Tag: camp bar
Whether you’re into experimental comedy, the Roaring ’20s, black and white balls, girl group cover bands or loud, fast and dirty punk rock, St. Paul has got you covered. Here are the651′s top picks for ringing in the New Year.
“Happy Crazier New Year!”
@ Gremlin Theatre
811 University Av W
8 pm / $16, $12 (with Fringe button, under 18, senior or bananas), $10 (under 18 with bananas or Fringe button)
Dubbed as “half show, half party, half Olympic, all good time” (how does that math work out?), comedy theater Happy Minnesota’s “Happy Crazier New Year!” show promises a somewhat-improvised show featuring the sort-of fictional Happy family. This year, the Happys head into space for a happier, crazier new year, complete with dance parties, vodka, music and frogs and bananas – in fact, if you bring bananas with you to the show, you’ll receive a discount on your ticket… Yeah, we’re not sure what that’s all about either, but it promises to be a zany good time either way.
Dillinger Four w/ Frozen Teens, L’Assassins, Girl Group Cover Band & Lady Heat
@ Turf Club
1601 University Ave
8 pm / 21+ / $10
The Turf Club’s tradition of local bands covering choice musical acts heads to the Hex this year, but don’t be sad – they’ve got a line-up of local talent (and even a band that specifically does covers). Provincial punks are rejoicing as the infrequent and beloved Dillinger Four will play. L’Assassins, who describe themselves as “post-apocalyptic vixen rock…snarl[ing] their way through the roots of garage-rock and female angst.” (We might add: and into this angst-y heart.) The Frozen Teens have a timeless punky sound. Girl Group Cover Band has a perfectly suited name for what they do. The DJs of Lady Heat (which includes Pink Mink’s Christy Hunt along Sara Jean Hanson and l’étoile staff writer Danielle Morris), spin old school soul and funk all on vinyl. Get tickets in advance to ensure your New Year’s Eve rockability.
Flappers and Gangsters New Year’s Roaring ’20s Party
@ Dr. Chocolate’s Chocolate Chateau
579 Selby Ave
7 pm-1 am / 21+ / $50
Who doesn’t love a good prohibition-themed party? Vintage cocktails, flapper dresses, zoot suits. It’s all so glamorous. And since glitter, sparkles, sequins and the like are near mandatory on New Year’s Eve, a roaring ’20s party is just what the Doctor (Chocolate) ordered. Located on the third floor of the Victorian mansion that’s home to Dr. Chocolates Chocolates Chocolate Chateau, the evening will include jazz, dancing, period drinks and appetizers and gambling (for charity). Dress the part, gamble like a mobster, and drink like you mean it.
New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball
@ CAMP Bar
490 N Robert St
10 pm / 21+ / FREE
Get suited up in your dapperest duds for CAMP Bar’s sixth annual New Year’s Eve Black & White Ball. The gay bar and cabaret will class things up with a free champagne toast at midnight, door prizes and drawings throughout the night. But things are bound to get a little trashy – the gay bar and cabaret will heat things things up with go-go boys, pole dancers, shot boys and danceable top 40 tunes from DJ Logan Spencer. Bonus: wear black and white, and you’ll get to take advantage of drink specials all night.
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This weekend, the reigning Queen of Pop makes her first Twin Cities appearance since 1987 with a two-night stint at the Xcel Energy Center. She’s said it’s inspired by “the journey of a soul from darkness to light,” and starts with scenes of blood, guns and general violence before turning into one big dance party. At the center is her latest club-infused album, MDMA, which is said to take up about half of the show – the rest of it filled with new renditions of her classic hits. She’ll be joined onstage by a couple dozen performers, including Basque singers and drummers, contortionists, and male dancers in high heels, plus a bevy of new stage costumes ranging from majorette to bondage, including a menswear look accented with a patent leather “cage” seemingly inspired by her infamous Blonde Ambition tour cone bra. It looks to be a three-ringed circus spectacle that easily competes with – if not surpasses – the likes of Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Katy Perry.
