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Bryant-Lake Bowl

Not Rated.
Bryant-Lake BowlBryant-Lake Bowl
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

33 Ratings
Ratings: 33
Reviews: 24
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 7.91%
Taps: 0
Bottles: 0
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

810 W Lake St
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 55408-2846
United States
phone: (612) 825-3737

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bryantlakebowl

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: tavernjef)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 | Reviews: 24 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Alpar
5/5  rDev +19.9%

Alpar, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

This is an old 1940's bowling alley and the newest bowling balls probably date from the 1950s. Until 1993 when the current owner took over they served 3.2 beer and bar pizza. She recreated it with a bistro type kitchen not much bigger than a coat closet, a decent menu and a craft beer list. Their list has slipped over the past year but they still offer up a reasonable selection of local and regional craft beer on tap. Food is decent, atmosphere good.

pat61, Monday at 07:47 PM
Photo of mattmarka1
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

mattmarka1, Jan 19, 2014
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

2-26-04
Back before he added BLB to the Beerfly Database, tavernjef and I discussed this, and he said, "does it belong? After all, it's a bowling alley." Well, he answered his own question when he added it, it is and it isn't, it was once, it still is, and it will never be just that again.

There are still signs of BLB's past, like the Grain Belt and Pabst signs outside, but that will never change, despite the makeover that Kim Bartman gave it over a decade ago. Now, it's easier to say what the BLB isn't, rather than what it IS. As for me, up until recently, I could say that I've done everything you could do there but drink wine and bowl. Then, I tried to bowl, and, really, let's forget about that. What have I done? Seen plays, monologues, comedy, films, heard jazz, pop, rock, ate a bunch, and drank aplenty.

The staff is almost uniformly great, and I've rarely met a dud in that department. Consider yourself lucky if you're at the bar, and get Dan at your service. The bar features only wine, and plenty of beer, no liquor, but we care about the beer, and what beer! No huge conglomo-brews, lots of locals, the best of America's micros, always some Bell's and Belgians, lambics, and even gueze, and every time I visit a surprise of two. Something always changes, among the 24 taps, and plenty of variety among the bottled selection.

The food menu is eclectic, and always good, ranging from vegan to bison, and fish and more, and ranging inexpensively in price.

Best yet, nestled deep in the Hipster Central neighborhood of Uptown Minneapolis, it really is a great meeting place for all manner of folk. Be ye white or black, rich or poor, gay or straight, hip or square, upwardly mobile or working-class stiff, it doesn't matter, as long as you like good beer or wine ...or not! I once saw Dan deal with a smelly ragamuffin looking for Bud, and he presented the olfactorily-offensive man with a bottle of PBR and a glass and
I watched the man pour it out contemplatively and slowly savor it from the glass. Now, that's a good beer bar, where even the lowliest can seem like a connoisseur!

...7-22-05, update
On my latest visit, last night, I had the pleasure of speaking to Dan, who still rocks the bar. Highlights among the tap beers included rogue Brutal Bitter, Delirium Tremens, Mojo IPA, Two Hearted, and others..had my first Double Diamond...alcohol has been added, for those who need their Cosmos and double scotches, as well as sidewalk seating for the nicotine-addicted. Still highly recommended.

feloniousmonk, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of FightingEntropy
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%

According to my notes, 2002 was the last time I logged a beer at Bryant Lake Bowl. I think I've been there since--just no new beers on tap for me. My recollections of BLB walking in the door again was of an adequate tap list, memorable pad thai and a night of fun but frustrating bowling due to some lanes, though pitchers of Summit smoothed out the rough patches. Last night's Friday night gathering of Sibley friends was a revelation.

Finding a truly amazing beer for the first draft helped the night along: Bourbon Barrel Aged Bell's 9000. Boozy bourbon wafts above a dark ale with an original gravity of over 1.100. Big beer with a complex taste of wood, chocolate, vanilla and sweetness that's smooth, elegant and slightly overbalanced from the high alcohol. A real treat by itself, but it also happens to be the "batch" beer that I was missing. Before last night, I've been able to sample, 5000, 6000, 7000, 8000 and 10,000. Better to be lucky than good, I guess, but frequently good bars will tend to make one lucky as well.

The food is also fantastic. My wife had the mock duck rolls, which she reported as very good--good enough that I didn't get a sample. I did the pad thai with mock dock and my recall on this dish was spot on. Dan ordered medium compared to my hot, which Lori compared and said mine was significantly hotter, as expected; my bald head was sweating slightly, but it wasn't stupid spicey--just nicely at the limit. Plus, I had purposely ordered a double IPA, Bell's Hopsolution, to counterpoint with high hop: an excellent combination that I would love to repeat.

My wife was surprised at how loud it was sitting in the restaurant, but, evidently, she's always been there late at night or not on a Friday. With a full house and a waiting list for the bowling lanes, I was hoarse after our three hour dine and drink session with friends. Not an uncomfortable volume for our group of six and everyone could participate in the conversation, but it did take a bit of effort to speak.

