400 Sibley St., Suite 150, St. Paul
Hours and Details:
Daily, 4-7 p.m.
Buy 2 cheeses, get 1 free
$4 La Baronne Rouge and La Baronne Blanc wines by the glass
$3 Grain Belt and Grain Belt Light
Mears Park has a variety of spots where you can grab a drink and relax after a long St. Paul work day. But Bin carved out a niche for itself by focusing on wines and small bites--and bringing some impressive pours to Lowertown. Now that the place has had time to settle in, we'd like to know how their happy hour rolls.
You have to enter through the Sibley Street entrance, and squeeze around the bar area, but nonetheless, Bin Wine Bar is both chic and comfortable. The large windows out to Mears Park provide good people watching and great views. Despite the odd shape of the room, the warm pumpkin-hued walls and dark tables made for an upscale yet cozy vibe. The food options are small bites created to pair with the wines and not a full meal per se, but we found plenty among the sandwiches and snacks to leave quite sated. Plus the straightforward happy hour adds a few bargains to the table, which is always a boon.
Bin Wine Bar has the swanky/comfy mix we love. Like St. Paul itself, it serves up quality without being loud or fussy. So while the happy hour is on the small side, with just the cheese, La Baronne wines, and Grain Belt specials on the bill, we still like being there. The wine tastes that cost from $2 to $4 may not strictly be happy hour offerings but work well for those who are watching their wallets. And truly, Bin had us at the "Buy 2 get 1 cheese" selection, which boasts everything from a local Trumpeter Meadow from Wisconsin with mustard-glazed apricots to a Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue, Spanish Buenalba with fig molasses, and a Camembert au Calvados. Sure, we'd love to see additional items populate the happy hour menu in the future (like maybe a bottle discount), but in the meantime we can't resist the charm of sitting at Bin Wine Bar for a spell in the early evening.