Sweeney's Saloon

Sweeney's SaloonSweeney's Saloon
Sweeney's SaloonSweeney's Saloon
Bar, Eatery

96 Dale St N
Saint Paul, Minnesota, 55102-2039
United States

(651) 221-9157 | map

View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 18 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of UlySA
UlySA from Minnesota

4.24/5  rDev +9.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5

Used to live right by this place, and man, do I miss it. A cool, old brick wall and old wood vibe is just perfect. Wooden church pew style bench seating at booths and signs like "our soup of the day is whiskey" make you smile. The drinks are great. They make their own (or made their own, been a year or two) pineapple vodka that is amazingly delicious. Other unique custom cocktails and a decent beer selection with plenty of classics are also available. The patio area in back (that's heated for near all-year outdoor eating and drinking) is super cozy, and they even have a couple private rooms available for party's. All that's fine and dandy, but my favorite is the food. They're daily rotating "poor man specials" (which were like half a hot ham and cheese sandwich with a soup and a beer for like 5$ or something like that) we're always a go-to for me for lunch, and they have great happy hour specials. Loved their fish and chips (especially the house tartar sauce). Burgers are great. It's all good that I've had here. The only complaint I have is that it can get REAL crowded, and for such a small place they really pack you in. Can get claustrophobic at certain times and parking can get to be a nightmare, but all because this little saloon has got it going on. In spades.

Jun 14, 2019
Photo of pat61
pat61 from Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Decent beer list, good selection of bar food, decent vibe - old St. Paul bar filled with neighborhood types and a selection of local hipsters. Not real hip, but pleasant.

Jan 19, 2015
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mjryan from Minnesota

3.45/5  rDev -11.1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.25

Ok, Sweeneys is not a dump, and it isn't a "hipster" hot spot. It's an old St Paul bar with food that while not "foodie" per say, certainly is leaps and bounds above McDonalds (or any other crap food chain). They have a pretty decent beer selection, around twenty or so lines that rotates frequently. Mostly craft with about four Summits and a few others staying constant. They have a daily happy hour that features $3.00 Summit
beer and .50 cent tacos (the tacos aren't mind blowing, but for fifty cents a pop they are a steal). Service can be a bit, ahem, poor at times, but Sweenys isn't unique here. Douchey bartenders and servers abound these lovely towns of ours, especially in popular joints who I guess do just fine regardless. They do serve beer in the patio in plastic cups. So fucking what. They aren't throw away keg cups. No, they are thick walled sort of pop cups I guess. The reuseable type. Pretty muck exactly what Town Hall used for years on their patio. And, and they have a very nice patio. A very nice patio. A patio where people smoke and drink and throw their butts around. It happens. Not a beer destination, but of you live in the neighborhood it's a fine place.

May 21, 2013
Photo of TheDudeRules
TheDudeRules from Minnesota

2/5  rDev -48.5%
vibe: 1 | quality: 1 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 1

Specifically went here for the outdoor ambiance. It was littered doubly over. Trash strewn about ala cigarette butts everywhere and hipster douche bags. Outside bar was not open. It was pretty busy so drinks took awhile to get. When they did arrive the beers were served in hard plastic water type cups. Yuck. The food is subpar bar food. Literally Fast Food would be more enjoyable. The tap list was ok. They had about 20 things on tap. The only saving grace.

I'll sum it up. Offer showers for the hipsters and take out the mop bucket once in awhile and you may be on to something there. Until then the place is a dump. Avoid it. Two blocks down is Muddy Pig and it is leaps and bounds better.

Jul 27, 2011
Photo of pioneer13
pioneer13 from Minnesota

3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Used to go here a lot in college and made it back on, coincidentally, the first day of Craft Beer Week. Well, great day to be in there as a bunch of the crew from Summit (including the founder/owner) were in there tapping a Gold Soveriegn Ale firkin. They had plenty of Summit on as well as Bells, Left Hand, Anchor Steam as well as Alaskan White. Yumm on the Alaskan as it just arrived here in Minny this month. Cold evening, but could still sit outside as they had the fireplace crackling and the patio bar was alive and kicking. Food is good for pub grub. Nachos are very tasty and enough for the whole table. Bartenders and wait staff were knowledgable and friendly.
One unfortunate feature is the men's room redesign. Room for two to pee and if you are unfortunate enough to be at the left pisser and the door opens you can have an audience as the entire back part of the bar could see you in midstream. Also, if someone is using the handdryer, it is right above your urinal and it can feel a little awkward. If you suffer from stage fright wait for the toilet stall to open because this restroom has the worst design I have ever seen.

