Duke and Dagger Brings a Bit of Britain to Menomonie
Haley Wright, photos by Andrea Paulseth |
The Duke and Dagger, a new British pub in Menomonie, had its grand opening a few weeks ago and has been the buzz around town ever since. It’s in the building that once housed Das Bierhaus, 120 Sixth Ave. West, which closed early in 2016. The establishment is almost unrecognizable from its past appearance: The entire space has been revamped and transformed into a comfortable English pub, complete with a cozy fireplace to enjoy a pint by and a 1922 Holland piano to sing along to.
Owners Sifia Jevne and Andrew Mercil decided to open a British pub to bring something unique to the area. “The niche is that we are the only British pub in the Chippewa Valley,” Mercil says. “All of the food we make from scratch. (We) wanted to put an emphasis on quality food and unique beers and beverages you can’t get anywhere else.” The Duke and Dagger offers traditional British dishes, imported beer on tap, and one-of-a-kind drinks you won’t find at other local establishments.
“We call our menu ‘British pub food with flavors of the empire,’ ” Mercil explains. “We have some classic British staples like Banger and Mash and Fish and Chips, but also things like Chips with cheesy curry, a Chicken Vindaloo sandwich or salad, and Guinness-glazed steak bites with a smoked Gouda dipping sauce. For drinks we offer 10 beers on tap, seven of which are from the British Isles. Beers like Boddings, Bass, Strongbow, Newcastle Brown Ale, Harp, Smithwicks, and Guinness. We also have specialty cocktails named after members of the royal family. A Prince Harry is a whisky ginger with an orange twist.”
The ambiance and décor is relaxed and comfortable, suggesting a neighborhood bar you can feel at home in. “We were trying to go for a traditional pub feel. Cozy, warm, and inviting. Our walls are a deep blue, our booths are a crimson red leather, and the British penny top bar all give way to that ‘welcome home’ feel. We wanted everyone to feel welcome and like this is their very own neighborhood pub, because it is,” he says. In addition to a comfortable atmosphere, the pub has already hosted many British- and holiday-themed events, as well as local performances and sing-alongs. “We have a beautiful 1922 Holland piano, made right here in Menomonie on the banks of the Red Cedar River, that has been and will be played frequently for live music as people drink, eat, and enjoy the evening,” he adds. The owners of the Duke and Dagger have even more exciting events on tap for the future. “We have had holiday music events throughout the month of December. In January we will start offering Scotch classes, and in February we’ve partnered with the Menomonie Public Library for ‘Pages and Pints,’ a book club that will meet at the pub the first Monday of every month at 6:30pm.”
Whether it is for a quick drink with friends, a one-of-a-kind, delicious dinner like no other served in the Chippewa Valley, or to just experience someplace new, “The goals (of the Duke and Dagger) are simple: to offer a cozy atmosphere with food and drinks that people can’t get anywhere else. 2017 looks to be a bang-on year for us, and we hope we get to welcome tons of new people as they experience Menomonie’s premier British Pub,” Mercil says. So, put on your best British accent and head over to the Duke and Dagger for a pint and some chips, and stay for the music and ambiance.
The Duke and Dagger • 120 Sixth Ave. West, Menomonie • (715) 578-9009 • facebook.com/dukeanddagger