One of my last stops during the #MNGFO2017 (Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener) was the Olde Brick House in St. Cloud. While I came for whiskey and chips, it was central Minnesota’s only traditional Irish Pub’s history that stole the show. At the corner of Sixth Avenue and First Street South, the building dates back to about 1890 when it was originally called the Hoyt Block, the upstairs a boarding house full of young men gambling and women of ill repute. The building was later sold to the Cold Spring Brewing Company in 1903. Over the years, the building was home to Schneider and Bloomer Cafe, Corner Bar, Aspen Corner Bar and Dick Titus Watering Hole, Charlie’s Wild, Wild West and just before gaining its current moniker, First Street Station and Rum Runners. Rum Runners closed in June of 2013. The building sat vacant since.
It has been renovated and reopened complete with Irish-inspired decor and multiple bars sprawled throughout the two-story space. On the first floor, the Old Head Bar dates back to the early 1900s. The upstairs includes a private dining area, a library, a poets corner, and a bar reclaimed from the old Persian Supper Club.
When the Olde Brick House was initially recommended to me, it came with the stipulation that I tried their famous reuben wonton rolls (pictured) – I’d also recommend the bread pudding or the Jameson chocolate chip pecan pie that is served a la mode with a side of warm whiskey caramel sauce. The whole menu is full of traditional Irish fare and adds a twist to the downtown St. Cloud dining options. And, as a quintessential Irish pub would have it, Olde Brick has an extensive Irish Whiskey selection, approximately 150, along with other cocktails, wine and beer. Helpful note; they don’t take reservations so plan on getting in early.