Tequila at Santo Coyote Brian Chilson

White Water Tavern continues its unbroken reign as the people’s champ in our annual readers’ poll of booze. The storied dive bar was voted Best Bar, Best Bar for Live Music, Best Dive Bar and runner-up for best bartender (for co-owner Matt White), Best Pick-Up Bar and Best Bar for Food, all of which makes it the most broadly popular bar in town, according to our readers.

Meanwhile, another regular Toast of the Town winner, the Capital Bar & Grill, racked up three firsts and one runner-up prize. What’s its appeal? It’s one of the go-to places for hard-to-find spirits, David Koon reports.


Lindsey Millar drops by Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge, another readers’ favorite, and somehow doesn’t come back reeking of smoke. Michael Roberts finds that the innovation of Vino’s Brew Pub brewmaster, Josiah Moody, is separating the brewpub from the craft beer pack.

Speaking of craft beer, there will be a celebration of suds at the Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival, presented Nov. 2 by the Argenta Arts District. It will run 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Argenta Farmer’s Market grounds at Sixth and Main streets. Funkanites, The Salty Dogs and Weakness for Blondes will perform, and Argenta restaurants Cregeen’s Irish Pub, Cornerstone Pub & Grill and Reno’s Argenta Cafe will serve food. Tickets are $35 via arktimes.com/craftbeerfest, or $40 at the door if still available. See here for profiles of the more than 30 breweries that are participating.


Best Bar

White Water Tavern

Runners-up: Capital Bar & Grill, Dugan’s Pub, Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge


Best Bartender

Veo Tyson at SO Restaurant-Bar

Runners-up: Julianna Garner at The Hillcrest Fountain, Spencer Jansen at Capital Bar and Grill, Matt White at White Water Tavern

Best Wine Bar

Crush Wine Bar

Runners-up: By the Glass, Zin Urban Wine and Beer Bar, Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge


Best Sports Bar

Dugan’s Pub

Runners-up: Gusano’s Pizza, West End Smokehouse and Tavern, Big Whiskey’s American Bar and Grill

Best Pick-Up Bar

Bar Louie

Runners-up: The Hillcrest Fountain, White Water Tavern, Cajun’s Wharf

Best Gay Bar


Runners-up: Missy Kitty’s, Trax

Best Bar for Live Music

White Water Tavern

Runners-up: Stickyz Rock-n-Roll Chicken Shack, Revolution, Afterthought

Best Dive Bar

White Water Tavern


Runners-up: Midtown Billiards, Town Pump, Pizza D’Action

Best Hotel Bar

Capital Bar & Grill

Runners-up: Mallards Bar, Embassy Suites (WLR), Bogie’s Nightclub

Best Bar for Pool, Darts, Shuffleboard and other games

The Hillcrest Fountain

Runners-up: Town Pump, West End Smokehouse and Tavern, Zack’s Place

Best Bar for Food

Capital Bar & Grill

Runners-up: Dugan’s Pub, Reno’s Argenta Cafe, White Water Tavern

Best Happy Hour

The Hillcrest Fountain

Runners-up: Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge, Dugan’s Pub, Crush Wine Bar

Best Drinking Brunch

YaYa’s Euro Bistro

Runners-up: The House, Loca Luna, Red Door Restaurant

Best Patio or Deck for Drinking

Cajun’s Wharf

Runners-up: U.S. Pizza Co. (Hillcrest), Hillcrest Fountain, Vino’s Brew Pub

Best Beer Selection

Flying Saucer

Runners-up: The House, Dugan’s Pub, Big Orange

Coldest Beer

U.S. Pizza (Hillcrest)

Runners-up: Flying Saucer, Dugan’s Pub, Town Pump

Tequila Selection

Santo Coyote Restaurant

Runners-up: Cantina Laredo, Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge, Senor Tequila

Best Bloody Mary

Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge

Runners-up: The House, Dugan’s Pub, Hibernia Irish Tavern

Best Martini

Capital Bar & Grill

Runners-up: Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge, Ciao Baci, YaYa’s

Best Margarita

Santo Coyote Restaurant

Runners-up: Senor Tequila, Cantina Laredo, El Porton

Best Liquor store

Colonial Wine and Spirits

Runners-up: Grapevine Wine and Spirits, Popatop Fine Wine and Spirits, Springhill Wine and Liquor

Local Brew

Diamond Bear Brewing Co.

Runners-up: Vino’s, Boscos

National Brew

New Belgium

Runners-up: Boulevard, North Coast, Blue Moon