Halloween creeped up on me this year and I’m feeling a little out of the ghostly spirit. I don’t even have a costume yet – HELP! So last week when we were looking for a place to grab a drink after work, we headed to Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den to satisfy our thirst for a beer and a little gore.
Donny Dirk’s has been around since 2009, located in the old Stand Up Frank’s building on the edge of North Minneapolis. The bright green building is easy to find as you drive down N 2nd Street and when you arrive, you’ll find the street parking is a breeze.
I pulled in around 6:30 pm on the dark, rainy day – a perfect scene for a night at the Zombie Den. I jumped out and ran to the entrance door, quickly stopped by the doorman to check my ID. All I could think about was a scene from Shaun of the Dead that was probably going to come to life when he confirmed my age and welcomed me in.
Donny Dirk’s is an extension of the Leslie Bock empire – the dark little brother of Miss Psycho Suzi herself. Like Suzi’s, the atmosphere and kitschy decor of Dirk’s makes it a destination bar in the city.
I grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered my first drink – Boom Island Silvius Pale Ale, $4 on happy hour. It had a nice mix of malty spice and hoppy bitterness.
Since I arrived before Al, I had the pleasure of watching one of the many 90s horror movie’s I’ve never heard of playing on the TV at the bar.
Al showed up just as I got my beer. As we approached the end of happy hour (7 pm), he wisely ordered a whiskey, 1/2 off on happy hour, and a Fulton Blonde ($4) to sip down for the evening. He was set.
I took a quick break to the bathroom… and normally I wouldn’t blog about my bathroom experience, trust me, but I’m convinced that your zombie den trip isn’t fulfilled until you see the serial-killer-ish bathrooms.
With a black toilet, stainless steal walls, and screws as faucet handles, it definitely had a post-apocolyptic vibe. If Zombie’s ever broke into the bar and found some fresh flesh, this is where they’d do their damage. An easy cleanup with no stainable surfaces. I felt like I was walking into Dexter’s workroom, so I made my visit a fast one.
We passed the 7 pm happy hour cutoff. Al had been smart enough to order two drinks to hold himself over. Since he still had about half of an hour left of his drinks, I decided to get one more.
I surveyed the “Living Dead Cocktail Menu” to choose my poison. I’ve ordered the Dar & Stormy before ($8) and really enjoyed it, but Alex convinced me to try the Orange Death ($8). It was the perfect balance of cocktail strength and sweet citrus flavor. Definitely worth the non-happy hour price.
The 7:30 mark approached meaning we had to get home to our dog, Hank. As we paid our tab, the evening musician was rolling in. I’d have to say listening to classical cello music while drinking a deathly drink and watching a horror movie with no sound makes for a fun weeknight.
So, if you’re sick of passing out candy to kids or looking for a safe haven from the Zombies this Halloween Wednesday, stop by Donny Dirk’s. Open Wednesday-Saturday, 3:44 pm – 11 pm.
Kitchy, classy, zombie mod.
Well staffed for quick and helpful service. A small bar, so the lone bartender can always keep up.
Aesthetics are everything at this bar. Sipping on one of their creative cocktails while surrounded in this environment made for an unsettling first drink!
No food available, so eat before you come. But, the cocktails are delicious – each a handmade treat from the bartender – so you may choose to substitute it for your evening snack.
Value for Dollars
Not the best deal in town, but the drinks are stiff and the ambiance is to die for.
But don’t take my word for it…
Donny Dirk’s Zombie Den
Minneapolis, MN 55411
Happy hour: W-S, 3:44-5 pm, $2 Craft Taps
W-S, 5-7 pm, 1/2 price whiskey, wine (and maybe women), $4 craft taps
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