Sandy's Tavern a Hidden Gem in Richfield
We continue our series, Minneapolis and St. Paul Real Estate Blog Best of 2015 with our post on Sandy's Tavern in Richfield. In addition to being consistent with our goal to promote everything great about our beautiful Twin Cities Metro, the regulars of Sandy's pushed this post into a top spot for FaceBook shares and likes! Thanks for the love Sandy's !
Sandy's is a great little establishment offering up beer and truly excellent burgers and finger foods for a very reasonable price. Add to that employees that outdo themselves with friendly and courtesous service, a cozy atmosphere dripping with nostalgia, and we have a winner. Next time you are hankering for one of the Twin Cities best burgers give Sandy's a try and tell the crew we sent you!
Tucked away on Penn Ave in Richfield is a gem of a little bar called Sandy’s Tavern. Well known to city residents this tavern is a landmark that was first opened during Prohibition in 1933 and built to look like a farmhouse as a ruse which worked pretty well for the first owner, Sandy. The décor has changed very little over the years, and from the juke box to the pool table it may resemble a dive bar but it is too clean, too family oriented and too well-kept to classify as one. The old-time warmth and ambiance is a large part of the charm that draws people in and keeps them coming back again and again.
However, there is more to this great Twin Cities watering hole than nostalgic charm. On a couple of occasions I chatted with some of the tavern regulars as well as several of the staff so armed with that information and my own personal Sandy’s experience here are 7 reasons Sandy’s Tavern rocks!
1. Friendly Service
Just can’t say enough about the staff at Sandy’s, and as a matter of fact I intend to say a lot more about them before I’m through! They all take customer service very seriously and certainly add to the overall experience of a visit to Sandy’s. They are always there with a smile, a kind word, or a great suggestion in case you can’t decide what you want to order. The staff at Sandy’s makes you feel right at home.
2. The Crew
Eric, the proprietor since 1979 and a former Navy man comes in every day to make sure the bar is in tip top shape. If you stop in from 4:00 PM till closing every day except Tuesday and Wednesday you can meet Kevin, bartender extraordinaire and according to his co-workers, “kick in the butt” from the moment he walks in the door. Many of the “regulars” call Kevin the heart of Sandy’s and given that he has been behind the bar for 22 years you can believe it! Kevin is jovial and witty and quick with a smile. He also runs the Monday night trivia contest with aplomb and humor. Alex Trebek has nothing on our Kev!
Sue, the Matron Saint of Sandy’s has been waiting tables here for 25 years. Andrew works the grill behind the scenes and is a college student studying to be a Physician’s Assistant. Annie, a regular at Sandy’s for years who now dons the cap of employee one day a week. Adam is a long time regular who decided to join up. There is Josh, who seems quiet, but his peers say that it is a disguise, Robyn the waitress dynamo, Joe, another regular turned worker-bee (are we seeing a relevant pattern here), Nicole, the Goddess of Sandy’s, but watch out, she is no pushover, and Deb, who is who is magically working behind the scenes making sure everyone at Sandy’s has what they need to get the job done, including their paychecks!
As diverse and different as each team member is when they come to work they are a cohesive and as effective a team as you will find anywhere. They are all in it together and help each other when the need arises. You will never hear someone who works here say, “hey that is not my job!” As a matter of fact, when I interviewed several staff members and asked why they like working at Sandy’s, each one said, my coworkers. That says it all.magically working behind the scenes making sure everyone at Sandy’s has what they need to get the job done, including their paychecks!
3. Everyone Knows Your Name
Sandy’s has a great clientele. They range in age from boomers to Millennials, they are singles and families, they come in groups and they come alone, they bring their kids. Sandy’s is that kind of family friendly neighborhood tavern. They come for the reasonably priced but great tasting food, for the atmosphere, the service, and for the fellowship. Many have been coming for years and they are known as “the regulars”. Some are even 2nd and 3rd generation regulars and although most are local to Richfield, some move away and continue to visit Sandy’s. It all lends to the atmosphere of feeling comfortable and easy at Sandy’s and one of the aspects I love about this place!
4. It’s Like Family
For the regulars, Sandy’s is a home away from home and the staff is their extended family. They know everyone by name and greet them like old friends when they arrive. I have been told that some of the regulars have even helped to serve at times when there was a short staff situation. Kevin shared a couple of very heart-warming stories and given me permission to share with you. Once, when he wanted to visit his mom at Christmas and was a bit strapped for cash, a couple of the regulars bought him a plane ticket. When Kevin’s mom passed away, he of course needed to take some time off work and was worried how he was going to pay the bills without a paycheck. The regulars “passed the hat” and because of their generosity they made up his paycheck through donations!
5. Great Burgers and Other Yummy Stuff
When I say Sandy’s has delicious burgers this is not an empty statement. Their burgers have won several awards such as “Best Burger in the Twin Cities” by Citiesbest, AOL, Minneapolis/St. Paul Best, The Sun Current and the Patch. Also, Sandy's Tavern has been nominated 2015 Outstanding Food Establishment by the Richfield Board of Health. The most expensive Burger on the menu is $6, pretty darn reasonable for the Twin Cities. If you like something a little different, give the Olive Burger or the Sandy’s Sizzler a try. You won’t be disappointed!
6. Monday Trivia Contest
Every Monday night is Trivia night at Sandy’s. Kevin runs the show with his special brand of humor taking center stage. Attended by regulars and loyal fans who form teams to compete with each other for a pitcher of beer and the “pot”. It cost a dollar to play, (hence the pot). This event is loads of fun, presents an opportunity to meet new people, and maybe even take home a prize. (Yes prizes are awarded. I personally won a garden gnome this past winter). More information is available on Sandy’s website.
7. What Else?
What else makes Sandy’s stand out in a crowd? There is no silverware because all the food they serve is finger food. They do however, provide lots of napkins! Sandy’s doesn’t serve salads, ditto on a Cosmopolitan as no hard liquor is served. Don’t try to pay with plastic, but they do like cash and will accept a personal check. An ATM is available on the premises as well. Did I mention there are rumors that Sandy’s is haunted? Hmm, can’t prove it by me but I’ve heard ol’ Sandy likes to mess with the juke box on occasion.
If you are in the mood for a unique Twin City dining experience and hankering for a great burger give Sandy’s a try. Stop in and say hi to the crew, share a pitcher of beer, play a game of pool and make a night of it. Celebrate Monday with Trivia night. It’s all good at Sandy’s, the place where every day is special and every hour is happy.