Esquire magazine names Palmer's one of the best bars in America

PalmersSized.jpg
Photo courtesy of prx.org
Esquire names Palmer's bar on the West Bank one of the best bars in America
Over the course of the past few years, our local bar scene has been on a serious upswing. New restaurants are incorporating trendy cocktail bars into their floor plans; taprooms come standard with any upstart craft brewery; and just on the horizon, we'll have a wave of craft cocktail rooms as part of the local distillery boom. 

Still, here in the Twin Cities, we never forget our roots. Which is why we were so pleased to see that in the newest issue of Esquire, cocktail historian David Wondrich has gone and named south Minneapolis institution Palmer's Bar to his 2014 list of Best Bars in America.

See also:
Northbound Smokehouse makes USA Today's Best Brewpubs list

PalmersHistorySized.jpg
Photo courtesy of Palmer's
Looking back on Palmer's looks a lot like looking in on them now
This isn't the first time that Esquire magazine has singled out a Twin Cities bar as being one of the best in the nation. In 2006, the magazine named Nye's Polonaise Room the best bar in America. Other bars that have received national recognition include both Marvel Bar and Parlour

Palmer's is probably best known as the premier dive bar of the Seven Corners area of Minneapolis, offering heavy-handed pours, a dark atmosphere, and an outdoor patio where on a good night, you can gather round the fire to swap stories with a rag-tag group of diehard regulars. It's exactly the kind of bar we grew up with and still love.

Palmer's was originally founded in 1906 and has been a Twin Cities West Bank institution ever since. Owners have come and gone, but the bar's colorful presence has held strong, surviving Prohibition and later transforming into a hippie stronghold in the 1960s.

According to Wondrich's article, "There are dives and dives in this world. There's the type Guy Fieri calls out, old joints that might not feel like they need to get their hair done before seeing company but are nonetheless fundamentally clean and comfortable and unchallenging. Then there's Palmer's."

Wondrich sings the praises of Palmer's cheap price tags on bottom-shelf shots of whiskey and notes, "make sure to get a beer back with your shots, which are poured double."

"Esquire magazine called last night. In their June issue, Palmer's is named #1 bar in Minnesota and one of the best bars in the nation," reads a statement on the bar's Facebook page. "Take that you craft cocktailors and douche bag top 40 clubs!!!!!!"

While we do love innovative craft cocktails, our love for local dive bars will never wane. Whether we want to party with friends or drown our sorrows in a pint of beer, we know exactly where we want to go, and Palmer's certainly fits the bill.


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62 comments
Matt Tg
Matt Tg

best bar to receive an unwanted roofie

Rob Erickson
Rob Erickson

Do the brothers still own it? They lived in Bloomington on 86th st.

Katy Ashley
Katy Ashley

I like it too, it's nice because the college crowd mostly stays away as you can see from this thread. I am sure since city pages wrote about it they will flock like sheep now.

Smokie McJingles Lisa
Smokie McJingles Lisa

I was there last week, scared to walk in but, it was cool n I would go again!

Steven Stewart
Steven Stewart

WOW -- usta be ok. Last time I went in it was a SHITHOLE

Ben Marker
Ben Marker

As an employee, please do visit. At any time, day or night. We take pride in being humble. We do our best to feed all of our neighbors that go hungry (stop by any Friday afternoon). You will never be a part of a greater social experience if you choose to hang out on our patio. Be open to any, and all, walks of life, and you'll find the truest folks from either hemisphere that you've never met. The trick is to be nice. Introduce yourself. If you're nice, you'll find that everyone that makes Palmer's one of the best bars in America will welcome you into their circle.

Zach Nyhus
Zach Nyhus

It smells like urine in there. Seriously, it's nasty.

ZachNyhus
ZachNyhus

"...one of the best bars in America... ...among people who like their bars to smell like urine and their bartenders to avoid deodorant at all costs."