Things kick off tonight with a Madonna-themed bash at St. Paul gay bar and cabaret CAMP. Hosted by local drag queen (and occasional Madonna impersonator) Krystal Kleer, the event will include a “Madonna Drag Race” competition in which contestants who come dressed in their best Madonna look “Lip Sync for Their Lives” along to Madonna tunes. The night also includes performances by Kleer (who’ll be wearing some Madonna-inspired looks of her own), Madonna-themed cocktails and prizes, with a portion of proceeds going to the LGBT suicide prevention organization, the Trevor Project. Here’s a fun promo video for the event starring Kleer:
Friday: M: A Madonna Party
@ CAMP Bar
490 N Robert Street
8 pm–2 am / 21+ / $5
Click HERE for the CAMP Bar site
Saturday & Sunday: Madonna MDMA 2012 World Tour
Opener: Paul Oakenfold
@ Xcel Energy Center
175 Kellogg Boulevard W
7 pm doors, 8 pm show (Madonna set time: 10 pm) / All ages / $47-357
Click HERE for the Xcel Energy Center site
Yeah, we realize most of the Pride weekend festivities take place over the river, but Pride is alive and well in St. Paul, too. After all, we do host a couple of fine queer establishments (the Town House and CAMP)
The Town House is a neighborhood bar that’s home to something different every night of the week – drag shows, dancing, karaoke and more. Every Sunday, it hosts “Sequin Sundays,” an evening filled with drag, live cabaret, burlesque and glitter. Presented by hosted with the mostest Esmé Rodríguez, this week’s Pride Edition show will be in celebration of JoJo Mackie’s Birthday and features a unique lineup – Sasha Rodgers, Martina Marraccino, Gabrielle Deveaux and Vivi Vuiton Rodgers, to name a few. See your favorite kings as queens and wrap up what is sure to be a fabulously fierce weekend of Pride. Check out the Town House’s online calendar for more. (“Sequin Sundays”: 9:30 p.m. Sun. Free. 21-plus. The Town House, 1415 University Ave W., St. Paul. 651-646-7087.)
Camp Bar opened in mid-2007 and have two bars plus a sidewalk patio in the summer. The stylish club features a fashionable crowd and boasts of having the biggest cocktails in town. On Saturday night, it will host an unofficial Scissor Sisters post show party with RedStar GoGo Boys. (CAMP Bar, 490 Robert St., St. Paul. 651-292-1844.)
There’s still time to buy tickets ($65 for one day or $110 for two-day pass) to see gaytastic dance band the Scissor Sisters on Saturday at the River’s Edge Music Festival on Harriet Island in St. Paul. Known for their entertaining and often transgressive live performances, they play their extremely danceable electro-disco at 7 p.m. on the Lynx Stage.
There’s not quite anything like St. Patrick’s Day in St. Paul. St. Paul claims more Irish bars and pubs per capita than any other city in the state – and possibly in the U.S. – so what better time than now to run down some of its best Irish bars?
Named “Best Neighborhood Bar” various times over the years by City Pages, the Dubliner has had one of the longest St. Patrick’s Day tent party in the state. Unfortunately, as a result of light-rail construction, they won’t be hosting their usual tent party, but inside the charmingly divey joint will be offering double Jameson gingers for $8.50.
2162 W. University Av., St. Paul, 651-646-5551.
If you’re in a green beer mood and don’t mind running into lots of drunk people with green beads, head to the Liffey, conveniently located right on the parade route across from the Xcel Energy Center. Owned by Cara Irish Pubs (whose other Irish pubs include Kieren’s, the Local and Cooper), so you can expect a classic Irish pub vibe from this downtown bar, complete with rich, dark wood detailing and mirrors – plus their in-house 2 Gingers whiskey, created by former CEO Kieran Folliard.
