BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR--MINNEAPOLIS (1998)
This smoky, often crowded bar located on the northern edge of Nicollet's bustling ethnic district appears unspectacular at first. The food is average; the booze run-of-the-mill; and the architectural charm modest. That's the secret. An old-school watering hole, Porter's is a wholly unpretentious neighborhood hangout for ordinary folks looking to unwind from the grind. A two-for-one happy hour gets things kicking from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., and for those who brave the generous pours there's another happy hour from 10 p.m. to midnight. The air is always buzzing with raucous laughter, and on any given night you'll rub elbows with folks from every walk of life, earning their keep on the Nicollet strip. On your birthday, if you're nice to the wait staff, they might just throw a steak on the grill to help you celebrate--on the house.