Cathedral Hill: In the Footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald

Frequenting St. Paul’s historic Cathedral Hill neighborhood always makes me feel that I am walking in the footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

St. Paul’s historic Cathedral Hill is one of my most favorite neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. Because I’ve always lived on the Minneapolis side, it seems like a visit to another world, even though it’s a just a short drive across the Mississippi River.

Historic Saint Paul Cathedral Hill neighborhood

Frequenting Cathedral Hill’s side streets and shops, and tarrying in the restaurants and watering holes located in its vintage buildings always makes me feel that I am walking in the footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Image by Quinn Kampschroer from Pixabay

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Cathedral Hill is situated on a bluff overlooking downtown St. Paul, dominated by the majestic dome and imposing edifice of the National Shrine of the Apostle Paul. Archbishop John Ireland (don’t you love that name?) commissioned French Beaux Arts architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray (who’d worked on the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair) to build a centerpiece for the Archdiocese. Construction began in 1906 and was completed in 1915. It was during this time that the neighborhood began to flourish, although it had been a place of elegance and grandeur from the mid-19th century on.

the Saint Paul Cathedral dominates the surrounding neighborhood
Gabriel Vanslette [CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

When my brother visited Minnesota, we decided upon a whim to go inside the Cathedral, and were fortunate to tag along on a tour already in progress. Spellbinding details were woven into historical, religious and humorous context by the tour guide, an elderly woman who clearly was in love with her work.

The Cathedral’s French Renaissance interior is filled with gilt, marble statuary, stained glass windows, intricate carvings and glorified not only by ornament but its immense, yet intimate, proportions. It is impossible to depict how large this building is with photographs, but its detail will remind you of the places, like the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, which inspired its designers and artisans.

William Wesen Appraiser [CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Legend has it that one of the city’s most prominent citizens, James J. Hill, was unhappy that the Cathedral next door eventually overshadowed the grandeur of his personal residence not only in expense, but proximity to heaven. Closer to God is the mighty dome of the Archbishop instead of the railroad baron. Perhaps as it should be, no? In the photograph you can see the multi-chimneyed abode of Mr. Hill made modest.

in the footsteps of f. scott fitzgerald
Photo Credit: Ramsey Hill Association

Cathedral Hill began to be developed in the 1850s. It is also known as Summit Hill, after Summit Avenue on which wealthy citizens built residential monuments to themselves. These addresses literally looked down on St. Paul’s crass commercial district and their less fortunate neighbors in the flats leading to the river’s edge. But Cathedral Hill’s glory days may very well have occurred during the Jazz Age of the 1920’s and 30’s.

in the footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

One of St. Paul’s favorite literary sons, F. Scott Fitzgerald, immortalized this insular world in his stories and novels.  Who couldn’t love The Great Gatsby from its first few pages, evocative as it is of something close to deja vu in sepia tones of forced gaiety and underlying melancholy? Just like the lace-curtained windows on Laurel or Ashland that provide only glimpses of the lives contained within, nostalgia renders Cathedral Hill’s literary portrait.  “That’s my Middle West,” Nick Carraway tells us.  “. . . the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow.”

in the footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: W. A. Frost

Early in our relationship, Pete and I spent a romantic evening at a table for two next to the fireplace at W. A. Frost and Company, at the corner of Selby and Western in Cathedral Hill. We’d stumbled and slid through snowbanks into a bar that seemed bathed in Carraway’s golden light, and proceeded into a dining room made intimate and mellowed by woodgrain, oriental carpets, and vintage brick.

in the footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald
Photo Credit: W. A. Frost

As a boy, F. Scott, named after distant cousin Francis Scott Key before his poetry became famous as our national anthem, was sure to have had an ice cream soda here when it was the neighborhood drugstore.  The building is a handsome sandstone edifice in the Italian Renaissance style, ornamented with copper cornices. Its original tin ceilings gleam in candleglow.

Across the street to its west is the former Angus Hotel, dating from 1887, now refurbished as the Blair Arcade with shops and condominiums, including Garrison Keillor’s bookstore for a time. Scott’s mother, Molly, lived here after her husband’s death. The bay windows and turrets on the building are classic Queen Anne with wrought iron ornamentation. The Angus alternately deteriorated and rejuvenated in 20-year increments after WWII, and now is at the nexus of the neighborhood.