175 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651–556-1420, www.theliffey.com
In downtown St. Paul, Patrick McGovern’s Pub is a popular destination after the St. Paul St. Patrick’s Day parade. They’ll open early at 8:30 a.m., host a DJ on main level and in the tented parking lot, bagpipers at 1 p.m., corn beef and cabbage all day and green beer until they run out, and plenty of Irish atmosphere.
225 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-224-5821, www.patmcgoverns.com
Shamrock’s Pub celebrates the holiday with green beer, green Jell-O shots, an outdoor tent, and tons of bands. Saturday will feature a tent party that includes a “leprechaun toss,” face painting, a leprechaun look-alike competition, live music all day, and eats like Irish stew, reubens, corned beef and cabbage, reuben burgers, “O’Patty” melts, and “leprechaun legs” (fried green beans), all for only $6 a pop. And as usual, they’ll have a shuttle running to and from the parade.
995 7th St. W., St. Paul, 651-228-9925, www.crshamrocks.com
Over the past year, St. Paul’s oldest Irish bar O’Gara’s Bar & Grill has eliminated its longtime music venue, the Garage. In its place is the Shanty, a pub-within-a-pub that focuses on craft beers, video games, flat-screen TVs and shuffleboard. For St. Patrick’s Day, they’ll host their annual in-bar parade led by the Brian Boru Pipe Band (3 p.m.), plus live music on a tented stage, the Shanty and the Shamrock Room from 3 to close. Visit the website for full music schedule.
164 N. Snelling Ave., St. Paul, 651-644-3333, www.ogaras.com
More St. Patrick’s Day events
The Amsterdam Bar & Hall hosts the Mad Ripple’s St. Paddy’s Day Hoot being held in honor of former Replacements member Slim Dunlap, who is recovering from a stroke. A roundtable of musicians including Ashleigh Still, Martin Devaney, Jennifer Markey, Frank Randall, Gini Dodds, Nick Leet, Stook!, Curtiss A, Dan Israel, and many more will perform the music of Slim, covers inspired by Slim, and songs about Slim throughout the hootenanny.
8 p.m. 6 W. 6th St., St. Paul, 612-285-3112, www.amsterdambarandhall.com
Black Dog Cafe is celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with an Americana Roots night. Enjoy Guinness, Irish food specials, and live music from 7 to 11 p.m. from Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures and Five Miles from Town. While you’re there, be sure to check out the ongoing art exhibit “Faces, Places and Portraits” featuring the work of Luke Hillestad, David Cunningham, Stuart Loughridge, and Kyle Pettis.
Music from 7-11 p.m. 308 Prince St., St. Paul, 651-228-9274, blackdogstpaul.com
The Minnesota Music Cafe hosts an afternoon of live music from Andy Pifer, Curtis Blake & Greazy Gravy, Bluprint, the Good, the Bad & the Funky.
2 p.m. 499 Payne Ave., St. Paul, 651-776-4699, www.minnesotamusiccafe.com
Burger Moe’s is hosting an all-day St. Paddy’s Day tent party with live music from Uncle Chunk, Steve Sullivan and the Factory, and DJ Stevie Ray.
2 p.m.-close. 242 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-222-3100, www.burgermoes.com
Gay bar and cabaret CAMP‘s ongoing production of “Flanagan’s Wake” – back by popular demand – coincides with St. Paddy’s Day this year. Raise a glass with the villagers of Grapplin, Ireland, as they tell tales, sing songs and mourn the passing of one of their own in this show pegged as a “hilarious interactive Irish wake.” Get there early for parade drink specials from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. including $3 domestic taps, $5 Guinness and $5 Jameson, followed by a 2-4-1 happy hour on rails and taps from 4 to 6 p.m.
