Nightlife Diaries: Draft

Published Mon, Jan 23, 2012 08:59 AM
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Submitted by Red Rover — Correspondent

Rover Rating: 4 out of 4

It's Saturday. The Glo-So savvys are out and about. And there are plenty of clubs to hop to. But if you want an unassuming place to chill, Draft just may be the place to be.

Rocky Top's replacement for its predecessor, Hi-5, Draft gives love to the local movement with a focus on crafting a "Carolina" concept. And lucky for them, sustainable is stylish.

The concept is simple — almost exclusively Tar Heel State-borne burgers and beer (40 NC-crafted drafts) with a 360-degree bar, a backdrop of boob tubes serving up sports and five pay-by-the-hour billiards tables. So you can nosh on a delish locally sourced burger while you support neighborhood brewers and play like you're the "hustler."

The potential draw back? Those burgers — while I'll hand it to them, people are having a cow about how good they are — aren't exactly cheap. Specialty burgers (and there are 15 to choose from, so if you brought picky with you, surely you'll find something they can stomach) range from $13-15. Seem a little overpriced for beef? Probably because it typically is. Then again, when do you get a burger comprised of ground lamb, Chapel Hill Pheta, roasted red peppers, kalamata olives and tzatziki sauce (Jimmy the Greek)? Or fresh ground beef with Chapel Hill Creamery Moon brie, Sunny Creek Farms heirloom tomatoes, basil and aged balsamic (NC Bruschetta)? Yeah, your mouth is watering. Suddenly 15 bucks doesn't sound like so much. And there are sammies and salads and dogs and pizzas and apps - ya know, typical bar food. Except it doesn't typify bar food. Because it's good.

Not on a beef bender? Order up the fish tacos. You'll thank me. But if you want cheap bar food, go to a bar with cheap food. And you'll remember why it's cheap when it hits your tongue.

And there are other perks. Can you say, I don't have to find a #$&% parking spot on Glenwood or pay deck fees? Somehow that process always makes for a few expletive-laden laps around the block. So if you're tired of the parking hassle, plan a night at Draft and park in the lot on Johnston Street. Just show your receipt when you go to retrieve your car for full reimbursement. Or take out all the drama and cough up three bucks for valet and just walk in the door. Then get a table. Sit. Have someone bring you a beer. A beer that tastes good.

Let's be clear, if you're looking for a place to bump and grind (unless you think that's some kind of hot billiard move), this is not the place for you. Enjoy shivering in that line at neighboring Solas, 606 or Noir. But if you want to be able to hear your buddies (or your date), maybe catch a game and just, I don't know, relax, and enjoy daily drink specials (yes, even on Saturday - what a novel concept), then dial up a night at Draft.


510 Glenwood Avenue, Suite 10, Raleigh, NC 27603

919 834-2955



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Who is Red Rover?

I'm a late 20-something female living in and living up the Triangle since 2005. When I'm out, you can find me almost anywhere — pubs to clubs, lounges to music halls.

If you spot me, chances are I'm rocking some heels, though when the occasion arises I won't argue with something more comfortable. I'm no stranger to cocktails and wine, but a tall pint of local brew is where my compass usually points.

Where should I go next?
If you know a place that I should check out, tell me on Twitter @trianglerover.

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