May 18, 2011
Photo of Beerking721
Beerking721 from Minnesota

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Visited last week with a buddy. The atmosphere is really cool here. We walked in from the back and discovered an amazing courtyard complete with multi-level seating with a huge outdoor fireplace and striking painted beer murals on the walls. Once inside, there was a classic/historical feel to the place. Just the perfect feeling for a place I would want to spend the afternoon! Old brick walls, antique bar, antique signs on the walls, wood floor... you get the picture. The ladies working were friendly and provided nice service. We had a couple Summit Octoberfest beers and tried the Cowboy Burger with Cajun fries. Everything was really good. Tap selection was more than adequate and the beer was fresh. Nicely done Sweeney's! I'll be back.

Aug 22, 2010
Photo of kbaker91
kbaker91 from Minnesota

4.15/5  rDev +7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Sweeney's is a friendly neighborhood tavern located just south of the Selby/Dale intersection in St Paul. Old-school wood throughout the place gives the bar area a healthy sense of character. A great patio area is located out back, a can't miss when the weather is nice.

Service is always friendly, willing to give samples of new beers/drinks or make suggestions on the beer list or menu. The bartenders also are generally willing & able to converse about most subjects if the place isn't too busy. In a word, the service is unpretentious, unlike other beer bars in this area of town.

The beer selection is nothing to write home about. 15 beers on tap. My most recent trip here this weekend they had four Summits, two Bells, a Left Hand, a Sprecher, Hamms, SNPA, Anchor Steam & the rest your usual suspect macros. $2.50 on all Summit pints & $.50 tacos 3-6PM daily is a fairly decent happy hour special.

The food is average pub fare, good but nothing new here.

Overall, a great place to have beers and enjoy both a nice bar area & patio. Not a place to go out of your way for the beer selection, however. Basically, if you want an unpretentious atmosphere with decent but limited beer selection, this is your place in the area.

Apr 28, 2009
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CHSLBrew from Minnesota

3.93/5  rDev +1.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3 | food: 4

With an exceptional patio area in back, Sweeney's is one of the best places in St. Paul to enjoy a beer on a beautiful day. Teer selection is nothing to write home about (a healthy number of local and regional micros, then the standard macros and imports), but they do beer features that occassionaly highlight some out-of-the ordinary beers.

The service at this bar is top-notch every time I visit. The staff is friendly and does a great job of making me feel welcome. What they lack in thorough beer knowledge, they make up for in quality of service and an inviting atmosphere.

Late night happy hour every night at 9PM features deals on local pitchers and cheap buffalo wings. One of the best deals in town!

This place is a real winner, and I'd recommend stopping in whenever you're in the area.

Oct 27, 2008
Photo of mwagner1018
mwagner1018 from Minnesota

3.41/5  rDev -12.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Nice place, good outdoor seating area, decent selection of brews. Definitely local patrons, nice environment. Nice style L shaped bar, bartender was great, hooked up quickly, and noticed that I was wasn't ordering macro products, so chatted about some of their local and import selections. I will have to visit again and rate more in depth about their selections, and their food. It seemed to me that the outdoor seating area would be great on a nice summer evening. It's also located in a great area, just off of the bustle of Selby and Dale, basically in a quaint little neighborhood. Fit the bill as a nice local pub.

Jul 09, 2007
Photo of FightingEntropy
FightingEntropy from Minnesota

3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

First time at Sweeney's after hearing about the Dale Street legend. Very cool inside, and the high walled patio with large, mature trees overarching can't be beat--especially when the giant fireplace was lit.

Tap list was good--I had Summit ESB, Bell's Oberon, and Surly CynicAle during the course of the night, and drank the best of the menu. All were fresh and tasted like they were well handled--in plastic in the patio, but what you gonna do. Chatting with an old friend who just flew into town, so didn't even check out the bottle list. Cajun french fries were good, but nothing spectacular.

I think I need to try another night other than Saturday--lots of "look I'm 21" types dressed up for a night on the town, slooow service but it was busy (but not that busy). If someone else is choosing, it's a great little joint with more than adequate beer; if I'm choosing, I'll drink down the street at Muddy Pig or The Happy Gnome with less atmosphere and better beer.

Jun 09, 2007
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Andy from Massachusetts

4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

A pure 5 across the board in terms of atmosphere. Sweeney's is one of the world's great neighborhood establishments. Perennial winner of best neighborhood bar in StPaul. It served as my home base for three years during law school and I enjoyed beers there several nights a week. After a two year absence, I returned one night and the waitress carded everyone at the table but me and my former roommate, simply saying, "I know you guys." That's a local.

Solid selection across the board and one of the earliest supporters of Summit. Regularly has four Summit drafts and two Leinie's drafts available.

Great outdoor patio in the warmer months. The old '96' sign used to hang in front of a bar on University Ave in StPaul. The rest of the sign (and a picture of the establishment) can be seen at the Dubliner Pub in StPaul.

Sweeney's for me is home and the best local you can ask for. Perhaps not the best pure beer bar, but simply a comfortable pub with a one of a kind environment.

And men, when you hit the head, say hi to Brian Shelley for me...

Aug 30, 2006
Sweeney's Saloon in Saint Paul, MN
Place rating: 3.88 out of 5 with 18 ratings