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BEST HAPPY HOUR Minneapolis 1998 -

Readers' Choice: Lyle's Bar and Restaurant

Kieran's is an oasis of grungy humanity in the unlikeliest of environs, the sanitized steel-and-glass labyrinth that is the Minneapolis habitrail--er, skyway--system. And its popular happy hour is the perfect antidote to a long day at the white-collar hamster wheel. Unlike some downtown happy hours, where lonely-looking business types nurse overpriced drinks, this one (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday) actually lives up to its name: People get cheerful, either in chatty groups gathered around hardwood tables or individually bellying up to a bar where the affable staff is always willing to bend an ear and offer tips on what to order. (The $3 appetizer menu includes "O'Nachos" and "McOnion Rings"; the fish and chips are especially recommended.) In the warm months, a patio out front allows all of us mole people to toast the sun, guzzling $3 imported beers and $2 domestics, cocktails, and wine 'til the sun's rays slant and are finally snuffed between the office towers.

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