Minnesota’s Oldest Saloon Is Just an Hour Away (And It’s Open Again)
It's the oldest saloon still operating here in Minnesota, and after being shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak, it's back open again-- and it's just an hour away from Rochester.
As it turns out, this way-cool craft brewery isn't just the oldest saloon in Minnesota, it's also the oldest commercial building still in operation in the state too. It's pretty cool.
It's the Waldmann Brewery and Wurstery in St. Paul. It's located right on Smith Street, just off Minnesota 149 (which just off the High Bridge, which, though, is closed right now.) And it first opened as a saloon six months before Minnesota was even a state, and four years before the Civil War-- all the way back in 1857!
The Waldmann is the oldest surviving commercial building in the Twin Cities, their website notes. The building was extensively remodeled and re-opened as a craft brewery last year, and it specializes in German beer and food that's as close as it can get, in today's craft beer craze, to the same kind of beer the original owner, Anton Waldmann, would have brewed back then.
We first stopped at the Waldmann two years ago. I remember trying their authentic German-style Pilsner, and, of course, one of their authentic bratwurst, both of which I really liked. But their complete restoration of the building, back to the way it might have appeared back in 1857 was what I thought was REALLY cool.
Their website says the owners took great pains to authentically restore it back to its original appearance, including "wood stoves, virgin pinewood floors, hand-blown window glass, a large collection of 19th-century steamboat chairs, whale oil lamps (burning paraffin), and many period maps, photographs, and other memorabilia," the site says.
If you love history-- and you love some good, German food and beer-- you've GOTTA try the Waldmann!