On this visit, my girlfriends and I headed to Cathedral Hill to shop at First Monday at The Commodore Hotel, which had been a temporary home to Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald in the fall and winter of 1921-22. Another of our friends was displaying her handmade jewelry at this shopping event and we were all excited to be there. While it might be cliche to suggest walking through the Commodore’s double doors was like stepping back in the footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald, it wasn’t a stretch to imagine a white-gloved doorman standing ready under the broad-striped canopy at our approach.

The Commodore’s Art Deco bar (note: restored, refurbished and reopened in late 2015) is a perfectly preserved example of the clean lines, mirrors and gilding with which the style purveyed swank and sophistication, and still harbors the speakeasy’s secret door to a hidden crawlspace where the booze was stashed.  To replenish the bar these days, the bartenders go on hands and knees into the same closet, deftly passing bottles back toward the waiting hands of their accomplices.  I ordered a cosmopolitan martini and wished I could have a cigarette, although I haven’t smoked in years.

The Commodore’s details set the mood back to the Roaring 20s and 30s in an instant. Little had they changed in the intervening decades, as evidenced by vintage photos. Tile, mirror, lighting fixtures, and even the whimsical painting on the ladies room door harkened toward that time, which has always seemed so familiar.

What is it, I am wondering in this month of ghosts, about those who frequented these places? They seem so vivid to me. Not individually do they manifest, but instead they inhabit an overall mood woven from threads of expectation, glamor, hope, and tragedy. Was life more intense then?  It sometimes seems to me so. Have I lived a past life during this time? Perhaps.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The newly wed Fitzgeralds embarked on an opulent lifestyle from which Scott drew many of the plot lines in his literature, creating financial difficulties that would plague him throughout his life. After being asked to leave the Commodore and getting kicked out of the University and White Bear Yacht Clubs for wild parties, they relocated to Paris and the French Riviera, where they became friendly with other ex-pats, including Ernest Hemingway. This extravagant and worldly way of living accommodated Fitzgerald’s alcoholism and his wife’s flamboyance.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The vestiges of The Lost Generation lived on at The Commodore long after the Fitzgeralds did, mutating into the gangster days of the late 1920’s and throughout the 1930’s.  In John Dillinger Slept Here, we learn that Ma Barker occupied Apartments 215 to 221 starting in 1933, using an alias.  Her son, Fred, moved in, too, and brought his girlfriend, but, according to a 1936 FBI report, on mother’s orders the girl was ensconced in Apartment 404.  Nonetheless, the FBI went on, Ma Barker made the girl’s life “miserable.”

Other scofflaws besides the garden variety Jazz Babies and small-time hoodlums who holed up at the Commodore were Alvin Karpis, Al Capone, and train robber Jimmy Keating.  Karpis hooked up with the Barker gang about this time to kidnap William Hamm, one of the scions of the St. Paul brewing dynasty, netting the princely sum of $100,000 in ransom.  Next, they doubled their money with Edward Bremer, of the banking family, whose father was a friend of Franklin D. Roosevelt.  Residents of the Commodore lived fast and furious.  Things were all over for the Barker gang by 1935, with everyone either dead or captured.  The Commodore declined, particularly after the second World War, along with the neighborhood.

This was all long after young Scott came of age in the shadow of the construction of the magnificent Cathedral.  The cohesiveness of the neighborhood must have impressed the boy as representing haven and strength.  Edward Fitzgerald was fortunate to have “married up” into local McQuillan wealth and Social Register standing.  Whenever he fell upon hard times, and he frequently and inevitably did, the family returned to the financial safety of one of his mother-in-law’s houses in Cathedral Hill.

The sense of stability and place permeating Fitzgerald’s work, according to Patricia Kane, in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s St. Paul: A Writer’s Use of Material, was more symbolic than actual. Fitzgerald’s family “lived always in houses on the periphery of the city’s ‘best’ residential district. Fitzgerald’s letter to a friend described himself as living:

‘In a house below the average
On a street above the average
In a room below the roof. . .’ “

while at 599 Summit Avenue, now listed on the National Register, and working on This Side of Paradise. It was here that he learned of his book’s acceptance for publication, which in turn prompted a renewed liaison with Zelda and led her to consent to marriage now that he was appropriately successful.

