Trying to decide whether to go out to the bar or stay at home to play video games? Why not do both at Headquarters Beercade. This Lakeview-area funhouse offers 37 vintage arcade games for your enjoyment, as well as a menu full of game-inspired cocktails, a healthy selection of beers — over a dozen on tap as well as a selection of bottles and cans — and a reasonable stock of spirits for those who like their liquor straight. Better yet, the HQ just opened a 7,000 square-foot pinball alley expansion that's host to over 20 pinball games both new and old. Just don't forget to bring quarters — you're going to need them.
It's not exactly a bar, since it doesn't stay in one place, and it's not a food truck either, as this roaming business doesn't serve food. What we're trying to say is it's a little tough to categorize The Travelling Gin Co., as there's not really anything like it. As the name suggests, this travelling pop-up bar is based in London, and shows up at all sorts of events across Europe — concerts, gallery openings, even weddings — serving up amazing gin and tonics, as well as other gin-based cocktails. Better yet, everything is served straight from the bicycles the owners ride in on, making it one of the most intriguing, eco-friendly ways to get your drink on. [via]
They've been brewing Coors in Golden since the late 1800s, and from the looks of the place, serving it up at the Ace-Hi Tavern for nearly as long. In reality, it's only been open for 50 years or so, but it still boasts all the key ingredients of a classic dive — cheap booze, a pool table, darts, a jukebox, a couple of arcade games, and a lively crowd that has a very specific goal in mind. Should you need to ask what that goal is, you probably shouldn't be going there, but we'll give you a hint: it rhymes with "thinking".
Most modern speakeasies are tucked away in basements or hidden inside restaurants, but otherwise have little to do with their Prohibition-era kin. All of which makes The Night Heron special. This secret bar is sadly done for now — it ran for six weeks earlier this Spring — but the chances of a repeat make it worth sharing. Housed in a Chelsea water tower, you needed a ticket — in the form of a pocket watch that was sent to you — to enter, and had to climb a fire escape, cross a chasm, and negotiate a ladder to the tower's trap door to enter. Once inside, there was candlelight, cocktails, and live performances by various artists, including Amanda Palmer. Interested in being a part of the next one? We recommend signing up for their mailing list ASAP. [via]
True to its name, The Hidden Vine has grown from a tucked-away alcove in a Union Square-area hotel to its own financial district space. Despite the move, the place has kept the same atmosphere, allowing wine connoisseurs and neophytes alike to enjoy themselves. The selection features a different region of the world each month, so there's normally something new for you to try — and if there's not, you might seriously be coming here too often — but beyond that, the place also offers something you're not going to find in many other wine bars: a bocce court.
Odds are if you're visiting Athens, you'd like to take in as much of the city's history as you can. Well, the view from the GB Roof Garden Bar lets you do that while enjoying a tasty beverage at the same time. Set in an ideal location, the bar's open-air design affords fantastic views of the Acropolis, Lycabettus hill and the Parliament. The bar doesn't look so bad itself, with a classy, modern design, and should you decide on more than just liquid, the new Mediterranean food menu won't disappoint.
There are times that any old bar will do, and there are times — special occasions, promotions, a need to feel more civilized than you can surrounded by drunks at the local pub — that a more elegant venue is called for. The Connaught Bar is one of the latter. Located inside the storied hotel of the same name, this luxurious house of drink features an interior inspired by English Cubist and Irish 1920's art, and is known far and wide for its Martini Trolley, from which the journeymen bartenders serve up the signature cocktail with great flair. Not in the martini mood? You might try the summertime refreshment known as the Mulata Daisy with Bacardi white rum, lime juice, sugar, and Galliano, or opt for their new whiskey and bespoke chocolate tasting, which is every bit as decadent as it sounds.
It might sound like a terrific place for fisherman, but trust us: the "bait" sold at El Bait Shop isn't for fish. Instead, it's for adult humans, in the form of 120 beers on tap and over 150 in bottles. The decor is decidedly eclectic, with taxidermied animals, tons of beers signs, and other Americana on the walls, a retro vibe in the dining room and bar area, and a spacious patio. There's a new food menu available should you get hungry, and don't worry if you didn't drive a gas-guzzler in — the place also offers 26 bike racks, making it one of the more cyclist-friendly spots around.
Plenty of dive bars have just one claim to fame. Earnestine & Hazel's has several. This hole-in-the-wall opens at five, and is widely known for its Soul Burger, the quality of which far outstrips expectations. The drinks are cheap and good, and the jukebox is fitting for the city, offering up tons of soul, country, and funk. But it's the upstairs that really takes the place above and beyond. Formerly a brothel, it's now just a series of various rooms filled with outdated furniture, one of which is also home to a makeshift bar run by an older fellow named Nate, who will be more than happy to share some stories should you take the time to ask.
We're not usually ones to recommend sitting at a table if you come to a place for drinks — the bar is normally the way to go — but the table service at The Drawing Room is special enough to make us consider it. This intimate underground lounge/restaurant offers up outstanding food, but its drinks are even more noteworthy. If ordered form the table, a bartender will arrive with a cart, explaining the ingredients and history of your drink while preparing it on-site. And should you not find anything you like on the cocktail list, the skilled mixologists are more than capable of crafting a drink to suit your tastes. Clean restrooms and superb service round out the experience; reservations recommended.
It doesn't take much imagination to turn a night at the pub into an adventure, but it takes real planning to make the trip to the pub an adventure. Considered the most remote pub in Britain, The Old Forge is located in a place that no roads go. To get there, you can hike 18 miles in, or take a 7 mile ferry ride from Mallaig. Either way, when you get there you can expect to find plenty of fresh seafood and traditional Scottish specialties, a selection of "real ales", fresh ground coffee, live music, dancing, and, of course, a healthy selection of Scotch. Luckily, there are several places to stay in town, so should you have more than just a few, you can get a good night's rest before starting your journey back to the rest of the world. [via]
Part museum, part bar, the Fraunces Tavern is a hidden gem of the Financial District. Widely known as the spot where George Washington gave his farewell speech to his Continental Army, this historic bar was built in 1719 and has operated as a bar since 1762. The spot now offers a wide selection of beers, an Irish-centric food menu, and multiple rooms, including the secluded Dingle Whiskey Bar. As we mentioned above, the place is also a museum — really — that encompasses four 19th century buildings as well as part of the original Tavern, which also played host to the Departments of War, Treasury and Foreign Affairs in our nation's earliest days.