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Mar 23, 2009 09:45 AM

Bachelor Party Dinner - MSP

Im organizing a dinner to celebrate a friends upcoming wedding, and would like some help brainstorming ideas. We'll be a group of around 8 guys with reasonably ecclectic tastes, but id prefer to accomodate the groom-to-be's preference for something more "traditional" in the sense of midwestern meat-based fare, though we definitely would consider other, ethnic, options. Alcohol availability a big plus (probably actually essential, here, who are we kidding?) "Scene" isnt a huge dealbreaker, as we can bring our own party, but its important that we find somewhere we can be comfortable, and i wouldnt want a somewhat boisterous group of dudes to intrude on other diners' good times.

Location isnt a huge deal breaker, but transit access would be nice, probably somewhere in Mpls proper, though we could consider st paul.

Price should be reasonable - this wont be the only expense of the evening, so id like to keep the per person tab around 20/25 dollars with a drink or beer or two.

In an ideal world someone will recommend a conviniently located place with good food that takes reservations for largeish groups and is down with BYOB, but im not naive enough to think that a perfect spot like this exists.

If it is helpful, i was thinking that the craftsman would be a pretty good option given the price-point and food/bev menus.

thanks for your help

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  1. I love the Craftsman and think it would be a good choice.

    My first thought, before I got to the end of your post, was Fago de Chao. I'm not a huge fan, but they can handle large groups, is very loud, has lots of meat and alcohol. But it may be a little spendy.

    I've been loving Black Forest Inn. It would be great for a crowd, has pretty good food, and wonderful beer and drinks.

    1. Let me start by saying that my suggestion does not meet your location criterion. Or the BYOB idea. Perhaps not the "scene" criterion either.

      However, I'd like to throw something out that's in a whole different direction. My first thought when I read this was "Barley John." Great beer. Decent food with variety. Would be able to handle your group with a call in advance.

      I realize that my suggestion is completely off the wall, so you can pay it no mind if you wish.

      I'm surprised that you think that Craftsman will meet your price point. I don't know if it says more about the restaurant or me, but I've never gotten out of there for $20-25/person with a drink or two.

      Craftsman Restaurant
      4300 Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406

      Barley John's Brew Pub
      781 Old Highway 8 SW, Saint Paul, MN 55112

      1 Reply
      1. re: bob s

        Chai's by the Cedar Cultural is a good choice. It is very small, but if you call ahead you could have table set. It is BYOB, and you can bring lots of wine. We have gone in a group of 8, and it is a great time. I would say make a later reservation, you then can all go to the Nomad for drinks after.

        Chai's Thai Restaurant
        414 1/2 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454

      2. Dinner and two drinks for $20-25 doesn't give you many options. Psycho Suzi's maybe?

        Someone recommended Chai's, and I would love to drive business there, but outside of Ristorante Luci, I can't think of a worse place in the Twin Cities to have a bachelor party.

        I would think Barrio would fit the bill, or what about a BBQ place? Whichever joint floats your boat and serves beer should be fine. I like Rudolphs. Some here hate it, but it would seem to fit your needs. Gasthof would be another great fit close to your price range.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kevin47

          Maybe Town Talk Diner? It's loud, and a boisterous group of eight would not be out of place. It's possible to eat and drink (cheaper drinks) in that price range.

        2. Thanks for these ideas - I guess the price suggestion was just an aim, but that said i think the sandwiches/burgers at craftsman are priced to where you could get one (13 bucks, and two 5 dollar beers for under 25, before tax and tip and all).

          Chai's w/ byob is an intruiging thought - i do enjoy their food and its good to hear that someone out there has had a party of 8 there (it is really tiny). plus the drinking options nearby are plentiful and enjoyable - its definitely under consideration. im curious why you would be so against it kevin?

          im not from texas (the handle is sort of a joke) but i will admit to being a full on barbeque snob so that is probably out (at least any of the close-bye sit down options).

          Town talk im worried is too far on the other side of sceney - ive had a hard time hearing my dining companions on almost every trip ive made there. I may see what others think before nixing it.

          All of these places are more or less on my radar (well, ive actually never been to black forest or gasthof) but id be really interested to hear if there are other BYOB options i just dont know about - i had a lunch at chais a few months back and drinking wasnt something i considered - so i had no idea they were byo.

          8 Replies
          1. re: tex.s.toast

            BYOB is pretty rare in Minneapolis/St. Paul - it used to be illegal until quite recently. Still is for places that don't already serve liquor, unlike the more enlightened Chicago.