All Fitzgerald’s stories, Kane tells us, include men “whose expectations exceed their experiences.”   Another Minnesota writer, Sinclair Lewis, who also resided for a time at the Commodore, similarly immortalized in the character of Babbitt an “admiration for the energy of the city and the Ivy League athletes come home to business success.” Fitzgerald wrote of an ideal city, whose values and experiences were predictable and sturdy.

in the footsteps of f scott fitzgerald
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The irony of this repetitive theme isn’t lost on someone who traces Fitzgerald’s transient life, his parents having lived at six addresses on and off Summit Avenue between 1908 and 1918 alone.  The newly wed Fitzgeralds lived at the Commodore in the fall of 1921, but also during that short period of less than a year, he and Zelda moved frequently between White Bear Lake and Cathedral Hill, most frequently as a result of eviction for the effects of wild parties they hosted.  By 1922, they were gone from Minnesota for good.

in the footsteps of f scott fitzgerald

It was a beautiful Midwest autumn evening to walk through the neighborhood from the Commodore to W. A. Frost, where we friends were anticipating good food and wine.  We decided to meander a bit in the footsteps of F. Scott Fitzgerald to take in parts of the Walking Tour on our way. Ambling west on Laurel, we admired beautiful examples of mid to late 19th-century architecture as the leaves fluttered from the trees and the streetlights came on. It wasn’t hard to imagine a young boy skipping down the street and glancing up at the different homes up and down the block, taking in the atmosphere in indelible imprints to be resurrected later in his writing.

Did he admire the detailed simplicity of this one or that one, or perhaps know the family who lived over there?  Would he and his playmates have scampered in the garden behind the hedge or opened the turquoise door on the spindled porch to beg a sweet treat from someone’s mother?

At # 481 Laurel, one of a twin set called San Mateo Flats by its builder, Scott had been born in 1896, in the third-floor apartment at left. On this waning fall afternoon with the sunset filtered by buildings and trees, the golden lamplight such as Nick Carraway described in The Great Gatsby was glowing in the front flat like a beacon for a boy on his way home to dinner.

We turned on Mackubin northward toward Selby, and then east again. The streetlamps were lit, and the dome of the Cathedral rose up at the end of the street, the ever-present landmark that the boy saw on his way for an ice cream all those years ago.

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

in the footsteps of f scott fitzgerald

We friends dined that lovely evening among the shadows of what had gone before. We spoke of our own hopes and dreams, laughed and confided in one another, all in the space of a few golden hours. Amid the quiet streets, we saw the romance and heard whispers of the past as the city settled in. The days are shorter now and we will return again.

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New Prague Minnesota: One of the Best Day Trips from Minneapolis for Small Town Traditions and Old World Influences

Looking for interesting day trips from Minneapolis? Old world influences in New Prague, Minnesota with 19th-century charm make it a winner!

When our medical emergency in Colombia forced a return to the United States for health care followup, we began bunking with our kids at their farm in Helena Township, outside the city of New Prague, Minnesota.

Having been raised in a small town, I’ve long thought it would be fun to live in one again; the Universe responds to our desires in ways we don’t anticipate!

New Prague Minnesota gateway monument
Photo by Betsy Wuebker

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Life in New Prague has a distinct middle American veneer. It’s the kind of place where you jump in your son-in-law’s vehicle and the radio is pre-tuned to a country music station.

There are only a couple of stoplights in town and the flags come out on Main Street for Memorial Day and the 4th of July.

downtown New Prague Minnesota with twin spires of St Wenceslas Catholic Church
AlexiusHoratius [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

In this part of Minnesota, you can seemingly visit the whole of Europe within a 50 mile radius of New Prague. Communities of varying sizes were named to reflect their immigrant founders’ reverence for home along with the optimism associated with a fresh start: Kilkenny, Veseli, Norseland, Dundas, Heidelberg, Cologne, Hamburg, New Ulm, Warsaw, New Sweden, Elysian, New Trier, New Germany.

St Wenceslas Church in New Prague Minnesota
The Church of St. Wenceslas in New Prague is a copy of one in the Czech Republic.

