Best Neighborhood Bar in Minneapolis
Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub
Northeast has its brewery row; Lyndale Avenue has its line of restaurants. But before Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub opened up in 2012, its south Minneapolis neighborhood (technically Standish-Ericsson) was sorely in need of another nearby watering hole. From the beginning, Northbound has been a grassroots, community-oriented operation. In order to raise the funds they needed to open up shop, the brewpub's three owners crowd-sourced investments and, in exchange, offered investors of $1,000 or more free beer for life. Since then, Northbound has become a neighborhood hub, rewarding its regulars with a warm but unpretentious atmosphere (think a classic wood bar, a bike carrel out front, and in the warmer months, a fantastic patio lined with hops plants), delicious house-smoked eats, and both guest beers and its own house brews on tap (speaking of the house beers, they're just $3 apiece during happy hour). Its regulars reward it back: Already, Northbound has had to double its brewing capacity, and in the first month of 2014, USA Today named it one of the country's best brewpubs. So far, the national accolades haven't gone to Northbound's head. It's still, at heart, a neighborhood spot of the first order.