            Does Chai's serve beer and wine? (It's not shown on their online menu.) While a place might bend the rules for a discrete pair of diners, perhaps they'd be more strict with a large happy group (the fines are quite large, I believe).

            Also, the places that let you bring your own wine often charge a hefty corkage fee. I'd call the restaurant to check on the details.


            1. re: AnneInMpls

              i know about the hefty fees (i paid alma 25 bucks to drink a bottle of my own wine recently and while it hurt the wine was worth it) and i saw the old thread on the board about the law prohibiting it (which was shut down byt he mods at the time).

              I didnt realize that the place has to have a license already. I guess i assumed that would be refered to as corckage and not byo - it would seem that given this situation what i was originally asking about just doesnt exist and well probably have to just find somewhere that serves and buy our drinks with out dinner.

              1. re: AnneInMpls

                No corkage at Chai's, they give you wine glasses and a corkscrew...we eat there almost once a week and always bring a bottle...

                Additionally, there is no way they are serving 8 people at once in there. If they pushed all their 4-tops together maybe...but the kitchen has a hard time getting 4 salads out all at once...

              2. re: tex.s.toast

                Chai's is tiny, romantic and subdued. A large group of dudes celebrating would be out of place, I'd think, unless you're all from Finland. It is also quite busy, and they turnover tables quickly. Of course, it's your money, so you can take your time, but it can be hard to enjoy yourself when hungry customers are waiting in the doorway.

                If you are getting an early start (say, 5 or 5:30), you might be fine, and the BYO comes without a corkage fee (or did when I dined there).

                Gasthof is sort of the German Chino Latino. Do with that what you will.

                Moscow on the Hill also comes to mind, and the price point is what you make of it.

                1. re: kevin47

                  Ha! Are all Finnish men tiny, romantic, and subdued? (I know one Finn-American who only meets two of those three characteristics...) In any case, perhaps Chai's Thai might not be the best place for eight happy guys.

                  Oooh, oooh, oooh - I just had a brainwave! I was thinking how nice it would be to use the light rail to get to the restaurant, so I looked at the "Good Eats Along Light Rail" thread from a few years ago.

                  How about all those nice places on Lake Street? I'd go for T's Place - it's not at all stuffy - a happy noisy group would fit right in. But if the groom's not up for Ethiopian or Asian food, how about Mexican? El Norteno has booze, good food, and experience with lively patrons (especially on weekends - there's a nightclub upstairs).

                  And then you could hop on the light rail for other bars - downtown, West Bank, where-ever - singing as you go. Unless you're Finnish...


                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                    The groom to be happens to be an ethipian food fanatic! I've never been to T's but not for lack of interest. We will likely be congregating nearbye which gives it even more potential.

                    Off to read those old posts but its sounding like we could be making some progress!

                    1. re: AnneInMpls

                      Oops - major boo-boo on my part. The Mexican place next to T's Place is El Nuevo Rodeo. (El Norteno is closer to the river, doesn't serve alcohol, and - on my one visit there - had crummy food.) Sorry for the dumb error!

                      [EDIT TO ADD: But my visit was many years ago, and others report that the food is just fine. I need to stop bad-mouthing El Norteno based on one ancient visit. Shame on me!]

                      As long as I'm here, though, I'll add a link to T's Place.


                      T's Place
                      2713 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55406

                      1. re: AnneInMpls

                        Not that it is under consideration for my purposes here, but in case anyone refers to this thread in the future, i believe (have read elsewhere) that El Norteno does serve alcohol - havent eaten there so no word on the food, from me.

                2. I've never been there and I realize it's probably out of your way, but I can't help but think of the Strip Club. You know, they have meat and drinks and the name is so darn fitting for a party of your sorts.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sweepnmop

                    Unfortunately not a great place for groups this size, especially on a weekend. It's a small restaurant. I'm sure they could make accommodations, but it's not at all ideal.

                    Speaking of places not ideal for large groups -- I brought a party of 10 to Barrio. They have an alcove table in the back of the upstairs that worked great and might be a good option for this group. Again, you'll have to get "management approval" to reserve it but it would be a good vibe for this type of outing.

                    1. re: MSPD

                      Yeah, as good as the pun would be i think TSC is out for a bunch of reasons, not the least of which are location, price and size. I love the place, and in the abstract i think it answers a "meat and drink" request admirable (though i believe this may actually be cheeky monkey's tag line).

                      Its good to know that we could do barrio, even if that would take advanced approval. i think T's laid-backedness sounds more appropriate, but ill poll the crew and see what the thoughts are on mexican and tequila versus ethio-asian.