graphicYou can still dine and dance at some of Northeast Minneapolis’ old restaurants and polka lounges. In 1955, Stan Mayslack loaded his jukebox exclusively with polka music. These days the repertoire at Mayslack’s has diversified to include rock and country as well as occasional polka. The dining room is packed with old timers and college students, who line up for a taste of Mayslack’s classic garlic beef sandwich.

Tony Jaros River Garden is named after Northeast’s most famous athlete. This nationally registered tavern is housed in a 1905 saloon and is famous for serving up two sweet and deceptively potent drinks, called the Pinkie and Greenie.

Two of the oldest restaurants in Northeast are Jax Café and Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit located on University Avenue, just blocks from one another. Jax Café has served up the same home-cooked fish and seafood, meat and potato dishes under the same name for over 70 years. “Gasthof’s” opened as Joe’s Corner Bar in 1912, later becoming Arthur’s Four Seasons, “Home of the Onion Ring.” Today, it serves up Polka music, Bavarian beers, and German favorites such as weiner schnitzel and apple strudel.

City zoning ordinances do not relegate restaurants and barrooms to a single district in Northeast Minneapolis. Rather, restaurants and bars–both old and new–live amidst Northeast’s families and neighborhoods. The result is a melange of unique neighborhood bars and cafes–including Dusty’s, Shaw’s, Jimmy’s, Grumpy’s, The Modern Café Elsie’s, and Stasiu’s–that draw Northeast regulars and
visitors from throughout the Twin Cities area.

While the old restaurants like Nye’s Polanaise and Kramarczyk’s serve up mostly Polish and German fare, a new generation aims to please more worldly palates, representing five continents and dozens of national cuisines. This new generation includes ethnic eateries like the Holy Land Grocery and Deli on Central and Sarah Jane’s Bakery, serving Scandinavian treats, as well as trendy cafes such as Pop! on Johnson Street or The Sample Room on Marshall Street.

 

 

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