7 p.m. $34 for show, no cover otherwise. 490 N. Robert St., St. Paul, 651-290-2290, www.camp-bar.net
Sure, the big gay Pride parties, festival and parade are all happening in St. Paul’s big sister city. But that doesn’t mean that St. Paul can’t be a lower-key but no less fun place to show your Pride. We’re home to three gay or GLBT-friendly bars – CAMP, Coale’s, and The Town House – though festivities are a bit more tame this year now that Rumours & Innuendo has closed.
On Friday, the bar’s cabaret will feature the piano stylings of Andrew Walesch (5:30-7:30 p.m.), preceeded by 2-4-1 on rails and taps from 4 to 6 p.m. On Sunday, lounge singer Mia Dorr performs live (8-10 p.m.), with $5 Cosmos. (CAMP Bar: 490 Robert St., St. Paul, 651-292-1844, camp-bar.net)
The Town House Bar:
On Thursday, St. Paul’s oldest GLBT bar hosts free games, $5 beer pitchers, a DJ and dance floor, a Pumps & Pearls Drag Revue, and Transtrastic Thursday. On Friday, it features Aliveness Project Bingo at 6 p.m., free appetizers at 6 p.m., a DJ and dance floor, The Original Cheapie Night, and karaoke. On Saturday, check out the Elegance Show featuring ebony kings and queens, hosted by Shamika Dupre; plus live cabaret music by Lori Dokken and Erin Schwab. Sunday is, as always, Sequin Sunday, hosted by drag queen Esme Rodriguez at 9 p.m. (The Town House Bar: 1415 University Av., St. Paul, 651-646-7087, www.townhousebar.com)
Coale’s Bar & Grill:
Start the night off with dinner and drinks at the newly-opened, GLBT-friendly Coale’s Bar & Grill, which features a full restaurant with courtyard dining. A spacious upstairs hosts drag or blues shows, depending on which night of the week it is, and features a fully stocked and refurbished bar. (Coale’s Bar & Grill: 719 N. Dale St., St. Paul, 651-487-5829.)
You can also show your St. Paul Pride with a t-shirt by Cafe Press.
Last August, St. Paul was ground zero for Lady Gaga after she did a two-night stint at Xcel Energy Center and made an unannounced appearance at Turf Club. Now, the capital city – along with Metromix, CAMP Bar and the Aliveness Project – will host a release party for her new disc, Born This Week, in stores tomorrow.
And what would a Gaga party be without costumes? Accordingly, the main event will be a Gaga-inspired costume contest, with up to $1,000 in cash prizes. Everyone from professional and aspiring designers to drag queens will be offering up their takes on Gaga’s extensive wardrobe.
The night will be all about Gaga—from the cocktails, to the fashion, to the music spun by DJ Shiek and Logan Spencer. Tickets are $10 for general admission (including one drink ticket) or $25 for VIP (including a drink ticket and swag bag) and a portion of proceeds benefits The Aliveness Project. For tickets, visit www.camp-bar.net. (7-11 p.m. Monday, May 23. CAMP Bar, 490 N. Robert St., St. Paul, 651-292-1844.)
Lady Gaga is bringing her over-the-top stage show to St. Paul for a whopping two-night stand at the Xcel Energy Center on Monday and Tuesday. Little monsters, it’s time to get geared up for a Capital City night of epic proportions!
A Night of (Little) Monster Proportions
After the shows on Monday and Tuesday nights, you have plenty of opportunities to party. First hit up the Lady Gaga after parties at Camp Bar happening both nights after the concert. (There will be happy hour specials for ticket holders before the concert, too.) Expect a Gaga-rific soundtrack and hot dance floor, drinks specials galore (including a $5 Gaga-tini all day and a dollar off anything else with your ticket stub, 2-4-1s on taps and rails from 4-6 p.m. and midnight-2 a.m.), plus tons of people-watching opportunities! (490 Robert St. N., St. Paul, 651-292-1844, camp-bar.net)
At that point, you’ll probably want to make a night of it and stay at one of St. Paul’s many hotel options – but the only one fit for a queen of Gaga’s stature is the historic Saint Paul Hotel. Hang out in their swanky hotel bar or hop over to the Saint Paul Grill located within the building. Take in the decadent architecture and accoutrements, as well as the impossibly glorious view. (Saint Paul Hotel, 350 Market St., St. Paul, 651-292-9292, www.saintpaulhotel.com)
If you still haven’t gotten tickets, there are still a few available for the Tuesday night show. Tickets are priced from $51.50 to $177 at Ticketmaster, livenation.com, the Xcel box office and 1-800-359-2525.
