411 on the 501

The Washington Ave. watering-hole satiates every drunken desire.

by Sally Hedberg

What: 501 Club

Where: 501 Washington Ave. S


To the beer-loving, Dinkytowner-mourning youth of Minneapolis: a new Mecca sits but a few miles away, the 501 Club. Projecting the all-too–familiar grungy, rock-bar vibe, the 501 takes it up a notch.  Constantly booked with free, live music and offering other fun daily activities like music and movie trivia, this place seriously pushes the temptation of week-night drinking to the forefront of every academically burdened mind. 

Aesthetically speaking, the venue doesn’t bore. Multiple rooms, levels, and a primo smoking patio provide variety. Imagine, one minute, you’re double fisting brews, rocking out to local jams on the main stage.  The next, you’ve ventured upstairs to a more intimate table, finding yourself amidst a life-changing conversation made all the better by tater-tots and Surly. 

The drunken possibilities are endless.

As far as eats go, the menu is reasonably priced and offers some truly satisfying munchies, like the black bean and cheese quesadilla, best paired with a big can of Lonestar.

Musically, the 501’s stage is built for quality live sets.  The sheer volume of the high-ceilinged room makes for great acoustics while still maintaining a desirable level of intimacy, perfect for local acts just surfacing within the scene.  

Another huge green light, the people don’t suck. Folks come to the 501 out of a shared appreciation for live music done right, so there’s a certain level of respect amongst everyone.  It’s a hangout, not a hookup spot and the crowd is completely approachable.

 “There aren’t any assholes here,” says local hip-hop artist, Cecil Otter.  “Chivalry still exists.” 

Ladies, enough said.