Icehouse's happy hour: a missed opportunity?

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Ben Lansky
Eat Street's newest happy hour venue

Icehouse
2528 Nicollet Avenue S., Minneapolis
612.276.6523; Icehouse website

Hours & details:

Monday - Friday: 4-6 p.m.
Sunday: 2 p.m. - close


House wine: $3
Tap beer: $2 off
Rail drinks: $2 off

Icehouse opened after much anticipation this June and has already received positive local reviews regarding its lunch, dinner, and brunch offerings. We stopped by to check out their happy hour menu and soak up some of that allegedly great atmosphere.

Venue: Icehouse is dark and moody: perfect for late-night music and certainly good for hunkering down in a booth for happy hour. If you'd prefer to sit outside, their patio faces an interesting square of sculptures and green space and offers a rare opportunity to enjoy an Eat Street happy hour without facing directly onto Nicollet Avenue.

Tap beers are $2 off for happy hour and happily Icehouse's beer list includes a good selection of craft beers. The usual suspects from Minnesota are available, including Surly Cynic, Fulton Lonely Blonde, and Summit EPA, as well as some popular brews from out of state, like Bells Oberon, Hennepin Ommegang, and Rush River Bubblejack.

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Ben Lansky
Icehouse has a great specialty cocktail list -- unfortunately, not at happy hour prices

With such an impressive cocktail menu, we were surprised that none of those drinks was available at reduced prices. It would be great to see Icehouse feature a rotating happy hour cocktail to give guests a taste of what more they can experience here.

Currently, there are no food items on offer for happy hour, and this seems to be a real opportunity missed. As City Pages has previously reported, "small plates are the focus for late night and dinner" at Icehouse, and we'd like to see some of those dishes given the spotlight on the happy hour menu. The current happy hour situation doesn't give visitors any sense of the food they can expect to enjoy if they choose to stick around for dinner.

We ordered instead from the "bar snacks" menu, a small selection of nibbles that will set you back between $4.50 and $10.50.

French fries served with two dipping sauces ($5.50) were hot, crunchy, and well seasoned, although the portion size was a little meager for the price.

Bills Electric Beans ($8.50) were indeed pretty electric, comprising a smoky cassoulet of sausage, chipotle roasted peppers, mushrooms, and a slice of pork belly. Again, it's a small serving for the price tag but a tasty one.

Verdict: Offering great craft beer at knocked-down prices will always bring customers in, but Icehouse is missing an opportunity by not offering any of its standard menu items or fabulous cocktails at happy hour prices. The bar snacks and delicious beer will keep us coming back, but we'd love to see this Eat Street newbie improve its happy hour game.



Location Info

Venue

Map

Icehouse

2528 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Music

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3 comments
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bettyjean
bettyjean

So now City Pages, with its revolving door of neophyte bloggers, is advising restaurants as to who they SHOULD be? This whole write-up is so condescending, so sadly pompous, from such a naive point of view. Most would see that the bar snacks menu is actually much like a happy hour menu that you can get all the time. Can you really complain about food made in-house with high-quality ingredients for under $10? The Electric Beans has pork belly AND sausage and still comes in at $8.50? Maybe you should stick to the happy hours at Cowboy Jacks, I'm sure you'll find value and understanding there. 

alibubb
alibubb

Went to IceHouse on Sunday afternoon and sat on the patio. The service was great and we were never left serching for our servier when we wanted to order another drink or some food. The sipping shots are fun with great combinations for only $5 (Try the Stranger in the Night). It would be nice to get craft beers at happy hour prices.

Ron9000
Ron9000

Checked this place out for dinner last night. We ate some genuinely good food, and the room is beautiful, but the service was terrible and the whole place had sort of a haphazard quality. Don't know if they are still working out kinks or what but it'll probably be a while before there's a second visit.

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