The Xcel Energy Center usually gives its visiting celebs and performers a Wild hockey jersey or something similar, but in the case of Lady Gaga, they’ve gotten a bit more creative.
The Xcel has commissioned local fashion designer Emma Berg to create a custom, one-of-a-kind fashion piece for the pop icon and we can’t think of a better match. Berg’s own distinctive, over the top personal style and fashion design skills make her a natural choice for such a project. The piece (pictured in the above sketch) will be a white swing-style jacket with a tall collar, in white satin with black and pink accents, inspired by the state flower: the ladyslipper.
Dress the Part
Gaga’s show-goers are known to really go all out when it comes to their outfits. Though you probably can’t afford her custom couture or designer swag, you can find ways to DIY if you’re creative.
Hot Topic has a knockoff version of Lady Gaga’s Jeremy Scott/Linda Farrow flip-glasses she wore in the “Paparazzi” video for only $12.99. Or get some big flat-top shades and glue on a bunch of gems for her The Fame cover album look. Claire’s and For Love 21 have lace bunny ears, akin to Gaga’s Maison Martin Margielas, for under $10. (Or you can make your own.)
Bold hair and makeup is a Gaga trademark. Dye your hair in pink or yellow streaks like Gaga’s via Manic Panic hair dyes – or wrap them up in makeshift Diet Coke can curlers a la the “Telephone” video. You can still nab her powdery pink Viva Glam! lipstick at MAC for about $15.
Big shoes are a must. Try Forever 21 or Heartbreaker for some platform shoes – or hit up Hot Topic for some goth monsta-stompas. If you are really daring, take a trip to the local stripper store for some sky-high pumps. Sounds scandalous, but you really aren’t going to get taller shoes anywhere else.
Entrepreneurial spirits will want to craft their own Gaga goods. Buy a cheap faux-leather cropped motorcycle-style jacket (Forever 21 has one for $34.80) and hot-glue on your own studs (which you should be able to find at any craft store).
Underneath, a glittery, shiny or see-through bodysuit will do – and try layering tights or leggings underneath if you’re feeling a bit body-conscious. American Apparel is the obvious go-to for bodysuits, but they’re popping up everywhere lately, from Urban Outfitters to Hot Topic to Forever 21.
Gay Pride Week kicks off this weekend, and though many of the festivities take place across the river, St. Paul still has plenty of GLBT-celebrating events throughout the coming week at gay bars Rumours & Innuendo and Camp, as well as the official Gay Pride Picnic in Como Park and the official Pride Cruise at Harriet Island. There’s truly something for everyone.
FRIDAY, JUNE 18:
St. Paul Soul Pride’s All White Party
Lowertown GLBT club Rumours & Innuendo kicks off pride right with its always-popular All White Party. Presented by local soul purveyor Tommboi Entertainment, the night features sassy hostess Shamika Dupree of the Guys and Dolls Drag Revue, a soul and R&B-infused soundtrack from DJ crews St. Paul Soul and Essence of Soul, and raffles for sparkly swag – including a 1ct diamond bracelet. And what would a soul party be without soul food? Get there early for the sure-to-be-scrumptious soul food buffet (only $5 more than the cost of entry!) And last but certainly not least, remember to dress the part.
