Local Current Blog

New Year’s Eve in Minneapolis and St. Paul: Seven ways to make a night of it

The faces of "Happy Craziest New Year." Courtesy Dangerous Productions.

Heading out to celebrate the coming of 2015? Here are seven nights out that combine live music, fine dining, and bubbly beverages.

For people with a lot of feelings

Dinner: The Loring Pasta Bar. This beautiful venue will make your last meal of 2014 one to remember.

Music: Brandi Carlile at the Varsity, for songs of heartbreak and hope. It hurts so good.

Drinks: The Kitty Cat Klub. This sprawling joint has lots of cozy nooks for you and your date to canoodle. If you’re feeling frisky, the hot hands of Hipshaker will be lubricating the dance floor with wheels of steel.

Wild and crazy New Year’s shenanigan: Streaking on the Quad, of course.

For those who want to start the year with something meaty

Dinner: A nice steak at Manny’s. Treat yourself.

Drinks: Hell’s Kitchen has “Bloody Hell” Bloody Marys that come with beef sticks poked into them.

Music: Tickle Torture at the 7th Street Entry. No comment necessary.

Wild and crazy New Year’s shenanigan: Take a shot at the Seville.

For those who want to kick it old school

Dinner: Mancini’s Char House will take you back to the days of the Rat Pack and the Mod Squad.

Drinks: Find a couch in the basement lounge at St. Paul institution W.A. Frost; have a Martini and enjoy feeling so much cooler than you did when your godparents brought you to dinner here on your 13th birthday.

Music: Doug Otto and the Getaways are holding it down on the bar side at Nye’s, a Northeast landmark that will be shuttered by the time the next New Year’s rolls around.

Wild and crazy New Year’s shenanigan: Cross over to the Polonaise Room; you won’t find a bigger audience in town for your favorite karaoke classic.

For fans of wood paneling

Drinks: PBRs at the Clown Lounge, where thanks to recent renovations, holding a tallboy doesn’t mean holding your nose.

Dinner: Burgers and tots at the CC Club, where you can stare vacantly at the very same wood paneling that’s been stared at by the Replacements, David Carr, and Tom Arnold.

Music: Get in touch with your inner evil woman via E.L.nO. at Lee’s Liquor Lounge.

Wild and crazy New Year’s shenanigan: Dare to drink the 38-year-old Prosecco in your grandparents’ basement.

For those who want to party in the steps of Pig’s Eye

Drinks: Barrio Tequila Bar in Lowertown will serve you a margarita that would have legendary neighborhood denizen “Pig’s Eye” Parrant questioning his loyalty to moonshine.

Dinner: For a global start to your new year, come back across the Atlantic from Spain and cross the Pacific to Japan with a warming bowl of noodles at Tanpopo.

Wild and crazy new year’s shenanigan: Do whatever the performers in Happy Craziest New Year tell you to do.

Music: Stick around at Bedlam Lowertown for a rousing blast from the Brass Messengers.

For those who want to keep it classy

Drinks: Belly up—er, take a seat—at Marvel Bar for what Vita.mn calls “cocktails that go way beyond ‘craft.'”

Dinner: I don’t know anything about seafood, so I’m going to go ahead and recommend that your dinner at the Oceanaire include all the items with the best names: Naked Cowboy oysters, escargots Burguignonne, Baja Baquetta grouper, and sweet potato “tipsy.”

Music: Globetrotters Davina and the Vagabonds have come home for the holidays, and will sweetly serenade you and your plus-one at the Dakota Jazz Club.

Wild and crazy new year’s shenanigan: Scale the pyramidal fountain at the entrance to the Loring Greenway and treat Nicollet Avenue to a rousing chorus of “Auld Lang Syne.”

For those who like a tall drink of raverade

Dinner: White Castle has several Twin Cities locations.

Drinks: Slam a grape Pedialyte to keep that electrolyte count where you want it right into 2015.

Music: Count on Twin Cities Dubstep to cover your NYE needs, with four Skyway Theatre stages featuring Datsik, Terravita, Mayhem, Fox Stevenson, and Bear Grillz.

Wild and crazy new year’s shenanigan: You’re going to have a lot of options in this department, but I’d advise staying away from those ribbons of aerial silk hanging from the rafters at the warehouse afterparty.

For those who want to go big

Drinks: Let’s pretend you can get that keg table at the Local.

Dinner: Take a table at Fogo de Chao and keep that coaster green-side-up.

Music: Dessa headlines the giant Crystal Ball at International Market Square, where you can see and be seen in that mirror-plated zoot suit.

Shenanigans: What happens under the Spoonbridge stays under the Spoonbridge.


See if you can guess which of these were suggested by Andrea Swensson.