You're gonna make it ( after all ) to some of the hottest spots in the Twin Cities! Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, is totally driveable from Chicago ( but watch out for those overzealous Wisconsin state troopers, trust ) and well worth the trip. Here are some of my picks ( and pans ) from the nightspots of the north, you betcha.
The larger bars in Minneapolis are more like complexes of smaller bars with different themes. This is done to amazing effect in some locations, and to farrrrrrrrrr less success in others. Pull up to The Saloon ( pictured above; 830 Hennepin Ave., www.saloonmn.com ) for state-of-the-art sound in the main dance bar, a cozy come-as-you-are feel in the pub-themed room, a pinch of raunch in the cruisy bar in back, and live shower shows with full peen on display. Save your money ( and time and aggravation ) and skip Gay 90's ( 408 Hennepin Ave., www.gay90s.com ). Lowlights included the rundown main bar complete with, let's say, seasoned go-go man, the giant mechanical penis ride crawling with bachelorettes, and the karaoke bar with no Prince songs. In Minneapolis. Minnesota.
After the aforementioned Prince-related disappointment, I was thrilled to return to my hotel, the on-trend Aloft Minneapolis ( 900 Washington Ave. S, www.aloftminneapolis.com ), to find DJ Paris ( left ) spinning a raging Prince party in the W XYZ bar in the lobby. It did the local music legend proud. I recommend Aloft Minneapolis for its cozy and stylish rooms, its genuine and beyond helpful staff, and for its overall attention to detail.
And don't forget about Minneapolis' less popular but no less bustling twin sister, St. Paul. I mean, it IS the state capital. I caught Nightspots favorites Adam Guerino and Marla Depew doing their comedy show at Camp ( 490 N. Robert St. ) after they realized I was in town ( gotta love Facebook ). Camp is like St. Paul's version of Crew with a huge theater space/danceateria stuck onto it.