When Decoys closed on 11th Avenue and Mainstreet, those seeking a place to unwind after work on the west side of Hopkins were left with one less watering hole. They got another when Wild Boar opened March 16.
Wild Boar has a dish for every palate and a weekday happy hour from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. It offers lighter fare—such as soups, salads, burgers and sandwiches—as well as entrees that range from ribs to pasta dishes. The appetizers start at pickle chips and cheese curds all the way up to heavier dishes, such as pulled-pork sandwiches and wings. Along with $3 rail cocktails and beers, appetizers are half price during happy hour.
According to the wait staff, the best sellers in the opening days have been the Wild Nachos, Bacon Mac ‘N’ Cheese and the signature Wild Boar Ribs.
I started with a small but dense spread of the Wild Nachos. The chips, salsa, lettuce and house-made cheese seemed to be stacked as high as they were wide, and they did not disappoint. The most unique part of this dish was the choice in added meats. While most restaurants offer only plain chicken and seasoned beef, Wild Boar offers barbeque chicken and pork as well as pot roast. The pot roast was fabulous; its saltiness fed off the cheese and chips perfectly. The one suggestion I have for anyone ordering this dish is to definitely share. While working on it by myself, the bottom layer of chips became soggy and laden with cheese.
With the Mac ‘N’ Cheese, I was surprised to be presented with a large and aesthetically pleasing dish. The addition of toasted breadcrumbs and bacon to the extra gooey cheese made it especially delicious—not your typical restaurant macaroni. It was also surprisingly filling, as I barely touched the fries that came along with it. This could easily feed two adults or one with a large appetite.
Outside of the food, Wild Boar is also a welcome change to Decoys in design and daily specials. At Decoys, the stage was in the northeast corner of the bar, leading to a cramped and often loud experience when first entering the restaurant. That area is now occupied by pool tables, and the stage has been moved to the south side of the building. The seat backs of the booths have been lowered throughout the restaurant, creating a much more open experience throughout.
Wild Boar offers 25-cent wings from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. It also has a fish fry on Fridays for $9.99 and a 12 oz. prime rib on Saturdays for $13.95, both from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. As for the rest of the weekend, sliders are $1 all day Sunday and there are discounted drinks Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 5 p.m.