Live Beats and Good Eats in Minnesota

Photo Jan 10, 3 05 55 PM

Clyde Iron Works

2920 W Michigan St, Duluth

In Minneapolis, the downtown warehouse district is booming from a resurgent urban community that has retrofitted old industrial buildings into modern workspaces, new breweries, and retail shops. In the Lincoln Park district of Duluth a similar revitalization took place in a building which once housed Clyde Iron Co., a turn-of-the-century steel foundry and manufacturer of heavy machinery for the logging, construction, ship building and material handling industries.

The manufacturing company closed its doors in 1986, but today the building houses Clyde Iron Works Restaurant & Bar, a 36,000 square foot restaurant, bar, and event center that hosts local, regional, and national bands. With its skeletal frame of exposed I-beams and murals of the historic foundry on display, the restaurant stands as a symbol of the zenith of Duluth’s industrial age.

The restaurant serves an eclectic menu of American and Italian inspired dishes including wood-fired burgers, Neapolitan-style pizzas, hand-made pastas, and locally caught fish from Lake Superior.

The musicians that fill the Machine Shed concert hall are just as eclectic as the food. Artists such as G. Love and Special Sauce, Chevelle, the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Cloud Cult, Atmosphere, GB Leighton, Doomtree, Brandi Carlile, and Duluth’s own Charlie Parr and Trampled by Turtles, have performed there. And iron isn’t the only “metal” at Clyde Iron Works. The restaurant and music venue frequently welcome metal bands such as Sevendust, Papa Roach, and After the Burial.

Dakota Jazz Club

1010 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

The Dakota Jazz Club has been a haven for jazz enthusiasts since it opened in 1985 in St. Paul’s Bandana Square. The original concept was first and foremost a restaurant with live local jazz in the bar, but over the years the music programming expanded beyond the state borders to booking national acts, making the Dakota into one of the most renowned jazz clubs in the Midwest.

Now located on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, the club’s calendar is filled seven days a week with local, regional, and national live jazz acts, as well as other genres ranging from Bob Mould to the Purple One himself—Prince—who reemerged into the music scene with a surprise set of six sold-out shows over three nights. A half-moon of tables surrounds the stage on the main floor for intimate and moving performances.

With their reputation for top-notch music, many may overlook what is happening in kitchen at the Dakota. One of the Twin Cities original “farm-to-table” restaurants, the Dakota’s executive chefs Kristin Tyborski and Derik Moran continue the tradition with a wide-appealing menu. Obsessive foodies and thrifty-minded patrons can choose between options like sea bass with a wild mushroom cabbage roll or the beer battered cod sandwich on an egg roll with tartar sauce.

Pair your meal with a beer from their modest tap list featuring local favorites Surly and Summit and new favorites like Excelsior Brewing, or from their quality bottled beer list ranging from North Coast Brewing to Two Brothers, Fulton, Rush River, and Founders. Pair another pint or bottle with the music and enjoy a very special evening.

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Brian Kaufenberg is the editor-in-chief of The Growler Magazine.

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