First look: Glory Days Bar and Grill

Categories: Now Open

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Glory Days Bar and Grill
In 2011, it's difficult to understand where the concept of the sports bar originated. With multiple and massive flat-panel HDTVs in just about every bar or restaurant in town--regardless of theme or philosophy--it's not easy to remember a time when the sports bar could be considered novel or unique. Hell, what even defines a sports bar nowadays? Some Twins pennants on the wall and an old Vikings jersey in a glass case? 

New Brighton has a new addition to the less-than-illustrious list of local strip-mall sports bars called Glory Days Bar and Grill. The Hot Dish stopped by for a brew and to watch the Twinkies languish in the AL Central cellar.

The first thing to notice when one walks in is the set of six bleacher seats salvaged from the Metrodome. Nostalgic?  Yes. Comfortable? Meh.

The space feels like a really nice rec room in someone's house. The wall of plate glass windows on one side of the location looks out on some houses across the street, so close that one could probably watch the occupants in those houses watching the Twins on their own TVs.  If we lived in one of those houses, we would invest in a very good set of blinds.

There's not a whole lot to say about the decor. It's standard sports bar regalia, including a large scoreboard and banks of TVs. In fact, if anything, it's a little sparser than the average sports bar.  Considering that Glory Days has been open less than two weeks and hasn't had its grand opening yet, this may well be changing soon.


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The servers working this night seemed to understand the deal: This is a low-key neighborhood hangout. As a result, there was a very casual, though not inattentive, feel to the service. We took advantage of the All Day, Every Day Special--a pint of Hamm's for $1.50--and sat down with a menu.

The offerings are exactly what you expect to find at a sports bar. Chicken wings? Check. Burgers? Check.  Bastardizations of Mexican food? Check.

There really are no unique or signature dishes here. The menu does tout the Glory Days Dip, which was represented as a saucy juggernaut of awesomeness. We decided to add a side of this magical dip ($1.50) to our order of a steak tips wrap ($12.95) and the Nordeaster Turkey Club ($8.95). The sandwiches come with French fries or a choice of soup or salad.


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Nordeast Turkey Club
The Nordeaster Turkey Club is not, despite the name, made from turkey basted in Grain Belt Nordeast beer. This is a disappointment.  Seriously, somebody get on that. Turkey, bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and banana peppers make up this solid sandwich. The bun isn't really up to snuff and doesn't hold the messy insides of the sandwich very well. But the bacon is crispy, the melted cheese is plentiful, and the banana peppers keep the affair from entering "too-bland" territory. The French fries are reasonably good, though we would advise the owners to start stocking malt vinegar, because these are definitely the kind of fries that go well with malt vinegar.

Speaking of things to dip your fries in, the Glory Days Dip was quite underwhelming.  Basically sour cream with some french onion soup mix stirred in, the dip does not hold up to some of the other signature dips around town. The horseradish sauce served with the steak tips was more interesting.

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Steak Tips Wrap
Those steak tips were certainly the highlight of this visit.  They are normally not sold in a wrap, but, since the menu says "Ask us to wrap anything!", we did. It probably made these much easier to eat. The menu also mentions that these tenderloin tips are cooked in a red wine reduction, which "sounds fancy but tastes good."  And the menu is right. There is a very rich and robust red wine and pepper flavor to this combination of tender beef and mushrooms. But the bottom line is that Glory Days will not be a destination for its food. It's a place for locals to hang out and be able to get a cab ride home without breaking the bank. It's the kind of place the local softball leagues would go after the games. And for them, it's quite satisfactory.

But there may be one thing about Glory Days to draw in some far-flung folks. When the restaurant celebrates its grand opening on May 7, the feature attraction should be complete: an indoor virtual golf and hunting experience.

Playing a game of Super-Duper Buck Hunter? Now that might be worth a short drive.

Glory Days Bar and Grill
500 Fifth Ave NW, New Brighton
651.633.2226


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17 comments
A once a monther
A once a monther

I Love this place.  It does not claim to be anything it is not.  I live in the area and equally split my time between Village Pub in St. Anthony, and Glory Days.  If I want fun beer selection I go to VP.  If I want good cheap food and drink and games of buck hunter, or to see a game I go to Glory Days.  Plus, 1.50 Hamms- that is just awesome. 

Kennynovak
Kennynovak

I went for lunch today. Although the waitress and the guy who greeted me at the door (the owner?) were polite, it took 40 minutes for my food to arrive.  When you only have an hour for lunch, that's not acceptable.  The food was just... OK.  I'd agree with the authors that its probably a place to visit because you want to hang out, not because the food and service are exceptional.

Bud B.
Bud B.

If you want to visit a sports bar with some expectation of good food served reasonably quickly, good service, and good atmosphere, the Village Pub in St Anthony Village on a scale of 1 to 10 is an 8, while Glory Days is a 1 at best.

