Lucia's Wine Bar
1432 West 31st St., Minneapolis
Hours and details:
Tuesday-Sunday, 9 p.m. - midnight
$3 select taps
$6 select red or white wine
We hear that Liquor Lyle's has banished the 3-4-1s, which is yet another sign that it's time for some of us to grow up. Can Lucia's make it so we can still enjoy happy hour, even if we've become responsible adults?
Venue: Smooth, serene, and tasty sum up the Lucia's Wine Bar vibe, which usually has a tray of the night's desserts at the ready to tempt your late-night sweet tooth even as you drink down a fine beverage. A small seating area hosts intimate chats and trysts, while a row of stools puts you at one of the classiest bars in Uptown. The 'tenders are always knowledgeable and calm, knowing they've got small plates, full dinners, and a selection of upscale libations to send your way. However, they're not too solicitous and maintain a casual air, despite a menu boasting Campari and Pimm's.
Verdict: The bargains could be bigger and include food, but the atmosphere and quality of the offerings make you glad there's any discount at all. Deals on truly high-end cocktails can be hard to come by, and a $7 Rob Roy or Negroni can absolutely change the direction of a night. As well, they tend to pick their special wines with care--we drank a silky, fresh Joan d'Anguera Garnatxa (Catalan for Grenache) one night as the temperatures dropped outside. So feel free to put on your big boy (or girl) pants, knowing you don't have to give up on happy hour. Lucia's late night exists for those mature enough to appreciate a good drink in an all-growed-up but decidedly unstarchy environment.