Coffeeshops offer an oasis for the in-betweener. They strike a balance between home and office; broker the awkward leap from first meeting to first date; let us kill time between obligations; and when we're in limbo until our next paycheck drops, let us bum internet over a cup of cheap tea. And we love them for it.
But Patty Smyth and Don Henley were right. Sometimes love’s just not enough. And sometimes, coffee isn’t either. You might find yourself in the grey area of the day, in between coffee time and happy hour, hardly sure what to do with yourself, where to go.
Stay put. Coffeehouses are ceding counter space to boozier libations: craft beer, mini cocktails, wine. Places like Starbucks and Caribou are beginning to flirt with the trend, but the small, local coffee shops are beating them to the punch.
2933 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
Often overlooked is Muddy Waters’ coffee nook just across from the main bar. Complete with numerous decadent desserts, this place is the perfect starting point for those who want the plausible excuse of a "coffee meeting" but are still leaning towards the traditional bar atmo for beer and wine. Happy hours run every day of the week from 3-5 p.m. and again from 11 p.m. to bar close. Find beer as cheap as $2 and house wine for as little as $3 a glass, not to mention full brunch, lunch, and dinner menus.
2528 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis
Dunn Brothers at Hennepin and 25th knows how much we love coffee to bring us up and booze to mellow us out. This outpost, along with some other Dunn Bothers locations are now serving up local craft beer on tap, as well as wine alongside their regular coffee brews. Every day from 2-7 p.m. enjoy $4 beers and $1 off house wines and the Lowry Hill Dunn Brothers. And if you're the type to savor the moment, one who kisses slowly and notices when the neighbor's petunias are in bloom, Dunn Brothers has a micro cocktail with your name on it. Here, you can order a tasty tap beer with an accompanied miniature cocktail that has been crafted special just for your pint — and for a measly $2.50, adding this beer enhancer is worth the nominal fee. These well thought out pairings are best when sipped slowly, allowing each swallow to complement the opposing spirit.
2558 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
At Common Roots, you can nosh on a bagel at 10 a.m., have an afternoon snack at 2 p.m., and get eyeballs deep in a lovely, local IPA by late afternoon. If you’re really smart, you’ll go between 4:30 and 6 p.m. for a $3 beer or $4 glass of wine. Happy hour runs daily from 4:30-6pm, where you can find $2 off food special and wash it all down with $3 beer and $4 wine deals. Whether it's roasted cauliflower and bagel chips in the summer, or mac and cheese and potato knish when the weather turns, Common Roots has the eats to pair with every season and local beer and wine to boot.
2 E 26th St, Minneapolis
The Bad Waitress: A name that does no justice for the friendly service of this all-day-cafe-turned-tap-beer joint. Here you will find great deals beyond the free coffee mug refills every day until 2 p.m. and the all-day breakfast. For starters, check out their 2-for-1 Tuesday beer deals. Stop on by with your favorite pal, or even that friend you only keep around out of convenience. Either way, this is a helluva deal to beat the beginning-of-the-week blues. No friends? Not to worry. Drink alone any other day of the Monday-Friday week from 3-6 p.m. and again from 9 p.m. to close and enjoy $3 bottled beer and house wine. Or come back on the the weekend for even more 2-for-1 specials.
308 E Prince St, St Paul
More of an east-sider? Head on over to Black Dog Cafe and Wine bar in Lowertown, St. Paul. Start the day off right with a freshly brewed cup of joe for a mere $1.70. Be sure to bring your own mug for free refills. Morning caffeine kick? Check. Workday complete? Check. Happy hour at the same venue that started your day off strong? Check! Black Dog Cafe hosts happy hour every day of the week from 4-7 p.m., which includes $2 off draft pints, $4.75 glasses of wine, Greenbelt Premium bottles for just $2.50, and many other 16-ounce tap beer choices for $5. Feeling a little too "happy" from happy hour? Soak it all up with a snack from their bountiful food menu. Be it a black bean and cheese quesadilla, Cuban sandwich, or hummus plate, you'll find a savory snack — most of which are under $10.