The restaurant is named for hockey great Herb Brooks and its location overlooking Rice Park in downtown St. Paul. Inside the room is a blend of dark wood, rich upholstery, modern touches and a few tasteful nods to the sport that inspires Minnesota. Herbie's on the Park is the work of Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold, who said it was one of his great regrets in life that he never had the opportunity to sit down and have a conversation with Brooks. (Brooks is perhaps best known around the world as the coach that led the Olympic Hockey team to gold in what's remembered as the Miracle on Ice.)
Because he's a sports team owner, not a seasoned restauranteur, Leipold partnered with Chicago-based Levy Restaurant group who in turned hired Aaron Johnson as general manager and Tim Kovacs as executive chef.
The historic building is elegantly dressed with subtle hockey nods, like paintings of Brooks. It's not an overt sports bar, and will function just as well for business lunches, pre-theater drinks or dinner before a Wild game.
The menu also walks that delicate line between crowd pleasers with burgers and wings with finer offerings like steaks and walleye cakes. What could come out as overly corporate or beige, is instead exceedingly pleasant and inclusive.
Behind the bar is Kris Gigstad, an Eat Street Social veteran, who is pouring plenty of classic cocktails in crystal-fashioned glasses, plus an array of Moscow Mules.
Herbie's on the Park is open for lunch through late night seven days a week with a brunch menu available on the weekends.