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Twin Citians and Utepils

The word “Utepils” looks as funny as its pronunciation. It’s pronounced “OOH-tah-pilz” and it’s a Norwegian word with no direct English equivalent. The closest we can come to a translation is: “The anticipation and longing of the first beer enjoyed outside in the sunshine after a long, hard winter.”

Most Minnesotans would agree that we understand the feeling. Appropriately, there is a new brewery in the Twin Cities named Utepils. Of course, Twin Citians embraced the concept of Utepils long before the brewery arrived, even if we didn’t know the name for it.

Evidence of our embracing of Utepils: restaurant patios. It takes a certain chutzpah to build a good restaurant patio in Minnesota, because we spend so much of the year under a suffocating blanket of snow and ice and subzero temperatures and misery.

In a state where the weather is always temperate, building a patio is no big deal. It’s essentially an extension of the indoor space. But there’s something incredibly optimistic about a place with an excellent patio in Minnesota. (And we’re not talking about tossing a table or two on the sidewalk. We’re talking about a really good patio.) Investing in outdoor restaurant space in Minnesota says: “We know this won’t work every day. But we’re going to take advantage of every second when it will work.”

In Minnesota, when it’s gorgeous outside, no one wants to be stuck indoors. A great patio enables people to enjoy delicious food without sacrificing fresh air and sunshine. It’s the best of both worlds. And if the space has fantastic ambiance? All the better.

We’re fortunate enough to have what has been called the best patio in the Twin Cities at W.A. Frost. When it’s nice out, getting a table is like getting tickets to Hamilton. But our favorite part is how in-demand the patio is even on days that aren’t quite perfect, weather-wise. Minnesotans are a hardy bunch. They show up anyway, letting the wonderful ambiance overshadow the less-than-perfect temperatures. (And yes, we do have patio heaters.)