Folks in New Prague meet each other in coffee shops whose owners have names like Angie and Patty, who know their customers by name. The local cafe gears up for the Sunday after-church crowd, and business is done in the shadow of the grain elevator next to the railroad tracks.

mill and grain elevator in New Prague Minnesota
The recently closed Con-Agra Mill and Grain Elevator in New Prague

Sometimes coastal elites in America dismiss towns like New Prague as “flyover country,” not worthy of a traveler’s attention. Others who grow up in small communities feel confined and can’t wait to escape out into the “real world.”

Only belatedly might we realize that greener grass is actually grown in the rich, fertile, black dirt here that reliably delivers on its seasonal promise.

Side view of Hotel Broz on a beautiful spring day in New Prague

This is the steady sort of grounding – how the phrase originates? – that comes from growing up with your neighbors and going about your business with them for decades. While their forefathers may have traveled thousands of miles to begin again, many current residents of New Prague (pronounced “prayg” here) bear the old names one sees on the original plats. There is plenty to reward and sustain a good life.

St Wenceslas Cemetery in New Prague Minnesota with 19th century Bohemian settlers' graves
19th Century Bohemian Settlers Graves in St. Wenceslaus Cemetery, New Prague

For travelers, there is much to discover in a town like New Prague: cultural legacy, architectural interest, wholesome food and drink, and welcoming places to wander in.

Grab an ice cream cone and amble along the Main Street sidewalk, pull into a parking lot without worrying if you locked the car door, and chat up friendly locals whose hospitality is genuine. Read on for more background and ideas. . .

Bohemian Settlers Spearheaded Old World influences in New Prague Minnesota in the 19th Century

Like many small towns in the Midwest, the Old World influences in New Prague, Minnesota trace back to a specific region in Europe. The USA’s Midwest is relatively young by comparison with other parts of the world: what is now the city of New Prague only saw its first European settler less than 200 years ago.

Combined panoramas of New Prague ca. 1900(?) Photo Credit: Minnesota Historical Society

What County is New Prague MN In and What Was It Like Back Then?

city of New Prague
The Big Woods in Minnesota. Photo Credit: Minnesota Dept of Natural Resources

Minnesota Territory lawmakers created Scott and Le Sueur Counties in 1853, when treaties with the Sioux began to allow access to areas west of the Mississippi River.

Ahead of the first Bohemian families to arrive three years later, New Prague founding father, Anton Philipp, bought acreage in Helena Township, Scott County just south of our kids’ farm, in 1856.

the grave of Anton Philipp, founder of New Prague Minnesota
The grave of Anton Philipp, founder of the settlement which would become New Prague

Helena Township in those days was smack dab in the middle of the Big Woods (name taken literally from Grand Bois, dubbed by early French explorers). This was an eco-region dominated by thick, old-growth hardwoods in a 40 mile wide swath grown out of glacier deposits, which stretched diagonally for about 100 miles in Central Minnesota.

Tip: Today, you can see a preserved portion of the Big Woods as they appeared in the 19th century in the nearby Nerstrand Big Woods State Park.

While its 45 mile distance makes New Prague one of the more popular day trips from Minneapolis, in those days the dense Big Woods precluded rapid travel. The trees were so close together that carts pulled by oxen could not pass.

Foot travelers followed waterways branching off from the Minnesota River, such as Sand Creek, on the banks of which Anton Philipp built his first log cabin. Others tied ropes and cut notches in the trees to mark their routes. It took several days to get back up to Shakopee on the Minnesota River, a distance of 22 miles.

The Big Woods also made it nearly impossible to accurately survey county lines. It’s probable early settlers in New Prague didn’t realize their new settlement was growing in both Scott and Le Sueur Counties. Philipp subdivided his property without platting it and began selling to Bohemian arrivals shortly thereafter.

Early History of New Prague

Czech Bohemian immigrants by way of Iowa appear to have shown up in what would become New Prague by accident. Stopping in St. Paul for guidance from the Catholic bishop there, they intended to find land with the help of the Benedictine monks at St. John’s Abbey (incidentally, where Pete attended college at St. John’s University).