Colleen
Colleen

Our experience was far less than desirable.  Living in New Brighton, we were hoping that this place would have a small town feel, good food, good service, with a good tap beer selection.  We were disappointed on all fronts.  The wait staff was slow.  When we ordered the pan fried cajun walleye we expected, well, pan fried cajun walleye.  Instead, it was batter fried and bland.  We've had better fish sandwiches at McDonald's.  To top it off, they didn't take it off the menu after returning it!  After complaining, they took 20% off... and were rude about it.  I have NEVER not left a tip... but I couldn't bring myself to tip for bad food and bad service.  We will never return!

Shinytime
Shinytime

I've stopped in a few times. You only get good service if you are a know-the-bartender regular. As far as typical suburban sports bars go, this is well below average.

Bill_harlen
Bill_harlen

This restaurant is excellent if you like owners with no business ethics, white trash, drugs, or just pricks in general.

Guest
Guest

You forgot to mention that the selection of beers on tap was underwhelming. How about some true Minnesota beers?

Dee007
Dee007

Go check this place out for yourself. It really is only the opinion of one or two employees/writers(?!) for City Pages. It's too bad they have to sound so negative. Like everything was just blah! blah! blah! Bah Humbug!!! I have been to Glory Days twice. Once during happy hour with family, children etc. Food was great, service was right on! Music wasn't too loud & I would notice because I don't like to have to yell when I am out and I like to hear what my family is talking about! Okay the second time I was out with some friends it was after happy hour & some great music was played & it may have been a little louder but considering the great tunes that were being played it made it a lot of fun! What's wrong with a "good ole' bar"or "redneck bar" (whatever you want to call it!) where you can eat, laugh, drink, listen to music, forget your workday or put your worries on hold for awhile? Oh & I almost forgot, you can watch SPORTS because it is a SPORTS bar & remember there are "massive flat panel HDTVs" at Glory Days! Yay!!!

Big Herb Dickerson
Big Herb Dickerson

County Music or Fox News = instant "not for me" turn around and walk out.

Jayjay
Jayjay

Just what we need. Another red neck bar in New Brighton.

Blueeberri
Blueeberri

We stopped there for happy hour. There was a man that went up to the Juke box and cranked up the country music way too loud!!!! I looked around and saw him walk into the kitchen. So I figured he must be the owner or the manager. We got up to leave and I walked by him and he did not even say HELLO!!! OMG. I couldn't believe it. I am in the food industry and not even to say HELLO to customers than just spent money there? He seemed to be having a good ole time with no concern for the customers. We will not be going back.

Guest213
Guest213

I live near here and have no plans of stopping in. The owners seem to be pretty inconsiderate.

Minnmom
Minnmom

We live near New Brighton. Because the food at our local pub sucks, we checked out Glory Days. We stopped in on their opening night and found the food to be tasty (Southwest chicken wrap and their version of a French dip) and plentiful. I’m not a fish eater, but other patrons told me the walleye was great. The drinks are reasonably priced—a good pour, not a stingy trickle. With a few tweaks (a smaller hamburger choice, please, nobody really needs a half a pound of cow) and the addition of a patio, Glory Days could easily become our new watering hole. PS -- How about a beanbag game league? That would be fun!

Jrzep
Jrzep

Have only taken drunk people out of there...have to agree with you 100%!  If I treated their employees like they treat us I would be kicked out of there in a heartbeat!

Sunshinegirlaruba
Sunshinegirlaruba

I am surprised at the writers twist on this review. The City of New Brighton needs Glory Days and the fact is the majority of the patrons seem to like it. I work in the area and we have been waiting for afun but laid back place to go. The food is fabulous! They have an american (mostly) menu with additions to sandwiches burgers, wraps etc. that give you the explosion of flavor or subtle flavors that have us wondering what it is exactly that created the dance on our palets. Glory Days is in its first weeks and from what I can tell they are doing something right. IF someone doesn't want a half pound burger they can get sliders, or turn any burger into a chicken breast sandwich (which I do). Music? I specifically asked about the juke box and the manager said after 9 or 10 if the people want it up they turn it up. Cool! In this economy I welcome anyone that has the courage and vision to start a new business AND employ people. Kudo's to Glory Days. I will continue to have business lunches there and visit for happy hour. The grand opening was May 7th and I and many of my coworkers made the trip on a Saturday to support them. Thanks Glory Days for bringing a fun place to New Brighton!

Michael Mattson
Michael Mattson

Oh, I agree with you that the beer list is less-than-expansive. I feel it's almost adequate, but, as some of the other commenters have pointed out, this just doesn't feel like the kind of place to carry craft beers or microbrews.

If they don't sell it in the only gas station in that small Wisconsin town, they don't sell it at this bar. :)

Michael Mattson
Michael Mattson

I agree that a patio would be a nice addition. Unfortunately, I don't really see where they could put one in that space unless it was a fairly small one on the other side of those windows.

Thanks for your input!

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