For being on the B-list of live music venues in Minneapolis (for some examples of the A-list see the articles under "if you like this...") Downtime Bar and Grill has put some actual work and thought into making themselves a respectable place for musicians to perform. Located under the Dinkydome at 1501 University Ave. in Minneapolis, Downtime has, in the last year, revamped their stage (making it larger and upgrading their PA system) and redecorated their interior (paintings of giant trees and moon's listening to headphones abound). All this work pays off in a listening experience that isn't great but can be deemed respectable and definitely a step in the right direction for any bar that wants to make itself a venue for live music.
Downtime, though a little too poorly lit, is a decent sized, low-cieling one-room bar that lives up to it's name: it's a bar you go to kick back, not to kick the night up a notch. With a slogan that is depressing more than anything ("Eat. Drink. Repeat.") and the closest thing to a website being this facebook page (and no it's not even a vanity facebook url), Downtime is definitely in the minor leagues, but also a step up from, say, Ugly Mug or other C and D level venues that think all they need to do is run a mic through their bar speakers and they can start bringing bands in.
Speaking of bands, this bar generally attracts the jam band crowd, bands with a laid-back or acoustic vibe or The Heat Box. When it comes to drink deals or food specials, Downtime definitely has some good deals going on. Call 612.379.1224 for more details (especially since there's no info on their facebook page) but for an example, Monday nights used to be half-off bottle of wine nights, and their happy hours usually allow for half-price appetizers (their food is actually pretty good) ranging from mini-cheeseburgers to chicken wings for $3.
So if you're in Dinkytown and not looking for an overly d-bag vibe, and also not too leery of bars that attract a mostly college crowd take this bar in with a pint of summit and a plate of fried chicken. But whatever you do, make sure to try for the highest score on Big Buck Hunter.