Drafts Sports Bar and Grill

Anywhere that has deep fried oreos, Candy Crush Martini’s, and 1919 Root Beer Float’s is a winner in my book so when we were deciding where to go, Drafts Sports Bar and Grill became the destination for the night. An off sale sports bar on one side and a restaurant on the other, it has the best of both worlds. Owned by Brent and Jasmine Melsa, who were brought together by the University of Minnesota Crookston, stayed close to their roots and opened Drafts in the summer of 2013. I’m a sucker for a good story and local ties so for us would-be weekend Crookston-ains, it was a great way to cap off this road trip stop.


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Widman’s Candy Shop

The very minute I announced I’d be heading to Crookston, I was flooded with messages about Widman’s Chippers. Anybody whose anybody (in a 50 mile radius) knows about them. The chocolate-covered potato chips,”Chippers”, are the most well-known of all their hand-dipped, done-the-old-fashioned-way sweets but they also have caramels, taffy, fudge, turtles, toffee, almond bark, peanut brittle and even caramel apples in the fall. These delectables were handed to me by George Widman, the 40 year confectionary veteran, himself. He and his wife, Lois, are there everyday, so if you come through town – stop by and say hello. The Widman family is full of confectionary pioneers, dating back to William Widman, who opened the New York Bakery and Candy Shop in Dubuque, Iowa in 1885 and later worked for Pearson’s Candy Company (Salted Nut Roll, anyone?). The family moved to Crookston in 1909 and opened Widman Candy Shop. Although it has since changed locations, it is the oldest family-owned business in Crookston and one of the oldest in the state. Widman family members also own candy shops in Grand Forks and Fargo.


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Crooks Club Bar and Bottle Shop

As soon as my friends got to town, we set out to find the place where the most people were. It didn’t take long – we followed the music and the neon lights – until we arrived at Crooks Club Bar & Bottle Shop. A liquor store and an open-pit speak easy all in one. It was a fun change to the typical ‘up north’ feel that northern Minnesota can often have. We ended up hanging out, having a beer pong tournament all night. Up next, sleeping in and setting out to find candy. 


Follow along by checking out #MNBucketListRoadTrip and #InntoWin on hereFacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Learn more about AmericInn’s Fill in to Win Giveaway!