For entertainment, in between the other drafts, I had a little beer you may have heard of...Surly Darkness. With a half a dozen additional beers that I would happily drink, Bryant Lake Bowl has seemingly upped its beer game. I saw on an RSS feed that BLB did have a Bell's event tapping earlier in the week, so maybe we picked a good night is all. But, I intend to test the theory in the near future and not wait so long to return to Bryant Lake Bowl.

http://pintsizedrevelations.blogspot.com/

FightingEntropy, Nov 21, 2012
Photo of truthbrew
4.45/5  rDev +6.7%

A fun place to get a great beer. While this place can be crowded, loud, and smokey, their generally excellent service paired with bowling and a large selection or beers (at least for the TC area) put this near the top of places to go. Generally it is pretty busy, but tables turn over pretty quickly. Food has also been excellent, though on theatre nights it can be a little slow so order right away.

When visited in Dec-03 they had Bell's Two Hearted, SN Celebration Ale, Bell's Batch 6000, Anchor Porter, etc... on TAP, not even mentioning a large assortment of bottled beer (trappist ales, Cantillon, etc...). They run a nice happy hour after work and street parking is generally available and free after 6pm.

truthbrew, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of mentor
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%

Wow. This is about the coolest place I've ever visited. It's a pub with bowling in the back and a threater through a side door. The establishment is located south and west of downtown Minneapolis, not far from 35W. Parking was difficult to find...I wound up parking in the lot of the gas-station next dor (with permission from the attendant). I went in expecting bowling lanes with a bar that offered crummy beers and fried grease as food. Instead, I walked into a small dining area with a bar to the left. Through the dining area is a host table (could be for seating, I didn't ask for a table) that opened up a bowling lane for me and directed me to the rental shoes. The establishment has a comforatble and rustic big-city feel about it...not granola...not yuppy...just...down to earth. Creative...positive. Relaxing.

The bar had perhaps 20 beers on tap, with so many good offerings that I was disturb I wouldn't get to try everything I had an interest to try. Although Prima Pils was available on tap, I went for the Bell's Two-Hearted. It's just such a fantastic beer I have to have it whenever I get the opportunity.

Anyway, I met up with a couple other BAs, we got a lane, and we bowled a couple games. While we were playing, I noticed people entering a door on the other side of the bowling alley. Apparently, they had tickets to the show in the theater that was through the door. Also, while I didn't order any food there, I did have a good look at some of the dishes that were being served up and they looked quite tasty. I didn't look at the menu, but I wouldn't be surprised if they offered organic dishes. This place is really cool.

mentor, Jun 14, 2005
Photo of blackdog1101
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%

I went to the Bryant Lake Bowl for a couple hours tonight, first time there. What a hoot. I sat at the bar with a fellow whos wife was hosting the "Bowling for Boobs" event to raise money for breast cancer awareness. Very pleasant guy, great cause. Had several great beers on tap; Surly Abrasive Ale, Bells Oberon, Great Divide Hades, and Founder Breakfast Stout. They probably had 12 other raft beers on tap, and lots more in bottles. I really enjoyed the atmosphere of the place. Most highly recommended!

blackdog1101, Apr 23, 2010
Photo of corcoranjc
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

Timing is everything for me in regards to the Bryant Lake Bowl. I was there yesterday afternoon to try my first KBS, and it was perfect. Good music playing, bustling but not too crowded...I got a spot in their parking lot...just the right amount of sun coming through the windows and people talking quietly and reading in the bar. The bar btw is gorgeous...old, smooth wood. Very warm and inviting.

However, like I said, timing is everything, and I always avoid coming to the BLB on Friday and Saturday nights. It's just too busy and crowded during these times for me. Of course, most of uptown is too much for me to handle on the weekends.

I love that the place has bowling, a good bar, and decent food. Really nice, and really cool. Definitely check it out. Also, they are owned by the company/org that runs Barbette and The Red Stag (also both high quality places) and they participate in the 'cheap date night' activities....really great deals to be had on these nights if you can swing it.

corcoranjc, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Moon2Goddess
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%

I have been here for an acoustic set and recently went for the Goose Island Flight of Four. Convenient location on bus lines and in the general walking areas of uptown. Love the atmosphere, lively without being obnoxious, has an honest-earthy vibe to it. That the bathrooms are easy to spot and access doesn't hurt either! It is an older building with older fixtures and decor, but it works for a crowd who are more interested in their conversations and the company they keep than superficial crap. Very good food-healthy options that are organic, fresh and well prepared, nice menu. Their beer list is a respectable variety of local and sought after distributors, and it is exciting that they host release parties from time to time! Sat next to the reps from Goose Island who also passed out extra free stuff and gave me a few hints about what they are bringing to the Autumn Brew Review--SWEET! I will be watching their calender for upcoming events, cheers BLB!

Moon2Goddess, Sep 04, 2011
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Bryant-Lake Bowl in Minneapolis, MN
92 out of 100 based on 33 ratings.