7 p.m. - 10 p.m.
2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
LIVE MUSIC | Wednesday - Sunday | 9:30 p.m. - 1:30 a.m.
Located conveniently just off the Light Rail line and between downtown and the
sleepy residential neighborhoods of South Minneapolis, Whiskey Junction is the first
of a line of three bars tucked away on a small street where Cedar meets Minnehaha
meets Franklin meets Hiawatha meets I-94.
The building was built in 1886, specifically to operate as a bar owned by the Grain
Belt and Minneapolis Brewing Companies. At this time it was common practice for
breweries to own neighborhood bars to distribute their product. After prohibition Oscar Pierson owned the bar until his passing. The bar was then
operated by Oscar’s brother-in-law Al Halverson who ran the bar until Oscars son,
Craig Pierson, took over at the age of 21, making him the youngest bar owner in
Minnesota. At this time the bar was named the Golden Leaf.
In 1984 the bar was sold to Gary Mackenzie who began the music and blues
tradition that Whiskey Junction is currently famous for. Mackenzie renamed the bar
to its current name of Whiskey Junction, instead of the Golden Leaf, which the bar
had been known by since Prohibition. Some of the more notable musicians that have
recorded here include: Johnny Lang, Lynwood Slim, Doug Maynard, “Big Walter
Smith”, as well as a blues series called “Live at the Whiskey”.
The game and rest rooms were added on in about 1987, the kitchen also was also
added at that time offering mainly pizza, today a full menu.
The 2nd floor has been partially restored and is currently used as office space for the
operations of the bar. Most of the woodwork throughout the 2nd floor is original, as
are the hardwood floors and the original two front doors from the building were
saved and re-used for the oak paneling that now surrounds the 2nd floor fireplace. At one time the 2nd story was divided into several small rooms and was rumored to
have been a brothel, but this rumor has never been confirmed. However it is known
that the rooms were rented to railroad employees from the railroad yards that were
across Cedar Avenue where the Light Rail Station now resides. This rail yard was the
end of the line for trains coming from North Dakota and the employees would spend
the night in the rooms and re-board the trains in the morning for the return trip
HoursMonday - Thursday | 11a.m.-2a.m.
Friday - Sunday | 9a.m.-2a.m.