No one’s happy about this news, folks.
After pouring what felt like a millions beers, St. Paul’s happy gnome has called it quits.
Known for pairing excellent food with 90 tap lines, the Cathedral Hill holdout will end its 14-year run this Sunday, December 22. In an announcement released yesterday evening, spokespeople said only that “The Happy Gnome has decided not to renew our lease.”
The bar opened on Selby in the former Chang O'Hara's in 2005.
The Gnome went on to thank patrons for “wonderful years of memories,” which for many includes their annual Firkin Fest. The event was uniquely a hit with both brewers and patrons alike, as two sides of the beer industry met in celebration of cask-aged beers.
Early on, the Gnome set itself apart from its “gastropub” peers thanks to a seemingly infinite selection of beer—before the Twin Cities’ microbrewery scene exploded. The bar was equally known for a food menu that didn’t take the easy way out. They offered something for every palate. Diners could find locally sourced fish and game alongside unexpected wing flavors and items like steak tartare.
Throughout the years, beer aficionados continued to jockey for barstools at the Gnome. In filling those 90 tap lines, they pulled from both established and rising breweries in the local scene, while looking to the rest of the nation (and world at large) for the finest imported bottles, specialty rotating brews, and casks no other establishment in the Cities could offer.
In short: They took a huge approach to beer and all its accoutrements, and in doing so brought the world to St. Paul, one pint at a time.
Visit this little legend housed in Selby’s former fire station before the end of the week.