There, fixed it for ya'.

William Davis
William Davis

Palmers is the third best bar on the West Bank

Daniel Leutgeb
Daniel Leutgeb

All y'all hating on palmers that's great! It's people like you that I don't want to be around there anyway

Aaron Mielke
Aaron Mielke

So sick of national polls telling us how great we are. This place is a shit hole what kind of place doesn't take fucking credit cards or have ATM it's 20 fucking 14.

Ron Akkerman
Ron Akkerman

If you can't handle diversity, then keep going to your local Applebee's or TGIF. Palmers is a wonderland if you are are calm and respectful to the other humans.

Jomamby Wolfe
Jomamby Wolfe

Bullshit! That place is a dump! Bring back the 400, boy not at the FREAKIN' MOA!

Keith Morris
Keith Morris

Eh. It's OK, but there are plenty more I'd rank over it. Palmer's ambiance reminds me of Lisska Bar in Columbus except instead of live music it has over-the-counter pills (??? I hope you aren't planning on popping those aspirins any time soon.), $2 meatloaf, scratch-off lotto tickets and like just about all dives over there if you ask for what's on tap you've just exposed yourself as a C-bus dive bar amateur: it's cans or bottles (macro only) or shots. The difference there is: no one *ever* talks about these places, let alone get word out to local or national magazines and almost no one has ever heard of them regardless if the joint has around for decades. Otherwise it would apparently be overrun with Minneapolitan tourists. If Palmer's is your kind of place and you can do without the live music aspect then you should book a flight and head out to Columbus which is full of divey dodgy Midwestern bars in the same vein where you could hit up a half dozen each on the West Side, South Side, and Northeast (the opposite of our Nordeast: the owner of Jeff's Place was hanging out front and straight up advised me against going in, but then with their "30 and up with ID" policy prominently displayed I wouldn't have been able to back then anyway). Even the locals there almost never dare to enter these places unless they live in the immediate neighborhood. A Minneapolitan's heaven is a Columbusite's hell, I suppose. In my case, it's more of someplace in the middle, since I appreciate how unique these places can be, but at the same time once is often enough and I never feel a compelling enough need or desire to return.

colinglidden
colinglidden

Not an ounce of pretension at Palmer's...that is why it makes the list...a true rarity in our culture. To all of you ripping the place...ha ha ha  you just don't get the true meaning of life...(a small hint) it is not ripping on those different from you.

Abby Riesterer-Allen
Abby Riesterer-Allen

Didn't a Palmer's bouncer get beat nearly to death with a shovel about five years ago? Which was followed by a string of shootings practically on its doorstep?

John Myott
John Myott

Back in '79 or early '80 I went into Palmer's to get a drink. The bartender was so busy talking to some customer and ignored me. I got impatient and walked down to the 400. I've never had a drink at Palmer's

Craig Viknx
Craig Viknx

Have drank many a times over the years there, but still liked Moby Dicks during it's times.

Chad Ness
Chad Ness

This is disturbing and awesome! It IS a great dive bar. You can destroy your liver, esophagus, and ear drums all in one night, and come back for more the next!

Clint Cochran
Clint Cochran

Palmers rules. One of my favorite places to bring people who have never been in mpls before.

Angela Davis Artist
Angela Davis Artist

Congrats! Had a couple of art shows there. Nice place, love the owners!

Benjamin Wenker
Benjamin Wenker

Pretty sure Esquire is just trolling Minnesota. Both Nye's AND Palmer's? They have to be fucking with us.

Dan Theman
Dan Theman

Easily the best in all of Minnesota. I only wish I could be there when this article brings in the wrong crowd. Nichael Sam Jamie

Melanie Olsen
Melanie Olsen

Has anyone from Esquire ever BEEN IN Palmers?

colinglidden
colinglidden

Yo, Keith they often have live music Thursday- sunday. And they have a few good taps..Summit/Newcastle and others.

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