The equation for a good happy hour is simple. First – great drink specials. I’m talking more than just $3 Bud Lights. Second – cheap, tasty food. And third – atmosphere. So if you know what to look for, a good happy hour shouldn’t be too hard to find.
With the three criteria in mind, I searched Thrifty Hipster for the perfect thursday night spot. I found a lot of mentions around the city, but few new places that caught my eye. And then, I saw those two important icons (fork and glass) next to The Loop.
The Loop is located in the North Loop, a trendy downtown neighborhood that’s quickly building it’s culinary reputation.
I tried it out last week with a friend. We drove down Washington Avenue and spotted the bright neon sign easily, even in the January rain. We found a parking spot and ran inside. Unlike most of downtown, the parking meters in the area only charge ’til 10 pm so our parking was practically free!
We burst inside, fleeing the pouring rain, and right away sensed the vibe. Two nordeast gals showing up in their post-yoga attire didn’t quite fit in. Think sleek, young professionals on the prowl. I felt like I was walking on the set of How I Met Your Mother with all these beautiful young people.
But, we didn’t let that intimidation prevent us from our post workout reward. We grabbed a round booth with great people watching potential and looked over our options.
Here’s the scoop on the late night Happy Hour: Monday – Thursday, 9 pm – midnight. $3 taps, well drinks, and house wines PLUS $3 off appetizers and martinis and HALF OFF pizzas! After seeing some great taps, Brittany and I both chose to go for a beer. Surly and Fulton for $3 apiece.
After we got our beers we took a few minutes to make a food selection. It was a hard choice between the fantastic deal on pizza or some yummy appetizer options. I decided to stick with my gut and take advantage of the better deal. I ordered the Mill City pizza. Roasted red peppers, fresh spinach, and garlic covered with a boat load of cheese (including chevre)! The crust was thin and crispy and the toppings were generous. The first bite of that gooey end was delicious. So delicious that I ate four out of the six pieces that night!
Brittany went the healthier route and chose the Hummus Plate. Fresh veggies, three falafel patties, cucumber yogurt sauce and herbed flatbread with a nice side of hummus for dipping. I snatched up a bite to confirm her positive review. The herbed flatbread was tasty, but I would have liked it to be a little less chewy. The hummus and cucumber yogurt were good, but the falafels stole the show. A dynamite ball of flavor. A healthy plate of goodness, all for $7!
We enjoyed all we could eat and even had some food to box up for later. The bill came and I was pleasantly surprised, forgetting how affordable everything was. I’ll be coming back again to enjoy another pizza and some beers, but next time I’ll plan to change out of my yoga pants first.
Dim lighting, exposed brick, flat screen TVs. It’s got a downtown vibe – think professional dress at 10 pm – and a young crowd, mostly in their 20s and 30s.
Fine. Our waitress was helpful, but she nor the bartender were very welcoming or friendly.
The composition of the plates was simple. Nothing too fancy for our pizza and apps.
I would recommend both the pizzas and the hummus plate. Since they’ve built my trust, I think I’ll try the Walleye Cakes next!
Value for Dollars
For a beer and a plate full of pizza I paid $8.50 before tax/tip. And with parking costing around 25 cents, I think this Happy Hour is a winner.
606 Washington Ave. N.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
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