Poor Andrew Volstead. He's got it almost as bad as Rick Santorum. Let this be a lesson to you, dour and oppressive Republican politicians: If there's something you abhor and wish to impede others from enjoying, maybe you oughtn't. Don't yuck someone else's yum, lest your name be forever attached to the very thing you curse.
In the past couple of weeks, not one but two local bars have been opened under the namesake Volstead, whom you may not have known from Adam but now you will, as you bring glass to lips in one of the new drinking establishments. The Minnesota politician is best known for the booze-hating act also bearing his name, the Volstead Act, enabling legislation for the enforcement of national prohibition beginning in 1920.
Well, eat it, Volstead. Or, perhaps, drink it.
As far as speakeasies are concerned, Volstead House Whiskey Bar and Speakeasy has got the farflung and difficult-to-find portion of the equation down (as opposed to the modern day use of the word, whether or not the place is as difficult to find as a Super America).
This Volstead is calling its cocktails "basic, classic drinks of the past," dating back to the 1800s and early 1900s, and they're highlighting whiskey. The food menu is decidedly Minnesota sports bar fabulous, and the jury is still out as to how jalapeño poppers, cheese curds, "apple pie tacos," or Minnesota State Fair pickles are going to pair with your artfully mixed Old Fashioned or Sazerac. But, if it doesn't go well, get a Mike's Hard Lemonade or a beer and a bump because they've got those too. If you wanted a speakeasy in Eagan, now you've got one.
1278 Lone Oak Rd., Eagan
If you're looking for something a little more urbane, check out Volstead's Emporium, if you can find it. What's being described through the grapevine as a kinda creepy door in a kinda creepy alley has cropped up in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood. Volstead's Emporium lies beyond an unmarked door in the alley — its address is 711 W. Lake St. — an aesthetic ideal that's woefully missing from much of our modern cocktail culture. True to stealthy form, they lack an official Facebook page, website or phone number, so just put on that overcoat and that fancy bonnet and flap on over.
711 W. Lake St., Minneapolis