Musician, bartender to take over historic Minneapolis drinking hole

The bar's history dates back to 1906.
Publish date:

Few bars in Minnesota have a more storied history than Palmer's Bar, for which a new chapter is about to be written.

The Cedar Riverside bar is in the process of getting a new owner, Tony Zaccardi, who confirmed on Twitter this weekend he's in the process of buying the historic drinking hole from current owner Lisa Hammer.

The bar's origins date back as far as 1906, according to its website, when it was owned by the Minneapolis Brewing Company (which later became the Grain Belt Brewery).

It was a "second home" to dock, rail and lumber workers, boat crews, immigrants, gadflies and transients" in the pre-Prohibition era.

The location was claimed to to be one of the first to tap a legal keg upon the repeal of Prohibition – although there were rumors that it never stopped serving, amid talk of a secret tunnel that connected it to the bar across the street, which is now the Nomad.

Its illustrious past and popular present saw it named in 2014 as one of America's Best Bars by Esquire magazine.

Zaccardi, a bassist for local bands including Eleganza and Romantica, is best known for making and serving drinks at Grumpy's Northeast.

He told the CityPages that he doesn't plan on making too many changes to the Minneapolis institution at 500 Cedar Avenue, other than starting to accept credit cards, make a few additions to the tap beer list and bring more music to the venue.

So expect it to stay pretty much how it's always been: 'A church for down and outers and those who romanticize them, a rare place where high and low rub elbows – bums and poets, thieves and slumming celebrities."

Next Up

Malik Beasley

Timberwolves Malik Beasley suspended 12 games for offseason incident

Beasley was sentenced to 120 days in jail earlier this month.

Russell Wilson

Vikings fans should REALLY hope Russell Wilson doesn't go to the Bears

Wilson has a 6-0 record against Minnesota and could be on his way to the NFC North.


Celebrated Minnesota musician Peter Ostroushko dies

Ostroushko, who learned his craft in the Ukrainian community of Northeast Minneapolis, had a versatile career including performances with popular artists and orchestras


Costco will bump its minimum wage to $16 next week

The company, which has 12 stores in Minnesota, is pushing ahead of retailers Target and Amazon with its new minimum wage

Seth Green/Gopher Football

Gophers wildcat QB Seth Green announces decision to transfer

Green will have immediate eligibility as a graduate transfer.

Minneapolis skyline

Minneapolis pays 3 times more than it receives in state funds, new report says

This report comes as state lawmakers are debating proposals opponents say would "bail out" the state's largest city.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Is Kirk Cousins' contract extension helping or hurting the Vikings?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

University of minnesota sign

U of M gets $5M donation for new center to address racial inequality in healthcare

Using a donation from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, the School of Public Health will work to address racial disparities in healthcare.


Milkjam Creamery to take over historic Minneapolis popcorn stand

Dave's Popcorn stand was put on the market earlier this year.

Third 'Pourhouse' bar opens up in Minneapolis

The Uptown location joins Pourhouse bars downtown and in Dinkytown.

Bar Louie shuts down suddenly in Uptown

The bar chain opened in Uptown in 2012.


Restaurant to open in historic Surdyk's Liquor & Cheese Shop

The Northeast Minneapolis landmark is expanding to include a brasserie and bar.

Crime-plagued St. Paul bar is shut down by the city

It follows a violent year in and around the Alamo bar.

Last call for Irish bar making way for redevelopment

Ryan's Pub is one of several establishments making way for apartments.

Screen Shot 2019-06-14 at 10.29.15 PM

Esquire names Minneapolis speakeasy one of best bars in America

The Back Bar at Young Joni follows in the footsteps of Nye's Polonaise and Palmer's.