9 p.m.-3 a.m., $5 entry or $10 including buffet, 21+. Rumours & Innuendo, 213 E. 4th St., St. Paul, 651-225-4528. www.rumours-innuendo.com
SATURDAY, JUNE 19:
Pride Boat Cruise
St. Paul hosts a ton of awesome boat parties throughout the summer aboard the Jonathan Padelford riverboats, but this one combines the celebratory spirit of Gay Pride with salsa dancing. That’s right – take a lesson from a seasoned instructor from 4 Seasons Dance Studio, or if you’re already a pro, show them how it’s done! The cruise sets off from Harriet Island and goes on a two-hour trip along the Mississippi River. Entry includes either a two-for-one margarita or one free drink and a taco bar. (A cash bar will also be on hand, featuring drink specials from Barefoot Wines.) While you’re there, shop for 2010 Pride merchandise, as well as accessories from Project Runway darling Christopher Straub! With door prizes and other goodies galore, it doesn’t get much better than this.
1:30-4 p.m. $40. 21+. Harriet Island, www.tcpride.org
Leather Pride Kickoff
Leather daddies – and the gays that love them – unite. Expect a tougher edge at this night, along with an industrial music feel, and plenty of spikes, studs and chains.
9:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Rumours & Innuendo, 213 E. 4th St., St. Paul, 651-225-4528, www.rumours-innuendo.com
SUNDAY, JUNE 20:
Twin Cities Gay Pride Picnic
Put on by the organizers of the Twin Cities biggest pride festival and parade, TC Pride, put on this annual Gay Pride Picnic in St. Paul’s own Como Park. The family-friendly, free event offers grilled eats and complimentary picnic fare, old-fashioned races, table games and softball.
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Como Park’s East Picnic Pavilions, St. Paul, www.tcpride.com
MONDAY, JUNE 21 & TUESDAY, JUNE 22:
“Rocka Mortis” at Camp Bar
Join the Twin Cities’ theater elite for a wild night of sex, drugs and rock and roll, only without the sex and drugs. For two nights, Camp Bar hosts two nights of a staged reading of “Rocka Mortis,” a locally-produced rock musical. The campy revue offers up scenarios of long-dead rockers kicking it in the afterlife.
8 p.m. Camp Bar, 490 Robert St. N., St. Paul, 651-292-1844, www.camp-bar.net.
THURSDAY, JUNE 24:
LURE Pride Weekend Kick-off
The monthly lady-centric dance night will feature Top 40 dance remixes by DJ Bob from Party Unit. Drink specials include $2 rails and domestic bottled beer.
10 p.m. Rumours & Innuendo, 213 E. 4th St., St. Paul, 651-225-4528, www.rumours-innuendo.com
FRIDAY, JUNE 25:
An S&M-themed night for the GLBT Ground Zero crowd.
8 p.m. Rumours & Innuendo, 213 E. 4th St., St. Paul, 651-225-4528, www.rumours-innuendo.com
SATURDAY, JUNE 26:
Twin Cities Black Pride Party
As a prelude to Twin Cities Black Gay Pride Weekend on September 9-12, St. Paul’s Rumours & Innuendo offers a party geared toward the GLBT African-American crowd.