Instead, they mistook the bishop’s directions to follow the Mississippi westward and got lost along the Minnesota River.

grave in St Wenceslas Cemetery New Prague Minnesota
gravestone in St Wenceslas Cemetery New Prague Minnesota

Bohemians by the thousands had begun to flee the semi-feudal system in their European homeland and continued to do so over a period of 40 years from 1850 onward to escape hunger and oppression.

history of New Prague
Depiction of Bohemian settlers in traditional dress for New Prague’s Diamond Jubilee, 1931

Staking claim, therefore, in the Big Woods must’ve seemed like “sticking it to the man” on a certain level. But the forest was difficult to clear for planting, so subsistence depended upon a combination of hunting, planting and foraging.

A run on valuable wild ginseng found in the forests only lasted for about three years before it was tapped out, and life in the extreme weather was challenging.

history of New Prague
Harvesting grain in the New Prague area, ca. 1920. Photo Credit: Minnesota Historical Society

European settlers also only belatedly realized the potential of prairie lands, mistakenly believing that the different eco-system represented lack of nutrients.

They soon discovered, however, that it was easy to grow wheat. It became even easier to transport crops to market when railroads arrived in the 1870s, bringing along with them new machinery and milling techniques.

history of New Prague
Main Street New Prague approximately 1890. Photo Credit: Minnesota Historical Society

This led to a prosperous period in New Prague beginning in the 1880s and lasting through WWI. Afterwards, industrial modernization led to fewer and larger farms and agribusiness growth.

The New Prague Flouring Mill Company developed into ConAgra and International Multifoods, expanding their headquarters to Minneapolis.

While the recently closed milling and elevator complex still dominates the landscape in New Prague today, in the meantime agriculture branched out to other crops and animal husbandry.

history of New Prague
Robin Hood Flour Company around 1930. Photo Credit: Minnesota Historical Society

Small Town Midwest Values and Historic Legacy Are On Display in the City of New Prague

The history of New Prague is on display for visitors and residents alike today. The city has a rich architectural legacy reminiscent of its Central European roots, strong religious affiliations, and entrepreneurial spirit.

Twin spires and the back of St Wenceslas Catholic Church in New Prague Minnesota
Old World Influences in the Architecture of St. Wenceslas Church

Architecture lovers on day trips from the Twin Cities will delight in the beautiful examples of public, commercial and residential buildings still around today. A healthy combination of original use and re-purposing lends to the historic atmosphere.

Other buildings in town await visionary ideas, which we hoped would come to fruition. A current residential development spurt adds new families and their expectations for amenities and services.

Notable Vintage Architecture in New Prague

Church of St. Wenceslas, Rectory and School Complex – Organized in 1856 with a log building, St. Wenceslas parishioners in the first years of the 20th century were directed by their priest not to bother coming back to church if they didn’t donate to the building fund.

Completed in 1907 using a combination of neoclassical and Romanesque styles, the church’s twin domes flank the entrance to a spacious, light-filled interior. This is adorned with traditional Czech symbology used sparingly and effectively.

Stained glass windows bear Czech inscriptions. Named for Wenceslas I, Duke of Bohemia, the church is listed on on the National Register of Historic Places.

St Wenceslas Catholic Church in New Prague Minnesota
interior of St Wenceslas Catholic Church
interior of St Wenceslas Catholic Church
interior of St Wenceslas Catholic Church
St Wenceslas Catholic School

Broz Hotel – Designed by famed Minnesota State Capitol architect Cass Gilbert in the Georgian Revival style and built in 1898 by Wenceslas Broz, currently under renovation and restoration. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

hotel Broz
Hotel Broz – New Prague, Minnesota. Photo Credit: By Bobak Ha’Eri [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

First National Bank of New Prague – Built in 1922 on the Main Street site of a previous building with a distinctive glazed terra cotta facade. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

history of New Prague First National Bank building
First National Bank of New Prague. Photo Credit: By Bobak Ha’Eri [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

St. Wenceslas Cemetery Chapel – Built in 1899 of marble after the cemetery was established in 1884. Older monuments and remains were moved ahead of the new church’s construction in 1907. The chapel’s copper dome features the angel Gabriel.

The former Klondike Hotel – Built by Joseph Wrabek in the 1890s using distinctive yellow Chaska brick as a boarding house for workers at the mill across the street. Now a private residence.

Czech Traditions Alive in New Prague and Environs

Vomacka (Vomachka) – a hearty, cream-based vegetable soup is on the soup of the day menu all over town. Touted as a hangover cure, vomacka means “gravy” in Czech. Those in the know add vinegar at the table to kick it up a notch.

