It's 9 o'clock and the time to drink is now. Minutes before the 2 for 1's begin the servers are making the rounds, remembering exactly who ordered what. In a few short minutes, they'll likely be the only ones who remember anything. Two for one drinking is serious business inside this most classic of Minneapolis dive bars. Any drink, any order, you are getting two and being charged for one. While your rational brain argues, there's no need to finish that! The primal animal inside soldiers on thinking, "At these prices, I can get at least two more rounds in before happy hour is over!"
Now, is when the atmosphere inside Lyle's lists to the left a bit as the patronage begin to view each other with new, sudsier eyes. At the pool tables and dart boards, well-oiled teams are having the games of their lives. Self-declared music aficionados are jockeying for space at the jukebox arguing the musical superiority of aesoteric bands and Britney Spears, dumping money in for tunes they'll likely never hear. A couple at the back of the bar is doing something that's drawing big smiles with hands that aren't visible. Inside the ladies room fast friendships are made over lipgloss and the need to hover. Smokers nervously eye the doorway, wondering if it's safe to go now, or if one more two for one might just be in order. Nonsmokers are eyeballing the smokers wondering if now is the time to bum one. And somebody somewhere inside of here is about to do something that will make them cringe tomorrow morning.
It's a cacophony of sites and sounds that feels like home for the most seasoned of Minneapolis' drinkers.