Though the hard to pronounce German bar in Northeast Minneapolis (located at 2300 University Ave) may be intimidating based on the title alone, fear not, because this Bavarian Brat House and bar has a lot to offer. While upstairs the restaurant is busy on a daily basis and the hours differ nearly every day of the week (check out the website for hours, note: it's never open later then 11pm any night), it's the downstairs bar area, technically titled Mario's Keller Bar that picks up right where the restaurant above leaves off.
Featuring live music nearly every night of the week between Wednesday and Saturday, the schedule breaks down to something like this:
Wednesdays: either Hip Hop or Dance/Techno
Fridays and Saturdays: Until 11pm there is usually cover or polka bands that get the older crowds going, when at 11pm a DJ takes over, spinning the latest and greatest pop hits and a younger crowd tends to shuffle in.
All around the atmosphere is lively and robust, filling the basement of the large Northeast establishment to near capacity on the weekends. 11 types of German beers, light and dark are on tap and the local favorite is Das Boot, a giant boot meant for 4 or more friends, to be passed around and replenished accordingly. Make sure you have a good grip should this German glass slipper come your way, or you might be stuck with paying the $50.00 deposit. Also on hand, usually, are deals on popular drinks (give 612.781.3860 a call about specials) and a waitress or two with snuff shots ready to go in elegant wooden dispensers.
The sound system is quite excellent, with sound guys who have a real hands on approach. I would have to say it is the most underrated stage in Northeast (and perhaps the city) - providing clear, clean sounding audio that doesn't leave your ears ringing (unless you put them right up to the speakers). Mario's is a basement bar that doesn't feel anything like a dive, with surprising acoustics and an ample amount of tables and seating should one need a break from the dance floor. Be prepared to make plans to meet your friends before hand, as this bar is not prone to great cell phone reception.
Take this bar in with some dark Hefeweizen and your most danceable group of friends. Also, check out their Oktoberfest celebration, as reviewed quite excellently here by fellow examiner Kristine Donatelle.