The Contented Cow is a Northfield Pub with a British accent. We are located on the bank of the Cannon River with entrances riverside and off Division Street. Our uniqueness is apparent upon the first visit. We offer a wonderful environment for people of all ages, including children.
302 Division Street, built in 1876, was bought by Norman Butler & Diane Burry in May 1999. Norman (recent immigrant to the USA and shopkeeper in the Archer House hotel) got together two others to create a British pub in the basement of the three story building.
302 Division Street was the original Northfield City Hall, then converted to a fire station – firemen on the top floor, fire engines on the main level, horses stabled in the basement – and latterly as an antique store on the main level and a violin maker on the top floor. A jail house was built behind the main building on the same lot about 1910. The basement was half developed and half rock and dirt.
Starting June 1999, it took us 3 months to design, dig it out and build it from scratch and we opened on the first day of the Defeat of Jesse James Days (DJJD) in early September 1999. We knocked down the old jail building in 2001 to create a split level patio and added a deck to this in 2004. The lower patio was enclosed in 2007 to increase the available space inside the pub and we intend to add yet another deck in spring 2009.
The motto of the town is ‘Cows, Colleges and Contentment’ and from this patron Barbara Burke conjured up the name ‘The Contented Cow.’
The motto of the Cow is ‘good beer, good food, good company’ and this was our inspiration and is our raison d’etre. We were the first non-smoking establishment of its kind in this city, perhaps even the state.
From the start, we determined not to have televisions, electronic games, pull-tabs, bar stools, and crap beer – just good domestic craft beers and imports on tap. We started with eight taps and now have 13. Our food is simple, mostly home made and nutritious and we pride ourselves on being family-friendly.
In 2011, we installed televisions which are set to broadcast BBC America and a limited selection of sporting events that have a global appeal such as the World Cup and some rugby and cricket matches.
The Contented Cow is a place to visit with old friends and meet new friends. It is our living room and everyone is invited to stop by.
The Contented Cow is in downtown Northfield, Minnesota, about 45 minutes south of both downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, and about 45 minutes northwest of Rochester. Northfield is at the intersection of state highways 3 and 19, about 7 miles east of Interstate 35 and 12 miles west of Hwy 52 on Hwy 19.
The Contented Cow is located just a few steps off Division Street, where it intersects with 3rd Street East in the center of downtown Northfield. From 302 Division Street, walk down the stairs next to the Northfield Arts Guild. From the west side of the Cannon River, walk east over the foot bridge and you’ll see our outdoor patio.