Forepaugh’s offers classic dining in an atmosphere of Victorian elegance. Built in 1870, this Victorian mansion was originally the family home of Joseph Forepaugh, a wealthy dry goods merchant. The house was sold many times over the years, converted into a boardinghouse and fell into disrepair. Finally, in 1976, after years of renovation, the mansion opened as a restaurant. Today, it’s fully restored to its former grandeur.
Forepaugh’s offers a different dining experience depending on where in the mansion you choose to eat. The first floor features a wonderful and elaborate Victorian bar and parlor. Here they serve Forepaugh’s “downstairs” menu. It’s comprised of burgers, classic sandwiches, mac & cheese and other pub treats. Upstairs, however, diners find a more formal atmosphere with elegant fare including steaks, chops, beef and pan-seared walleye. Don’t miss a peek in the gorgeous and well-stocked wine cellar where groups may dine at the chef’s table. Forepaugh’s serves brunch on the weekend, too.
Outdoors, a delightful rooftop deck overlooking Irvine Park and tables on the patio and porch make great spots to nosh and enjoy St. Paul summer evenings.
Looking for a little more spice with your meal? Legend has it that Joseph Forepaugh carried on an affair with one of his housemaids named Molly. Later, both committed suicide— in other houses. Nonetheless, restaurant staff and patrons alike have reported ghostly Joseph and Molly sightings.
After dining at Forepaugh’s, history buffs should consider a visit to the home of Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota’s first territorial governor. The mansion-turned museum sits across the street. In addtion, Forepaugh’s is a convenient place to dine before a Minnesota Wild Hockey game at Xcel Energy Center.