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MSP - Happy Hour Event Space

A representative from my East Coast alma mater is looking to hold an event in the Twin Cities and has asked me for suggestions. She's seeking: "An attractive and centrally located venue with a private room, where hors d’oeuvres and drinks could be served." This will be on a week night in Jully.

I'm not sure the size of the crowd, and I'm assuming it would be a very wide range of ages. I've reviewed the threads on private dining rooms, but what about happy hour? Azia, Solera, and The Happy Gnome are the first ones to come to my mind. What am I missing?

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  1. If you're looking for something 'classy', my alumni club has held our annual meetings at Jax for the past few years.

    The parking is free too. Keep that in mind, b/c trust me, people care.

    Good luck,


    1. It is not a regular hang out for me, but Brit's Pub has good service and private rooms. You might even be able to get the rooftop patio, which also has lawnbowling. In my book, their menu isn't in the same league as Azia or Solera, but their food is consistent and they know how to accomodate large numbers of people.

      2 Replies
      1. re: slowfoodgrrl

        Wow - this is a challenge.

        Solera might be a good option. But a very good point about the parking was made.

        I've been to parties at brits roof a few times - they block off a section for you and you can reserve the lawn bowling. Food isn't anything to talk about. (imho)

        But for an event like this, it would be nice to have lawn bowling so people have something do.

        Azia has valet at least.

        What about Zelo - do they have space? That's a crowd pleaser.

        Good luck!

        1. re: slowfoodgrrl

          Since you went to school on the East Coast, hopefully your guests haven't been overly Minnesotanized to the point where they *gasp* at the thought of paying for parking in a dense urban area.

          Brit's is a great call...just went to a private event in their new upstairs space and the view & service & beverages were fantastic. The food was underwhelming. I can say the same for similar events I've attended @ The Local right down the street. Solera does a great job, but their minimums might be a little steep for you. The Infinity Lounge @ the graves 601 hotel is also a good option for weeknights, depending on how many might come out.

          Most places will require you to purchase a minimum amount of food and beverage as a group in order to hold a private space, so it will help you if you can find out if there is a local history of holding these events for a realistic sense of how many attendees you might have...that way you can decide on an appropriate space.

        2. I'm not sure how attractive it is but Grumpy's on Washington has that side room, although the narrowness of it makes mingling a little difficult.

          Sapor has a really nice bar space, and is usually pretty empty - you might be able to have it reserved, I've heard their owner is always looking for opportunities to host events. Their happy hour menu is very fun too.

          Upstairs at Origami? I'm not sure if they would let you reserve the whole space though. Or similarly, Nami has that side bar area that you might be able to reserve.

          In NE both Nye's and Pracna have private rooms and would probably be happy to host a happy hour.

          1. Nicollet Island Inn is about as central to Minneapolis as you can get (but it leaves out St. Paul). Charming venue, they've been improving the food. Apps and drinks would be good. They have banquet rooms available. And lodging if people require or desire it.

            There are literally hundreds of great happy hours in Minneapolis, from the grungy Red Dragon to more hipster places like Nami or Drink. I'd pick a neighborhood and start crawling, if the crowd isn't too big.

            There was also a recent post about a new space in The Local on Nicollet.

            1. What about the upstairs room at Vincent - a little classier than Brit's.

              The side room at The Local is also nice.

              For a more trendy experience, what about the gallery at the Chambers?

              1 Reply
              1. re: RedPepper

                The local also has a 2nd floor with pool tables which you can rent out for happy hours.

              2. Chaing Mai Thai also has a private room, but I forget what the food & drink minimum is.

                1. I just heard from a friend the other night that you can reserve the roof at Joe's Garage for up to 150 people. Not posh, but the view and outdoors might be worth it - esp. in July.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: martaru

                    Thanks for all the suggestions,which I've passed on to the person who asked. Lots of good places I wouldn't have thought of!

                    1. re: jaycooke

                      Adding some place links.

                      Chiang Mai Thai Restaurant
                      3001 Hennepin Ave Ste A, Minneapolis, MN 55408

                      Joe's Garage
                      1610 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                      Brit's Pub & Eating Establishment
                      1110 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                      Vincent A Restaurant
                      1100 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                      The Local
                      931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                      Nicollet Island Inn
                      95 Merriam, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                      Grumpy's Bar & Grill
                      1111 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415

                      Sapor Cafe-Bar
                      428 Washington Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                      30 N 1st St Ste 1, Minneapolis, MN 55401

                      Nye's Polonaise Room
                      112 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                      Pracna On Main
                      117 Main St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

                      Jax Cafe
                      1928 University Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55418

                      Chambers Kitchen
                      901 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

                      Azia Restaurant
                      2550 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                      Infinity Night Club
                      601 1st Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55403