L: MY cabin.

R: The Chicago Tavern on Gilbert Lake. See the Old Time Tavern Tour link to the left. This was a teaser.


This list will include taverns in the Brainerd proper area, which would exclude The Starlite to the west and the Drop Inn to the east. All other out-of town taverns will be found on a sub-page from here called "Old-Time Tavern Tour", at the left.

Admittedly, I'm a bit preoccupied with this subject. My dad had a beer wholesalership here in town from 1955 to 1978, and I was out delivering to these places at about 16, so I got around to a lot of "beer joints", and met a lot of wonderful people. I would be remiss in not acknowledging them here. Further, these kinds of places are a dying breed, and some recognition is due.


-KEY CLUB: These were supper clubs where you could keep your own booze bottle locked up, in a bank of lockers much like tall postal boxes, with your own key. These places likely did not serve liquor over the bar, but rather Set-Ups only. The lockers eliminated the need to carry a booze bottle in your car of course. Examples that I recall from the 70's would be The Flame Super Club on Hwy. 371 N. and Myr-Mar, a supper club on Mille Lacs lake, just N. of Garrison.

-SET-UPS: These were 3.2 Joints where you could bring your own bottle of booze and pour your own mixed drinks, with their mix. An example that I recall was Oak Lawn Tavern in the early 70's.

-STRONG JOINT: These sold "strong" beer, and could have hard liquor (mixed drinks).

-3.2 JOINT: These sold only 3.2% beer, no wine or liquor.

-B & M TAVERN: (Oak St., Brainerd), AKA Hoffner's. Earlier Culley's, later John's Tavern. Bill and Marion Hoffner, prop..

-Bowery (Brainerd): THis was owned by the dog catcher, can't remember his name. It was on the east end of Front St., south side, next to and west of the CO-OP, and adjoined the Little Vegas to the south.

-BUFFALO RUN: On the NE corner of 8th & Laurel Sts., owned by Bob Olson. Previously a smorgasboard, the something ___? House, same owner I think.

-Cellar, The (Brainerd): I think this was in the basement of the Elk's Building, run by Chuck Morgan, or perhaps he was just the bartender. The head bartender may have been "Chopper" Bollum. Possibly owned by Chuck Hanson. May have been also Papa C's.

-CLUB BAR: OK, Ben, where was this located?

-Culley's (Oak St., Brainerd), later B & M Tavern, AKA Hoffner's (Bill & Marion Hoffner), then John's Tavern.

-Dugout (Brainerd), see Vogue

-Dungeon, The: (below the Ransford Hotel, SW corner of 6th. & Front St., downtown Brainerd). Barmaid was "Popcorn Alice".

-Dutch Room Bar: (Tom Baker, 8th. St., downtown Brainerd), 2008 O'Neary's. The adjoining off-sale was The Cork & Bottle.

-Eddie's Arrow, or Arrow Tavern: (NE Brainerd on Washington St.), Ed Morgan, prop., later Maynard ___?:

-Esser's (later King Soloman's Mines, then Red Velvet, now Blue Ox, Brainerd). THE huge mural that once graced the east wall in here is now/2008 on the west wall at the NE Esser's Liquor Store.

-Happy Hour Bar: Laurel St. (Ed & Gene Worms & Bob Leff, + re-location to present Shep's On Sixth location, Brainerd). 2008, the original location is Liquor Pigz. Later moved to the Bob's Off Sale location on S. 6th St. Later was sold to Steve Shepherd 9former VFW mgr.) and became Shep's On Sixth. Liquor Pigz is now/2008 on this site.

-Holiday Inn (Brainerd). Later Ramada Inn/GreenMill Inn, then Red Roof Inn/Buffalo something, then Renata's/2008.

-Hoffner's: (see B & M Tavern)

-Lakeside Bar (Owned by Al Koons? or Tom Baker?, Brainerd). See photo of i nterior and much more info under PICTURES, then (Phantom Photo).

-Last Turn Saloon (Brainerd)

-Little Vegas (Owned by Julius Dircks, Brainerd), later Jilley's, then Ninth St. Bar. One old duffer named Tom told me that this bar was built as a bar LONG ago and for years had a dirt floor. This may be the longest running bar location in town. The Winnepeg might also be in the running. Now/2008 Ninth St. Bar.

-Log Cabin, Lassig's (Owned by Everett Lassig). Now/2007 TJ's.

-Papa C's (Chopper managed, basement of the Elks, Brainerd). That wonderful etched mirror he had is now on the wall at the Northwind Grille in downtown Brainerd. See THe Cellar.

-Pocket, The (Brainerd)

-Rustic (Bud Birchill [died 5/2003], later Dave & Kieth, Brainerd), now occupied by Shep's On Sixth's "back room" to the south. 2007, this is now the main bar at Shep's On Sixth.

-SHEP'S ON SIXTH: See Happy Hour Bar. See also special history of this building below. -Starlite Club (Hank's, later Ole's, then Mike Smith's Spice 'n Spirits, Baxter)

Shep's On Sixth, history of the building:

In the spring of 2003, Steve "Shep" Shepherd, owner of the bar and the adjoining building to the south, started his remodeling and expantion and addition of a deck to the east. During the demolition of a platform in the window fronts, workers discovered a wonderful old photo. It is ovbviously a posed picture, with 2 horse-drawn wagons. One is a buggy with two gals all gussied up in their Sunday best. The other is a large wagon loaded up with flour or feed from the store. I took the photo to make cpopies so teh original could be sealed, and brought one to the CWCHS. They had never seen this photo before! Mary Lou there was nice enough to do and hour of research for me, and we did find the property on old fire maps, and even an advertisement for the business from the original builder and owner. Below is timeline showiing the owners and businesses on this location.

-SHON'S BAR: On 4th. and West. Wash. Sts., across the parking lot from then Perkins. Owned by Shon Nelson. Earlier The Ice House, later Jeff's Bar. Mike Warman was the piano (bar) player.

-Vogue Dugout, The (Brainerd)

-Winnepeg (Brainerd), later [1990'] the New Winnepeg Bar. Now/2008, Yesterday's Gone.