The revitalization of formerly industrial areas in downtown Raleigh and Durham, 2.5 hours Northeast of Charlotte, have brought an influx of new establishments including neighborhood bars and eateries meshing with high concept bars and restaurants. This trend combined with some oldie-but-goody bar institutions makes a good Top 10 bar list to hit this spring and summer.
Raleigh Times Bar: A neighborhood bar inhabiting the old Raleigh Times newspaper building, is a local favorite hangout with good drinks and pub-grub. If beer is on the brain, check out their craft-brewed domestic micros and their kickin’ selection of Belgian beers if you want to go global. Wine and liquor lovers won’t feel left out either.
Foundation: An underground Fayetteville Street bar with a philosophy based on local craft. Foundation serves beer made only in North Carolina. A regional selection of wines are served as well as liquors distilled domestically.
The Pour House: An institution in the Moore Square art district, this is a dive bar for live music lovers and pool playing fools. A wide selection of liquor, house wine and draught beer are available to wet the palate.
Boylan Bridge Brewpub: With the best view of the dontown Raleigh skyline there is no better place to have a beverage and small plate than on their huge wooden outdoor patio tucked away from the activity on Hillsborough Street. The inside boasts a bright and open atmosphere to enjoy beers made with recipes developed by their local staff and brewed on premise. Brewery tours are available on Wednesdays at 7pm.
Hibernian: Located in Raleigh’s Glenwood South, this Irish belly-up-to-the-bar establishment attracts all genres of people from students to young and seasoned business professionals and bikers. The appeal; multiple bars with cozy seating, dim lighting and french doors to their outdoor patio where sipping an Irish lager or Guinness with some nibbles is part of the itinerary.
Tyler’s Taproom: In the American Tobacco Historic District, adjacent to the Durham Bull’s athletic park, Tyler’s boasts 60 delicious craft and specialty import beers on tap. Wine and mixed drinks are part of the inventory and American comfort food with a seasonal twist is available by day or night in the industrial bar/dining room or spacious outdoor patio.
The Federal: Durham’s hole-in-the wall stomping ground for great value drink and food on West Main Street. Duke students, hipsters, and suit wearing patrons share the same motivation. They want rockin’ drinks and food at a good value and The Federal delivers!
James Joyce: Just up the road from The Federal have an authentic Irish experience at James Joyce’s Irish pub. One of the owners, Fergus Bradley, hailing from Ennis in County Clare delivers drink and food spanning both sides of the Atlantic. A laid back, casual crowd consisting of Duke grads and young professionals are the vibe of the place. Weekly drink specials including local and international beers, wine and liquor are available.
Satisfaction: A Durham institution located in Brightleaf Square where sports fanatics can hunker down here to watch Duke basketball in this casual but noisy retreat. With 84 bottled beers, 14 draught beers, domestic and imported wines, mixed drinks, casual fare and 16 big screen HDTV’s happy sensory overload is what this place is all about.
Piedmont: If modern contemporary is more your style, located in a big white warehouse, The Piedmont is a great after work stop for a glass of wine or cocktail. Farm-to-table is the concept and small plates like saffron, tomato and mozzarella arancini or Pommes frites with aoili appeals to the senses and complements the beverage of choice.