Icehouse's happy hour: a missed opportunity?

Eat Street's newest happy hour venue
Eat Street's newest happy hour venue
Ben Lansky

2528 Nicollet Avenue S., Minneapolis
612.276.6523; Icehouse website

Hours & details:

Monday - Friday: 4-6 p.m.
Sunday: 2 p.m. - close

House wine: $3
Tap beer: $2 off
Rail drinks: $2 off

Icehouse opened after much anticipation this June and has already received positive local reviews regarding its lunch, dinner, and brunch offerings. We stopped by to check out their happy hour menu and soak up some of that allegedly great atmosphere.

Venue: Icehouse is dark and moody: perfect for late-night music and certainly good for hunkering down in a booth for happy hour. If you'd prefer to sit outside, their patio faces an interesting square of sculptures and green space and offers a rare opportunity to enjoy an Eat Street happy hour without facing directly onto Nicollet Avenue.

Tap beers are $2 off for happy hour and happily Icehouse's beer list includes a good selection of craft beers. The usual suspects from Minnesota are available, including Surly Cynic, Fulton Lonely Blonde, and Summit EPA, as well as some popular brews from out of state, like Bells Oberon, Hennepin Ommegang, and Rush River Bubblejack.

With such an impressive cocktail menu, we were surprised that none of those drinks was available at reduced prices. It would be great to see Icehouse feature a rotating happy hour cocktail to give guests a taste of what more they can experience here.

Currently, there are no food items on offer for happy hour, and this seems to be a real opportunity missed. As City Pages has previously reported, "small plates are the focus for late night and dinner" at Icehouse, and we'd like to see some of those dishes given the spotlight on the happy hour menu. The current happy hour situation doesn't give visitors any sense of the food they can expect to enjoy if they choose to stick around for dinner.

We ordered instead from the "bar snacks" menu, a small selection of nibbles that will set you back between $4.50 and $10.50.

French fries served with two dipping sauces ($5.50) were hot, crunchy, and well seasoned, although the portion size was a little meager for the price.

Bills Electric Beans ($8.50) were indeed pretty electric, comprising a smoky cassoulet of sausage, chipotle roasted peppers, mushrooms, and a slice of pork belly. Again, it's a small serving for the price tag but a tasty one.

Verdict: Offering great craft beer at knocked-down prices will always bring customers in, but Icehouse is missing an opportunity by not offering any of its standard menu items or fabulous cocktails at happy hour prices. The bar snacks and delicious beer will keep us coming back, but we'd love to see this Eat Street newbie improve its happy hour game.

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2528 Nicollet Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404


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