Some happy hours make it seem like an obstacle course just to enjoy a bit of booze on the cheap. Certain specials only last half an hour, you have to sit in a particular part of the bar, just show your stub from a sporting event, et cetera. Leave us alone, okay? Don't confuse us when we're drinking.
We're thankful for the bars that hold steady. And if Grumpy's Downtown does one thing right, it's holding steady. These well-timed happy hours will help you stack punk rock cred while sipping on whiskey that your most mustachioed, lumberjack-looking, cocktail mixologist would agree is top-notch.
Where: Grumpy's is located at the corner of Washington Ave S. and 11th. This is one of the few downtown spots in Minneapolis with a completely legit parking situation. Behind the bar you can find a large parking lot and each spot indicates where customers of different area businesses are permitted to park.
When: 3 to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Thursday. Specials vary but the highlights are Wednesday late nights for the $4.50 Redbreast and Thursday afternoon for the $4.50 wings.
What's the vibe: Classic late '90s punk rock vibe. The food is fundamental bar food prepared with love and zero culinary school BS. The bar staff is so no-nonsense that when they ask "how are the wings?" or crack 1/8 of a smile you feel like you just made a new best friend. Plus, with three pool tables and multiple dart boards this place is a gaming mecca. Grumpy's isn't above showing sporting events on their strategically placed TVs either. And you aren't really Minnesotan until you've seen a crushing Timberwolves loss live, scored by the fifty year old with staples in his leather jacket playing obscure Melvins tunes on the jukebox.
What can I eat for $10 or less: Most appetizers ring in under $10 and it is always a good idea to take advantage of the dollar off specials on apps during happy hour. For our money you can't go wrong with their buffalo wings, available in mild, medium, hot and "Are you Insane?" You'll get 10 drummies bathed in a delicious buffalo sauce and an ample serving of ranch or bleu cheese. (Big points to Grumpy's for sticking with only drummies.) The real deal is catching the daytime wing special on Thursdays when these bad boys are $4.50 a basket instead of $9.99.
What can I drink for $5 or less: Your default answer is PBR. On the night we visited most folks were taking those back in quick succession. But if you go on a Wednesday you have to try the Redbreast whiskey for $4.50. Redbreast is now managed by the Jameson company, but this stuff is head and shoulders better than most any Jameson we've come across. A Redbreast rocks has set us back as much as $14 in town, so don't miss out on this steal.
What's so good it's worth getting even though it's not a happy hour special: The Tex-Mex queso rolls put similar dishes around town to shame. Egg roll dough filled with rotisserie chicken, corn, caramelized onions and pepper jack cheese -- trust us, this sounds delicious after two of those Redbreasts. We couldn't find our dignity at the bottom of the sweet barbecue dipping sauce so we checked if it was at the bottom of the seasoned sour cream. No luck there, either, but worth the search.
Grumpy's Downtown 1111 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis 612-340-9738
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