Prince of the Urinals, King of the Dogs: Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room

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The first thing I’d heard about Stanley’s Bar Room was they’ve got unique urinals.

Stanley’s Bar Room used to be Stasiu’s Bar. It was purchased and renamed in 2010, but the urinals go back even farther than that – over 100 year, in fact, according to Atlas Obscura. They were first installed in Minneapolis’ Grand Hotel; and, according to legend, these urinals once flushed for Al Capone himself. Today, it’s told that women sneak in to look at these urinals.

Stanley’s Northeast is more than just antique urinals, though. Quick service, good food, and a formidable tap row make the Bar Room a great stop for humans. Posh accommodations and a customized menu, meanwhile, make Stanley’s heated dog patio a must-see for the pooch.

Stanley’s Northeast Bar Room sits at the corner of University Ave. NE and Lowry Ave. NE. They roll 32 tap lines, many of which pour local. Every Wednesday, Stanley’s extends their happy hour all day. They also offer “Yappy Hour,” where — yep! — dogs eat free.

Take that, actual parents!

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You can slide into a pair of empty seats at the bar and have the menus before you can get both cheeks into the seat, but the sledding gets rougher in the patio. A Surly Darkness flight event boosted traffic the night Porter and I stopped in, and we caught the last open table (after stealing the last parking spot in the lot – which, by the way, is generally more trouble than it’s worth).

Seconds after being told by the table next to us that service was backed up, I had a server.

Have you been helped yet?”
Nope, just got here.”
Well, you’re all mine, then!”

So maybe she had me.

Another staffer came soon after, with a dog mat for Porter to sniff but not sit on and a water bowl for Porter to sniff but not drink from. I’ll say this, though: I’ve never seen Porter as well-behaved in a restaurant setting as he was at Stanley’s. He only growled at one person (more on this in a moment), allowed numerous men to pet him (Ask Mike and Mark Schwandt of Bauhaus Brew Labs how that usually goes), and moseyed as far as his leash would allow.

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Porter sniffed the dog patio menu but didn’t read it, but he settled (via wife text) on the Northeast Pup burger. I should clarify, it doesn’t come out as an actual cheeseburger. The ingredients are mashed up to resemble dog food. Still, I was tempted to order it for myself! I went with a pulled pork sandwich.

When the food came, Porter started and finished it. No, really. In less than two minutes, my 40-pound whippet turned a bowl of chow into a bowl of licked edges and oxygen. If he ever challenges me to an eating race, I’m politely declining.

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Now let’s talk about the knucklehead lady, the one in the long black coat with the executive hair, the one person Porter growled at from afar. What does this woman do when a complete stranger’s dog snarls and backs up to his pet-dad? She walks over, puts her hand in front of his face, stands closer, kneels down, and basically screams out for a bite mark. Porter doesn’t bite, but another dog might have.

My point is, if it’s a friend’s dog, fine. Get familiar. If you’re never going to see this dog again, go beg for affection someplace else. Our food’s getting cold over here.

On a previous visit, my wife, in her own words, “was a five-year-old and ordered the macaroni with hot dogs in it.” To be fair, these aren’t Oscar Meyer wieners they’re tossing in. “It’s exactly what I expected it to be, in a nostalgic way,” she said. “The fried onions made me feel like an adult.”

I’d had the mango habanero wings, and wow! The sauce was gelatinous, thick, and packed a punch. The heat was just right, and citrus notes lurked under the fire. I’d had never had anything like them. They haunt me to this day.

STILL GOT TIME? The worst wings I’ve ever eaten were also mango habanero. You can also read about the first time I tried D-SPOT’s ghost wings.

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