The NHL is back. Everyone, please let out a collective, uninspired, "woo hoo." We shouldn't have to be talking about our beloved league in such tenses because we all know how absolutely ridiculous this lock out was. Many businesses in Downtown St. Paul around the Xcel Energy Center have really felt a hit in their ledgers due to this most recent labor strife. Although, it seemed that most businesses prepared themselves this time around, unlike '04-'05 when the bars and restaurants really struggled. If you're a die-hard hockey fan like I am, you're probably really upset with the league and want to some how make sure that this hurts the owners' pocketbook. At the same time, you are a hockey fan and can't not watch. If you want to boycott the NHL, but still want to watch, maybe you can spend your money at the bars and restaurants along West 7th. Here is a list of the restaurants and bars around the Xcel Energy Center that could use your dollars:
Eagle Street Grille
The Eagle Street Grille has a nice view over the Mississippi in the summer, and cozy seating inside with a log fire in the winter. It's popular for drinks, and food; the menu is regular bar food with gangster names.
This bar has live entertainment, when it's on the patio the sound system takes up half of it. There's also tables outside, right on the busiest intersection in St. Paul. Hey, we are city dwellers, we don't care!
174 West Seventh Street St Paul, MN, 55102 Telephone 651-225-1382
This cafe is one of three Blink Bonnie locations in downtown St. Paul, serving sandwiches, subs, salads and coffee.
182 West Seventh Street St. Paul, MN 55102 Telephone 651-229-0000
A large Irish pub kitty corner to the Xcel center. Inside is dark wood tables and paneling, and the rooftop patio is wonderful, with a view of the Xcel, and St. Paul's Cathedral. I've bumped into a table on more than one occasion when walking down from the brilliant sun outside into the dark interior. The Guinness is some of the best in the Twin Cities.
75 West Seventh Street St. Paul, MN 55102 Telephone 651-556-1420
A beloved West Seventh institution, this Italian market, deli and cafeteria-style restaurant makes incredible pizza. Even when there's no event at the Xcel Energy Center, this place is usually still full of locals because this place is excellent value for money. Lots of room on two levels inside, a couple of table on the street, but no patio.
211 West Seventh Street St Paul, MN 55102 Telephone 651-222-3476
Patrick McGovern's Pub
Patrick McGovern's Pub is even darker than the Liffey inside, but with an equally attractive patio, albeit with a slightly less good view. They do a great plate of Irish stew, and my favorite pint of Guinness in the Twin Cities.
225 West Seventh Street St. Paul, MN 55102 Telephone 651-224-582
Tom Reid's Hockey City Pub
As the Xcel Energy Center is arguably the finest ice hockey venue in the country, St. Paul has a worthy claim on the title of Hockey City. Join regulars, who often include current and former NHL players, for good beers, and not-all-that-good bar food in the hockey-memorabilia packed interior, or on the patio.
Another hockey pub. Limited food, plenty of beer, plenty of Wild fans, and plenty of locals who drink here, occasionally around a brazier fire out on the street.
315 West Seventh Street St Paul, MN 55102 Telephone 651-222-6104
Of course there is also Great Waters Brewing Company, Pazzaluna and many more worth noting downtown, please patronize these places and maybe you will start a new game day tradition!
List taken from: Restaurants & Bars Near the Xcel Energy Center on St. Paul's West Seventh Street
by Clara James, About.com Guide