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Aug 1, 2010 06:27 AM

Happy Hours in Saint Paul

I can't find a thread specifically on good happy hours in Saint Paul. Does such a thread exist? If not, can anyone suggest happy hours with good food in Saint Paul? One on my list would be WA Frost.

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  1. On WA Frost: I used to be a frequent supporter of Frost several years ago, and then hadn't been there for about 2 years. Last summer I went for a summer Friday evening happy hour to enjoy the patio. From start to finish, the experience was so abysmal, I vowed to not return to Frost (which is significant, given that I had been going to Frost a couple times a month for several years).

    First, we waited several minutes for a hostess to show up. After been shown a table on the patio, we waited about 10 minutes before a waitress showed up, and even that was only after I asked a passing waitstaff for some service. We then waited about 10 minutes for our drinks - which were simple glasses of wine. The food was mediocre, and again, took a long time to come.

    I know what you're thinking - given the popularity, the place must have been packed, and it's no wonder there was such a wait time. Nope. We counted over 20 waitstaff, and there were open tables on the patio, with no wait. There were many times waitstaff were standing in small groups by the bar, talking to each other, when tables around ours were visibly frustrated and waiting for service. One table near us quipped that with the service being so awful, they ordered a double round of drinks because the wait time was so long! After spending about $40 on 1 round of drinks and 3 appetizers during happy hour, and having spent well over an hour, we left and went somewhere else.

    Perhaps their happy hour patio service and food isn't reflective of what goes on in the dining room. I hope not, anyways. But after years of being a loyal fan of Frost, that one bad experience all but put Frost on my "Do NOT Recommend" list. The opportunity to sit outside is simply not worth the mediocre food and terrible service.

    As for HH recs in St. Paul, Barrio at Mears Park does a good job, as does its neighbor the Bulldog.

    3 Replies
    1. re: foreverhungry

      I'll echo FH's sentiment. At best, the service is irregular, at worst it made me glad I don't carry a gun.

      Head across the street to Moscow on the Hill for vodka and app. specials in a more welcoming environment.

      Senor Wongs has a nice happy hour, with some solid food highlights. The Dixies/Saji Ya duplex has nice specials on above average HH fare.

      Blue Door had HH specials last time I was there, but I understand those to be off and on. $3 sides and $2 taps was the special, IIRC.

      Senor Wong
      111 East Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55101

      1. re: foreverhungry

        Pop in downtown St. Paul has great deals on happy hour food, from what I've heard. I still have to make it over there myself...


        1. re: foreverhungry

          Agree on Frost's. Don't know the people who come and go and cook and serve there, but I do think the problems have always stemmed from who owns the place. So, I never fault the people who work there.

        2. I've been to WA 4 times since April, and 3 out of 4 visits were exceptional, the other normal. They do have a nice HH if you eat meat.

          Skinners has a HH / Bingo on Thursday evenings, I don't know the specifics, but the bingo is a progressive jackpot up to $500, and it's free. Pretty good little-squares pizza and other snacks.

          I believe Senor Wong has a pretty aggressive HH as well. And of course, Fuji-ya, they've got great deals on some sushi.

          Senor Wong
          111 East Kellogg Blvd., Saint Paul, MN 55101

          1. Haven't been for happy hour myself, but I saw a Saji Ya ad recently that cited some good deals. It also goes 'til 7 M-Th, which is nice. Here's a link to the HH menu:


            1. On good food for a good deal, Kincaid's has a nice selection of half-price appetizers, and Sakura has a few good items at HH, too.

              6 Replies
              1. re: latte4me

                Thanks for the reccs, everyone. Much appreciated.

                Has anyone tried Happy Hours at these places?
                ***Moscow on the Hill

                If so, what did you think?

                1. re: soccermom13

                  Pazzaluna - Last year, I can't remember their HH specials, but the few times I've eaten there I've thought their food was mediocre.

                  Bulldog St. Paul doesn't do a Friday HH, but their Mon - Thurs is half priced appetizers and $1 off beer and their well drinks.

                  Barrio St. Paul has some outstanding $5 small plates and $5 tacos (2 per order?) , a few $5 specialty drinks, some reduced beer, and a deal on well drinks.

                  Of those 3 (never having been to a Moscow On The Hill HH), Barrio probably has the most creative and interesting HH menu and specials.

                  360 St. Peter St, St. Paul, MN 55101

                  1. re: foreverhungry

                    I was searching for new St. Paul happy hour options to try and I came across this old-ish thread. Anyone have any updates? I can add Ward 6 to the list.

                    1. re: eajohnso2000

                      Forepaugh's has a good happy hour, and a good bar menu separate from the dining room menu.

                      On the more lowbrow end, it's tough to beat $2 taps and $2 tots at Blue Door Pub.

                      1. re: Brad Ballinger

                        Thanks for the recs. I didn't know that the Blue Door had a happy hour. Is it hard to get a table? I generally only go at random times (like Tuesday at 2:00) because its so packed at peak hours.

                        1. re: eajohnso2000

                          Later in the week, yes. But now that the weather is (arguably) getting warmer, the outdoor tables take some seats. No alcohol outside, though, which means the families usually take those tables freeing up a modicum of room inside. HH starts at 3:00, I believe.