I love going to haunted places, but I never ever ever want to find a ghost.
Haunted places are old and interesting. They’re cloaked in storytelling and steeped in history. I especially love visiting haunted dining/drinking establishments because you don’t just wander through; you get to pull up a seat and eat.
Forepaugh’s is 147 years old. The mansion is tucked into a quiet stretch of West 7th near the river. Jake and I have driven along West 7th a million times and somehow never saw Forepaugh’s. I’m not sure how, because the mansion in all of its glory looms on the peaceful, grassy lot.
Since 1870 the sign says.
I shook my head as I imagined maintaining a 147-year old home. Owning our 100-year old home feels like trying everything to keep a 100-year old person alive. Upon entering the restaurant, a man warmly greeted us and offered us seats in the bar or on the patio. We pulled up seats at the stately wood bar and watched the Twins play.
The inside opens into many rooms. It reminded us of the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri, built in the prior decade. Like the Lemp Mansion, Forepaugh’s history also involves tragedy: Joseph Forepaugh and a woman named Molly who worked as a maid both took their lives when their affair was revealed.
Forepaugh’s shows up on every “Most haunted in Minnesota” list. Supposedly, Joseph and Molly make appearances. When we visited, the mansion was tranquil and lovely. We didn’t ask about the ghosts and no one freely shared.
Every day, Forepaugh’s offers a happy hour. Currently, the happy hour offerings include discounted beers and house wines, a daily cocktail special, and $2 off everything on the bar menu.
We tried several dishes. The one that really inspired me to write this post, even without having a photo, is the Reuben Sandwich. The sandwich still costs $16 at happy hour, but it’s possibly one of the best Reuben’s you will ever eat. First, the sandwich is huge. Each toasty half is loaded with silky, house-cured corned beef along with the perfect amount of sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.
Plus, you get a cone of fries. They were fine. The sandwich is the star.
*The only restaurant I can remember enjoying an equally good Reuben is Ward 6 in St. Paul, MN.
Two more haunted places we have dined at: