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Peter Krause’s Guide to St. Paul & Minneapolis

The Twin Cities-native on “The Catch”’s bold second season and his unconventional hometown glory

On television, actor Peter Krause has played lawyers, con artists, and funeral home directors, but in his early life, the occupational stakes weren’t quite so high. “I worked at the fish and chips stand at the Minnesota State Fair in high school. We were in between the horse barn and the sheep barn,” the Roseville, Minn., native says of his previous employer. 

A TV fixture with a handful of legacy shows—including “Six Feet Under and “Parenthood”—under his belt, Krause clearly has come a long way since slinging fish and chips. This March he once again graces the small screen in the second season of the glossy, Thin Man-style Shondaland romp, “The Catch,” which returns to ABC with added rom-com-related hijinks. “Our executive producer, Allan Heinberg, wanted to lean a bit more toward comedy this season. There’s a more con-artistry and less of the investigation aspects,” says Krause. (The show, at its core, is grounded in truth: Heinberg’s own ill-fated romance inspired the plot.)

In Roseville, Krause has become something of a hometown hero—no surprise, given his illustrious career. More surprising, as Krause reveals, are the ways in which he gets recognized. “When my father passed awaythe funeral director said, ‘It’s an honor to be working for you.’ “Six Feet Under” was the only show about people who worked in funeral homes, so he wanted to talk shop before getting down to business. It was an odd experience.”

Awkward encounters aside, Krause is happy to return to Roseville. “It’s not like I got sucked back into any family business or anything,” he says, referring to his “Six Feet Under” character Nate Fisher, who unexpectedly inherits his father’s mortuary business. “I left to go to NYU. But my mom still lives in the house I grew up in, so I get to go back there when I visit.” And Krause’s homecomings sound far from the Fisher family’s dreary, sardonic affairs. “When my niece was younger, we would go to Mall of America, because there’s an indoor amusement park. It’s a little big and sprawling for my tastes, but it’s great for little kids.”

If roaming the country’s largest shopping center isn’t your taste, Krause shares more tips to exploring the land of a thousand lakes below.

Cup of Joe: Rustica Bakery has great coffee, but you really go there for the cookies and all the other baked goods they have there. 

Power Lunch: Muffuletta in St. Paul has great, hearty food. It’s my son’s favorite place to eat lunch when we go back to visit my mom. 

Cocktail Hour: If you want to go fancy, go to Marvel BarLiquor Lyle’s is the exact opposite. It’s not quite a dive bar, but it’s the kind of place where you want to go and sit with friends. I used to go there a lot after I got out of college. But Marvel Bar if you want to impress somebody.

Retail Therapy: Uptown, or the  Calhoun Square area, is the obvious choice for pedestrian shopping. If you want to walk around a lake afterwards, you have a choice of three: Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, and Lake of the Isles.

Field Trip: The great thing about the Walker Art Center is that there’s a sculpture garden outside, and then Loring Park is right there. The arts scene is smaller than, say, New York, but Minneapolis is very creative. There are great museums and a wonderful music scene.

Date Night: Ngon Café is a great Vietnamese restaurant that’s not too far away from Como Park, so you can walk around Como Lake afterwards, or the conservatory, which is a beautiful place to escape from the cold in the wintertime. 

Don’t Miss: There’s a waterfall at Minnehaha Park/Minnehaha Falls and in the wintertime, everything freezes, which is cool. It was one of my favorite childhood spots. We’d have picnics there and we could go swim in the creek. The thrill was seeing how close you could get to the falls.

Hidden Gem: It’s not really hidden, but if you’re in town at the end of August and beginning of September, you shouldn’t miss the Minnesota State Fair. It’s the second largest state fair in the country, behind Texas. They have all sorts of interesting foods: In addition to the fish and chips where I worked, there was a hot dog and sausage place that was famous for their “cheddar-wurst.” There are also animal shows and crop art, where someone will take corn and glue it on the board to look like Elvis. You can spend the whole day there.