Submitted by Red Rover — Correspondent
Summa-summa-summatime. Suddenly Will Smith is looping in my head. If you're feelin' that sweet heat Smith sang about and wanna park it on a patio, prop up at Alivia's in Durham for some prime real estate.
Across from Brightleaf Square, at the intersection of Gregson and West Main streets, sits the al fresco paradise. With everything from brunch to late-night bites and an outdoor bar to boot (less steps to the bar yesss), the "American cousin to the Euro" bistro serves up whatever you gotta hankerin' for all the live long day (and night).
Billed as the best patio in the Bull City, this night (a night where neighboring bars were vacated by the Triangle's mass Memorial Day exodus to the beach), the terrace was teeming and the vibe was alive. Weezer-esque tunes played across the deck as Durhamites got their grub and suds on. The inside, converted to the feel of an extension of the outdoors with a retracted garage-door wall, was equally energized. And despite the common table set up (as opposed to the growing-in-popularity communal table concept), the spot certainly had a unified feel. Like a porch party in your backyard but with servers and daily specials (even on Fridays - $2.50 Coronas and $5 Fireflys anyone? Like we needed sweet tea vodka on special to make the Southern summer air any sweeter).
Anchoring a thriving bar scene, Alivia's sits across from all of Brightleaf's hopping offerings and adjacent to popular spots James Joyce and The Fed, making it easy to spot hop if your crowd is craving differing vibes. Or if your girl drinks too many and gets the creeps by the image of John McCain laughing at her when she washes her hands in the loo. (Yes, there are random heroic historical figures lining the women's bathroom wall just enough to guilt you for that buzz or give you the heebie-jeebies).
For the workhorses, there's Wi-Fi and Counter Culture coffee to keep you bright-eyed. And for sport fanatics, ample teles to get your fix. And come fall, it's not quitting time as the spot is built for year-round patio pleasure (several of the outdoor tables are centered by fire pits, making it an equally great spot to soak in some autumn nights). But for now, with summer days far from waning, if you're looking for that place Will Smith mused to "sit back and unwind," feed your need to soak in summertime at Alivia's.
Full special list
Monday: $1.50 Bud and Bud Light bottles, $2 Off all Slushies, $8 Sam Adams pitchers
Tuesday: $2 Miller Lite bottles, $3 Bartender's choice shot, $4 Non-local drafts
Wednesday: $4 NC drafts, $5 martinis
Thursday: $3 Bartender's choice shot, $4 well drinks, $6 Select 32-oz. draft
Friday: $2.50 Corona and Corona Lite, $4 margaritas, $5 Firefly Sweet Tea vodka drinks
Saturday: $3.50 Triangle Brewery drafts, $5 mimosas, $5 bloody marys
Sunday: $1 PBR bottles, $2 Bud and Bud Light bottles, $8 Sam Adams pitchers, $5 mimosas, $5 bloody marys