Central Happy Hour
I need a good place for happy hour that is central to the twin cities, more beer than wine or mixed drinks, and great appetizers are a necessity. One friend comes from Bloomington, one from Lino Lakes, and one from Plymouth. So far we seem to have settled on the Triple Rock, but are looking for other places to add a little variety. Easy (and free) parking would also be a plus.
If you do Bulldog in NE Minneapolis - you may as well make it a beer crawl and cross the street to Whiteys. Great bar with a huge beer selection and I love their food - especially the fries. I would actually prefer Whiteys over Bulldog. I'm not crazy about the menu - but the price maybe a bit less?
If you are willing to go downtown, go to Ely's. It is on 13th and Hennepin - across from Laurel Village. Parking meters are free after 6pm. There are always food specials - different sandwich, wings, appetizer, soup, salad, pasta and entree each week. Mackenzies is further down - on 9th and Hennepin next to the Orpheum. It just updated its menu - similar to Ely's and the cuban and margharita pizza is great for "bar food." The beer selection is decent and you are close to 394/94/35W. Both bars are small, and perfect for buddies catching up and watching a game or two.
Easier for the Lino Lakes and Plymouth connections but a bit more distant for the Bloomington connection would be Barley John's Brew Pub.
Good, garlicky hummus. Nice grilled pizza.
781 Old Highway Eight SW
New Brighton MN 55112
Located just North of Minneapolis off 35W at Country Rd. D and Old Highway 8 about 2 miles NW of Rosedale Shopping Center
If you are into Sweeney's - I guess for beer selection and good apps - I would choose Happy Gnome or Muddy Pig. However, it is St Paul and you're looking for a Minneapolis spot. Since you want beer selection, even though it's not super amazingly awesome - what about Herkimer's? The beer is reasonably priced, they have a good assortment (including their own) and they have decent apps.
The Local in downtown Mpls has excellent beer, good appys & $ parking across the street at the target store downtown.
Ike's is great downtown as well - not the best parking options.
O'gara's off 94 (snelling) & Sweeneys off 94 (at Dale) might also be great options. Sweeney's = bar food & O'gara's is all american grub...O'gara's has free parking & Sweeney's has a small lot & parking in the neighborhood.
If you like hot buffalo hot wings, then Sweeneys is a good option.