9 p.m. Rumours & Innuendo, 213 E. 4th St., St. Paul, 651-225-4528, www.rumours-innuendo.com
There’s so many great dance parties, rock shows, jazz revues, and riverboat cruises (yes, you heard me!) happening in St. Paul this weekend. Here’s the best – and the rest:
Grant Hart at Station 4
\Hot off a fall tour for his first album in a decade, ex-Hüsker Dü co-frontman Grant Hart plays a rare gig with a full band. Hot Wax is a return to form for the eccentric performer, which Pichfork called “1960s-infused garage pop clearly from the same soul who wrote all those era-defining Hüsker Dü classics.” Opening is the Phil Solem Band, led by the former frontman of the Rembrandts, and the Beautifics. (8 p.m. $10-12. 21-plus. 210 E. 4th St., St. Paul. 651-298-0173. www.station4.com)
New Year’s Eve Covers Night at Turf Club
Turf Club’s third annual New Year’s Eve covers night boasts five hot local bands playing all-covers from the band of their choice. Vampire Hands is joined by Nate Nelson of Private Dancer to transform themselves into a psychedelic version of Television; Leisure Birds and Zach Rose (formerly of Young Dudes) take on The Monks; Daughters of the Sun aptly cover shoegaze legends Jesus And Mary Chain; Marijuana Deathsquad join with Total Fucking Blood and Gina to become Brian Eno; and Secret Language masquerades as Fleetwood Mac. While you’re there, head down to the Clown Lounge for DJ sets from Winship, TRL and Secret Language. (9 p.m. $8. 21-plus. 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 651-647-0486. www.turfclub.net)
SPStyle New Year’s Eve Party on the Centennial Showboat Theater
Partying on a riverboat going down the Mississippi has to be one of the most memorable ways to ring in the New Year, and the Twin Cities are pretty much the only place that offers such a treat in the U.S. This party is hosted by Local hip hop production company SPStyle, so the DJ and MC lineup is pretty hip hop-oriented and includes DJ D.Mil, Goulash Band, Rico Nevotion, DJ Doez It, DJ Francisco and many more. My bet is that they won’t be able to stop themselves from playing the T-Payne-satirizing “We’re On A Boat.” (9 p.m. 21+. $25-50. Harriet Island, 200 Dr. Justus Ohage Blvd., St. Paul. 651-266-6400.)
DEMO New Year’s Eve Bash at St. Paul Aerie for the Arts/Eagles Club
The Diverse Emerging Music Organization (DEMO) kicks off a weekend full of music at the Eagles Club with a New Year’s Eve show, featuring a lineup of local bluegrass acoustic acts. Whiskey Sournotes, Al Grande, Josh Von Mink, the Zingrays, Hunter Hero, and more fill out this packed bill. (7 p.m. $5. 18+. 287 Maria Ave., St. Paul. 651-774-7643.)
Carole Martin & the Irv Williams Quartet at Artists’ Quarter
Jazz haven the Artists’ Quarter isn’t too shabby on an average night, bringing in the Twin Cities’ hotbed of local jazz and blues talent throughout the week for the past 15 years. When it comes to a night like New Year’s, though, they’ve really pulling out the big guns. Carole Martin’s a seasoned standard singer whose resume goes back before the British Invasion, and tenor saxophonist Irv “Mr. Smooth” Williams has been playing a few decades prior to that. The Artists’ Quarter’s cozy surroundings should provide an intimate backdrop, and a complimentary food spread can’t hurt. (9 p.m. $35-45. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul. 651-292-1359.)
More St. Paul NYE destinations:
St. Paul gay bar Camp hosts a Black & White Ball, kicking off with a live comedy and variety show before going into a soul dance party and prizes all night long. (8:30 p.m. Free before 10 p.m. or $5. 490 N. Robert St., St. Paul. 651-292-1844.) DJ Frayz headlines Lowertown GLBT club Rumours & Innuendo’s New Year’s Eve festivities. Also on tap: prizes, drink specials, midnight champagne toast, and a light show. (10 p.m. Free. 213 E. 4th St., St. Paul.) The Bulldog Lowertown is hosting a New Year’s Eve party complete with live music from the Blazing Saddles and a champagne toast at midnight. (8 p.m. Free. 237 E. 6th St., St. Paul. 651-221-0750.) Minnesota Music Cafe is hosting a New Year’s Eve party with local R&B/soul bands Soul Surreal and High & Mighty. (7 p.m. Free. All ages. 499 Payne Ave., St. Paul. 651-776-4699.)
