The 617 has been in business for over 80 years at the same location in downtown White Bear Lake. It has had only three owners in all those years and little has changed inside since the 1950s. It was one of the first bars to open in White Bear after Prohibition ended in 1934.
Initially occupied by Mel Kirkby’s Sweet Shop, which sold ice cream and other treats; Paul Albrecht, son of the Avalon building owner, opened the 617 on March 9, 1934. He ran the bar for more than 30 years. The 617 was remodeled in 1957-58, at which time the bar’s now signature stained glass windows were added. They were inspired by a bar in New York City and imported from Germany.
Stay thirsty friends.