As far back as the early 1800s, the Twin Cities have a storied history of bars that built the town (or at least kept it liquored up). While some are the stuff of legends, others are relatively unknown, despite having an impact on our bar scene today. The stories of these bars are captured in Closing Time: Saloons, Taverns, Dives, and Watering Holes of the Twin Cities.
Many of us know the names of bars that live on in infamy throughout the Twin Cities bar scene. Even those that never went there know Moby Dick’s and most have had a Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar. But far more establishments influenced the area. Closing Time: Saloons, Taverns, Dives, and Watering Holes of the Twin Cities takes you back in time and bellies you up to the bar.
We begin back in 1838, when a rum trader named “Pig’s Eye” Parrant built a small shack on the Mississippi River bluff, opening the first business in what would become St. Paul. From there, bars were open for business in the Twin Cities.
Closing Time presents a history of 70 establishments in Minneapolis and St. Paul. From the early years until present-day, each profile makes you feel like a patron. The design, feel, owners, clientele, and stories really provide intriguing insight into what each was all about. We’re introduced to those that ran each place, and the people that drank there.
Bygone bars like the American House Saloon, The Grotto, Hollyhocks Club, The Nickel Joint, and many more are featured, along with many that still stand today, like Matt’s Bar, Palmer’s, Red Dragon, CC Club, and others. It’s very cool to learn their history and see how they’ve changed with time.
The research done by authors Bill Lindeke and Andy Sturdevant is awesome. They’ve dug through history and pieced together a wonderful picture of the bars that served these two cities.
Twin Cities Bar History
Closing Time is a pub crawl and history tour in one. It’s an amazing exploration of places that influenced the drinking culture in the Twin Cities at the time and today.
Grab a copy of Closing Time: Saloons, Taverns, Dives, and Watering Holes of the Twin Cities on Amazon now and belly up to the bar to drink in the history of these booze-filled towns.