When I first graduated college and started working in downtown Minneapolis, it was summertime and every restaurant had a patio spilling out onto the sidewalk, and on those patios were every working professional within a ten mile radius. Happy hours became my kryptonite and I spent far too much of my meager starting salary on beers and nachos than I care to admit.
Since then, I've held onto my love for a 2 for $6 special and half priced apps, but I don't hit happy hours nearly as often as I used to. When I do though, I am all about discovering my new favorite spot - especially if it involves a patio.
There are the go-to patios and rooftops in town - Stella's, Libertine, Union, Britt's, and Psycho Suzi's (all awesome and places that top my list). But recently, a friend and I discovered the little hidden patio at Lake & Irving.
Located at the corner of Lake and Irving (bet you didn't see that one coming), I'd only ever had their brunch (which is great) - and I'd only ever been there in the middle of January. But let me tell you, their patio is pretty great. With cafe string lights overhead and cool shade from a few trees, it's tucked to the side of the building away from the Lake Street traffic. Though there's a not-so-glamorous bank view on one side, the Lake & Irving side more than makes up for it.
Plus, since parking in that area can be a beast at times (especially during the happy hour slots), you don't have to worry one bit about it - they have a parking lot just behind the restaurant. Their cocktails are awesome too - really creative, with a twist depending on the season. Also, their appetizers are nothing short of delicious.
So check out Lake & Irving the next time you're grabbing a drink with friends or coworkers - and be sure to grab a seat on the patio. I know I'll be back again soon.
Guest post by Megan Warner