I may be a “picky eater,” but one thing I’m not is a picky drinker. I’ll pretty much sample any alcoholic concoction placed before me, and the holiday season is a great time to merrily imbibe, sans guilt. Saint Paul is home to about a bazillion awesome bars and restaurants, ranging from seedy dives to classy-as-all-get-out establishments. In this week’s article, I’ll list off some of my favorite bars in the St. Peaz, complete with suggestions on the appropriate cocktail to order while patronizing them. Happy holidays!
The Turf Club
Saint Paul’s seminal rock club has definitely seen its fair share of raucous, booze-soaked shenanigans. The iconic venue has been a local staple since the 1940s, when it was known as country two-steppin’ hot spot. Decades wore on and the bar adapted to the times, finally finding its niche in the local indie rock scene sometime in the late ’90s. Since then, the Turf has become Saint Paul’s answer to CBGB’s; a divey watering hole that slings a stiff drink and turns up the speakers way too loud when the Twin Cities’ hottest bands grace its stage. Lined with year-round Christmas lights and cracked vinyl bar stools, the Turf is regularly peppered with a broad spectrum of patrons that range from skinny-jeaned hipster kids to blue collar workers looking for a cold brewski. Bonus: The kitschy basement “Clown Lounge.”
Suggested drink: Rock out with a Whiskey Coke, and expect it to be mostly whiskey.
Turf Club, 1601 University Avenue, St. Paul
A relatively new addition to the Saint Paul landscape, Camp Bar opened on Robert Street in Mid-2007. This stylish gay bar that has two big, well-stocked bars, a dance floor, a lounge area, and great entertainment just about every night ranging from DJs to cabaret. Camp is one of my favorite spots in town when I’m looking to drink a sassy cocktail with equally sassy friends. Separated into two spacious, connected rooms, you can choose to kick it old school on a stool in the casual yet contemporary front bar, or head to the back room for a more nightclub-esque feel, complete with mezzanine lounge, dance floor and flashing lights. The best thing about Camp is its inventive fleet of bartenders, who are happy to shake you up a unique specialty drink that will almost always knock your socks off.
Suggested drink: Bartenders’ choice, just ask for something “fancy” and watch the magic happen!
Camp Bar, 490 Robert Street N., St. Paul
The Dubliner Pub
This sparse, roadhouse-style bar is a mecca for stereotypical Irish rowdiness and foot-stompin’ live music. While there’s not much that’s special in the pub’s design, it’s the patrons that make this spot a consistently rollicking good time. On any given night, a merry band of ruddy-cheeked drinkers can be found downing pints and exchanging lively tales. A steady stream of Irish musicians such as Tom Dahill, The Langers Ball, and The Wild Colonial Bhoys regularly get the joint jumpin’ with traditional tunes. The Dubliner is most definitely a major St. Patrick’s Day destination as well, with a tent erected in its parking lot and a huge, all-day lineup of musical acts especially for the occasion.
Suggested drinks: Keep it real with Guinness or Jameson if you know what’s good for ya.
Dubliner Pub, 2162 University Avenue, St. Paul
The Saint Paul Hotel
Forget the jeans and t-shirts, people. The Saint Paul Hotel bar is a reason to put on a slinky dress on a Tuesday (or any given day). The hotel itself is one of the most beautiful architectural landmarks in the city and its decadent interior is equally as charming. Belly up to the swanky marble bar in the Saint Paul Grill — the hotel’s upscale in-house restaurant — and indulge in a myriad of perfectly mixed cocktails served by dashing, impeccably groomed bartenders. The ambiance screams (eloquently of course) of old money and relaxed luxury; one may imagine oneself in an sparkly beaded flapper gown, smoking a slim cigarette from a long gold stem whilst leisurely sipping a cocktail. The Saint Paul Hotel is the best upscale bar in the city, hands down.
Suggested drinks: Something classic; a Martini, a Manhattan, or if you’re feeling bubbly, a glass of champagne.
Saint Paul Hotel, 350 Market Street, Downtown St. Paul