The best patios for smoking
Best believe any bar with a rock ’n’ roll rep like this iconic Uptown dive allows smoking on its patio. Cozy up on the CC’s back porch with a beer (until 1 a.m.) and a butt and mingle with the cool kids. Forgot your cigs? Spark some Joy Division-related small talk with your neighbors, and chances are they’ll hook you up.
(2600 Lyndale Av. S., Mpls. 612-874-7226. www.ccclubuptown.com.) [Photo: Marlin Levison]
While most of the tables on Union’s swanky rooftop deck are nonsmoking (especially when the retractable roof is closed), it’s OK to have a heater in the best seats in the house. Grab a spot in the uncovered, torch-lit wicker lounge overlooking Hennepin Avenue and smoke to your lungs’ content. The most cosmopolitan place to puff in the Twin Cities.
(731 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-455-6690. www.unionmpls.com.) [Photo: Carlos Gonzalez]
W.A. Frost & Company
You can’t smoke everywhere on W.A. Frost’s pristine garden patio. But the St. Paul fine-dining institution devotes a healthy portion of its charming backyard (most important, the part by the bar) to the less-healthy Bic Nation. Enjoy this lush Cathedral Hill hideaway with up to 100 of your carcinogen-inhaling friends.
(374 Selby Av., St. Paul. 651-224-5715. www.wafrost.com) [Photo: Marlin Levison]
When the nicotine itch starts coming on in the bottom of the ninth, it’s nice to be able to rip a dart without missing any action (sports!). Smoke away on this beer-and-bro bar’s terrace while keeping your eyes fixed on the mondo TV. As with most enviable rooftops, it can get crowded on weekend summer nights.
(1400 Lagoon Av., Mpls. 612-824-3333. www.uptowntavernmpls.com.) [Photo: Provided]
Keeping it old-school since the end of Prohibition, this handsome supper club doesn’t shun smoking on its secluded patio. Polish off a 20-ounce prime rib and settle in by the outdoor fireplace for a Scotch and a stogie while Dean Martin croons quietly through the speakers. Travel back in time to when women were “dolls” and men were tolerated drunks.
(1928 University Av. NE., Mpls. 612-789-7297. www.jaxcafe.com.) [Photo: Stormi Greener]
The best non-smoking patios
Sure, there are taller rooftop bars in town — ones without giant billboards blocking the eastward view (shout out to Clear Channel!). But fans of fresh air, affordable Italian food and outdoor advertising should love this smokeless veranda. Grab a glass of vino and sip away summer nights at this Uptown restaurant near Lake Calhoun.
(1601 W. Lake St., Mpls. 612-823-0250 www.amorevictoria.com.) [Photo: Bre McGee]
Sea Salt Eatery
No need to worry about Joe Camel at a neighboring table on this fish shack’s modest patio, nestled in scenic Minnehaha Park. Luckily for cig haters, the Minneapolis park board prohibits tobacco use within 100 feet of its building entrances. Enjoy some killer calamari without the killer chemical medley of secondhand smoke in this urban retreat.
(4825 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. 612-721-8990. www.seasalteatery.wordpress.com.) [Photo: Tom Sweeney]
Put away the Parliaments on this neighborhood Italian joint’s intimate patio. Clouds of smoke lingering over your tagliatelle would kill the vibe in La Grolla’s secret garden, so the Cathedral Hill primavera peddlers have a butt-free policy. Don’t sully the oxygen inside this gated sanctuary.
(452 Selby Av., St. Paul 651-221-1061. www.lagrollastpaul.com.) [Photo: Provided]
On a moonlit summer night at this riverside terrace, romance is in the air — but cigarette smoke isn’t. Gaze into your paramour’s eyes without squinting through a carcinogenic haze. There are worse ways to spend an extended evening than drinking wine in Aster’s quaint, Euro-styled court.
(125 SE. Main St., Mpls. 612-379-3138. www.astercafe.com.) [Photo: Jeff Wheeler]
Marin Restaurant & Bar
Marin’s posh patio might be cooler than a menthol, but there are no Newports allowed in its downtown oasis. In keeping with its health-conscious menu, the progressive hotel restaurant runs a clean-air patio. However, Marin staff will happily aid your boozier vices with its periodic table of gin-and-tonics.
(901 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. 612-252-7000. www.marinrestaurant.com.) [Photo: Chris Kelleher]