Kolache (Kolacky, pronounced “ko-latch-key”) – a semi-sweet dessert pastry originating in Central Europe, the kolacky is flavored with fruit or jam in the center of a puffy, buttery pastry. Find them in different fruit flavors at Lau’s Czech Bakery.

Czech Slovak Century – 2018 marked 100 years since Czechoslovakia was formed, 50 years since the Prague Spring, and 25 years since the Czech and Slovak Republics’ formation. The Czech Heritage Club meets monthly March through December in New Prague City Hall (for more information, click here).

Dozinky Days Harvest Festival – Held on the 3rd Saturday of September on Main Street, includes an open air market, beer garden, vintage car guise, farm pride parade, and food booths. The Czech Heritage Village set up outside the Tupy Insurance Agency building has booths featuring Czech souvenirs, music and dancers, and resources for those interested in history and genealogy. Click here for more information.

Tip: If pastry and a summer festival is more your thing, check out Kolacky Days in Montgomery (8 miles south of New Prague) in July. Celebrated for more than 80 years, the event includes a torchlight parade, fireworks, traditional Czech dinner, classic cars and vintage tractors, eating contests and the US National Prune Spitting Contest!

Things to Do in New Prague

Besides festivals like Dozinky Days and Kolacky Days, the city of New Prague offers visitors quality products and experiences to try.

Farmhouse Market – Local organic and natural foods in a membership-based unstaffed retail location which uses a keycard entry and self-checkouts. Open to the public with staff for varying 3 hour shifts on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Click here fore reviews and information.

Mainstream Boutique – a contemporary fashion franchise with a hip local esthetic. Click here for more information.

Humble Pie Gifts – Browse in 1700sf of gift collections, clothing and accessories, baby and children’s items, and New Prague souvenirs. Click here for more information.

Enjoy Bohemian Specialties and Small Town Hospitality at New Prague Restaurants

A day trip from Minneapolis is going to require sustenance at some point, and New Prague restaurants will satisfy. A few of our favorites:

Sugar Rose Bakery – this little gem belies its strip mall location by offering a sophisticated array of muffins, bars, cupcakes and cookies, making it a perfect stop for coffee and a little something sweet or savory. Click here to see their Facebook page.

Patty’s Place – A Main Street morning hangout with coffee, pastries, lunch menu, cakes, cupcakes and ice cream. Click here to read TripAdvisor reviews.

Ettlin’s Cafe – a sophisticated take on old fashioned diner food, Ettlin’s is always packed, but worth the wait. Local ingredients and honey from their own bees. Click here to read TripAdvisor reviews.

The Flip Side – a list of New Prague MN restaurants, or any small town for that matter, wouldn’t be complete without a favorite dive bar. We like the Flip Side because it has great food – try the burgers and o-rings! – and a modest, family-style atmosphere.Click here to read TripAdvisor reviews.

history of New Prague
Interior of the Bartyzal Saloon in New Prague – 1930s. Photo Credit: Minnesota Historical Society

The Fishtale Bar & Grill – bills itself as a a “modern, down home joint” with wholesome food, weekly specials and full bar in a rustic northwoods atmosphere. Click here to read TripAdvisor reviews.

Carbone’s Pizza and Sports Bar – not just pizza but a varied menu of generous proportions includes Italian specialties, sandwiches and burgers, pizza and options for kids. Click here to read TripAdvisor reviews.

Lakeside Supper Club – a more elegant, yet still casual fine dining atmosphere south of town with beautiful sunsets on Lake Pepin. Click here to read TripAdvisor reviews.

Hotels in New Prague MN

Sometimes day trips from the Twin Cities can turn into weekends away. The list of best New Prague MN hotels, unfortunately, is a very short one. If there is one thing we wish New Prague had but doesn’t is more fun places to stay. We’re hoping the planned re-opening of the Hotel Broz adds more choices to the mix.

For now, the only hotel in the city of New Prague proper is the Quality Inn and Suites. Click here to see Trip Advisor reviews. For a list of hotels within comfortable driving distance of New Prague as ranked by Trip Advisor, click here.

We hope this post has given you a glimpse of why we liked living in New Prague so much. While returning to the US was unexpected, our adopted home town here has turned on the charm and we’ve become enamored. Make sure you plan a visit should you be in the area!

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