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A variety of images come to mind when I think of the term, “dive bar.” I used to think it had to be a real seedy place that made you question your safety and using the restroom was not maybe the best idea. My thoughts on this have evolved over time and now I think of a “dive bar” as a place that’s not trying to be anything it’s not. They aren’t making a statement with cuisine and they don’t have a cocktail program.

Tapper’s in West St. Paul fits this bill perfectly! Their sign outside advertises them as the “Home of the Coney Island Pizza.” The idea of a pizza with hot dogs, chili and mustard sounds terrible, but honestly? It’s pretty great! The game of the moment is usually on tv and they’ve got a Touchtunes if you like to make your own…

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A friend reached out the other day wondering if I could recommend a great place to take her husband for drinks and apps before his birthday dinner. She wanted somewhere cozy and warm, it should have dim lighting and great cocktails. 


I knew exactly where to send her. Of the two places that came to mind, the downtown Minneapolis location would be better for them knowing their dinner reservations were downtown but depending on which direction you want to go, I’ve got a couple of ideas for you. 


First, in downtown Minneapolis, in the basement of the Ivy Hotel, you’ll find Constantine. When you walk in and see the conference hall style carpeting leading your way, don’t turn around. Keep going, I promise, it’ll be worth it. You’ll find a…

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