Located in an historic building in downtown St. Paul, the Public Kitchen And Bar welcomes lovers of beer, cocktails and fun to its laid-back atmosphere. On the upper level, the restaurant serves some of the most creative and delicious dishes in the Twin Cities. However, travel down to the lower level to experience a fun and trendy cocktail lounge right out of the 1920s prohibition era. Try a take on a classic cocktail such as the Public Cosmo, a classic cocktail that is infused with pineapple. Other favorites on the menu like the gin rickey and the negroni bring you back in time to the roar of the early 1900s.
701 N Washington Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
A fun bar located in a fun neighborhood, Freehouse has something for everyone. Opening at the end of 2013, Freehouse has enjoyed a successful first year on the scene. A fantastic mix of brewpub, classic cocktails, beer cocktails and even craft concoctions, Freehouse welcomes locals and visitors alike. Check out the breakfast menu for something with a kick that goes with your eggs and pancakes or just enjoy one of its “new old fashions” for a spin on the traditional. Happy hours offer a way to try new drinks at cheaper prices and there is an early morning happy hour along with the traditional after-work time slot. A member of the Blue Plate restaurant family, Freehouse also serves great comfort food to match its great drink selection.
3001 Hennepin Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55450
A fun spot for diners and clubbers alike, Libertine combines exceptional food with the perfect refreshments. Enjoy a taste of its unusual and fun wine and craft beer list or just go nuts over a new and creative beverage. The cocktails range from sweet to tart to tangy to salty and everything in between. Find something new every time with its seasonal and clever drink menu or just stick to an old favorite. Designated driver? There are some great non-alcoholic selections on the menu, including a hydrating glass of refreshing water.
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Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for the last 10 years. Her hobbies include exercising, driving kids around, watching Minnesota sports, and reading self-help literature. Examiner.com.