Beer-centric Ward 6 now open

MICHAEL RIETMULDER | Updated 12/5/2012

A new eatery on St. Paul's east side has beer on the brain.

Plenty of these guys at recently opened St. Paul pub Ward 6

St. Paul’s east side got a new neighborhood hangout Tuesday, when pub-'n'-grub post Ward 6 opened its doors to the public. For owners and area residents Eric Foster and Bob Parker, staying close to home was important when picking a location.

“Both of us were committed to trying to invest in our neighborhood,” Foster said.

Chef Elizabeth Olson, who has worked at Pat’s Tap, Barbette and Porter & Frye, headed up the menu which Foster describes as “traditional pub food with a twist.” But it’s the tap list that should win over St. Paul beer fans. Ward 6’s draft roster runs 20-deep, 18 of which are Minnesota-made. Foster said he always knew he wanted to skew local with his lineup, but as Minnesota’s beer scene boomed over the restaurant’s two-year incubation period he decided to go “all the way.”

However influenced by the recent renaissance, there’s also a bit of beer history at Ward 6’s Payne Avenue location just 1½ blocks north of Phalen Boulevard. Foster said the space was once owned by Hamm’s Brewery, which opened a bar there in 1903, though it hasn’t been in business since the 1960s.

“Bars that are 110 years old don’t come around that often,” Foster said.

[Photo: AP]