One of the first things you might notice upon entering Brunson’s Pub is the signed thank-you from the local squirt hockey team. Or the 20-seat bar that stretches from one end of this Payne-Phalen pub to the other. Or the vintage Hamm’s memorabilia, a nod to the brewery that once thrummed along on St. Paul’s East Side. Or maybe the smiling patrons, the friendly servers, or the scratch-made food on the tables—from $1 seasoned pretzels to handsome bar burgers. Whatever you pick up on initially, you’ll feel an easy comfort, and you’ll swear this joint’s been a neighborhood institution since before you were born. But it’s a relative newcomer—opened by longtime local barman Thomas LaFleche and his wife, Molly, in 2017—and a very welcome addition to Payne Avenue.