Dive, watering hole, saloon, tavern, speakeasy, roadhouse, pub, ultralounge or plain
What follows is our survey of many of the bars,
109 & Co It’s been several years, but some of our friends still haven’t gotten the memo: 109 & Co., on the first block of Main Street and formerly known as Maduro, isn’t a cigar bar anymore. It’s a comfy, nonsmoking lounge with a broad list of classic cocktails. (Bonus points: It’s right around the corner from Arkansas Times HQ.) If you like mezcal like we like mezcal, try the El Cantante ($11), made with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, D’Aristi and Damiana liqueurs, fresh lime juice and Angostura orange bitters, and served neat in a martini glass. 109 Main St., 374-3710, 109andcompany.com.
610 Center Hospitality is the watchword at this downtown spot — and that’s not only because it’s a bar with a predominately LGBTQ patronage that extends an attitude of inclusiveness to all. The first time you go, you’re likely to leave knowing at least one of the owners by name; the second time you go, chances are good one of the tremendously handsome bartenders will remember exactly what you ordered the first time. Monday night is trivia night (friendly, not cutthroat), smoking is allowed, and the full menu offers hearty snacks, like the Mac & Cheese Bites. A wide wine selection, too. 610 Center St., 374-4678, 610center.com.
Baja Grill Opened in May 2014, Baja Grill is a fave for those looking to take a day trip to Jimmy Buffett’s favorite place. It features big house margaritas and 10 different specialty versions of the beachy drink, all available either frozen or on the rocks. They’re especially a steal during Baja Grill’s Margarita Mondays special, with house margaritas setting you back only 4 bucks (!) all day, while specialty margaritas are $2 off. Five beers on tap and tons of cans and bottles for those who aren’t into that frozen concoction that helps you hang on. 5923 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock, 722-8920, eatbajagrill.com
Bar Louie Tucked in the corner of a shopping center, Bar Louie is adorned with big-screen TVs and serves plenty of martinis. The go-to is the Diva — 10 bucks
Bear’s Den Pizza Fondly nicknamed the “Dirty Den,” Bear’s Den Pizza sits across the street from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Server Chynna Stipe says, sure, they get their fair share of
Big Orange You surely know all about the food at this burger-and-fry stalwart, but don’t sleep on Big O’s bar program. In addition to keeping a diverse and always changing lineup of beers on tap, the cocktail crews at the
Big Whiskey’s The signature drink here is the Big Coconut: Parrot Bay rum, Cathead Vodka, pineapple, orange and cranberry juice. That’ll cost you $7.50, just short of those Eight Pieces, as the parrot says. But beer is more popular. Get a buck off draft beers and $2 off well drinks and wine between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. 225 E. Markham St., 324-2449, www.bigwhiskeyslittlerock.com.
Boulevard Bistro A casual, comfortable, family-oriented spot with an excellent menu, Boulevard Bistro has a full bar. There are eight beers on tap, with several local craft brews represented, and wine in pretty much every variety your vino-loving heart could desire, as well as specialty drinks. 1920 N. Grant St., Little Rock, 663-5949.
Brewster’s 2 Out front, Brewster’s 2 cafe lauds its catfish — as it should— but the drinks are a lure, too. In a family-friendly atmosphere, you can cool off with a Heat Wave — grenadine, gin,
Bruno’s Little Italy This Italian eatery’s home in the Creative Corridor may be new, but the mostaccioli and the merriment within can be traced back to the early
Buffalo Wild Wings You know the drill: Wangs! Zillions of TVs tuned to all the sports contests! Booze! You will perhaps be unsurprised to learn that Buffalo Wild Wings, at least at the Cantrell Road location (there are BWWs in Bryant and Sherwood, too) sells
Cache Restaurant and Lounge Robby Wellborn, one of the first employees at the high-class watering hole Cache, has spent half his life as a bartender, working from Texas to Florida, where he’s seen it all and done half of it. Still, Wellborn was momentarily stumped when a woman came in just after the restaurant opened and told the tale of a spicy/sweet version of the ubiquitous margarita she’d had while on vacation. “I don’t know if it was in Mexico, but it was definitely [at] a salsa bar. I was like, ‘I’ve got all that here.’ I put it together.” Thus the Cache-exclusive cocktail that has come to be known as The
Capital Bar & Grill Since it reopened in 2007 after the Capital Hotel’s $24 million
Cajun’s Served in a large mason jar you can keep (with the Cajun’s logo etched into it), Cajun’s Play De Do is a twist on New Orleans’ Hurricane. There’s light rum, dark rum, pineapple juice, orange juice and grenadine for only $8.50 with an orange and lime wedge to boot. If you go weekdays during happy hour (4:30-7 p.m.) you can knock a dollar off the price. 2400 Cantrell Road, 375-5351, cajunswharf.com.
Cañon Grill This Kavanaugh mainstay’s been serving up standard Mexican fare in Hillcrest since 1998: cold beer and margaritas. It’s got Dos Equis and Flyway Brewery’s Bluewing Berry Wheat on tap, as well as the usual domestic suspects. For something with a higher ABV, there’s the classic lime margarita or a blue margarita, which manager Krista Belote calls “a little less tart, but a lot stronger,” or the Margarita Meltdown, a classic lime with a shot of raspberry, melon, peach, amaretto or orange liqueur poured on top. Happy hour lasts all day Saturday and Sunday. 2811 Kavanaugh Blvd., 664-2068, canongrill.net.
Club Sway Club Sway owner/operator Jason Wiest didn’t hesitate when asked what the most popular drink at this vibrant downtown drag mecca was. “Red Bull and vodka, far and away,” he said. After all, you’ll need the energy; Sway’s bombastic monthly parties and drag shows are high-energy affairs, and that Red Bull may well be what keeps you shaking your ass on Sway’s multi-tiered dance floor far into the night. If energy drinks aren’t your style, try the “Sway Me” ($8), which Wiest says is “kind of our answer when people say, ‘Make me something fruity!’ ” Or try the bright green “Liquid Marijuana,” a dizzying blend of Midori, spiced rum, blue curacao and pineapple juice. If you make it to Sway on Saturday’s Latin nights, you can pick up a creamy shot of Rum Chata, a spiced rum liqueur that’s well on its way to becoming the new Fireball. 412 S. Louisiana St., 777-5428, clubsway.com.
Copper Grill A rosé sangria on Copper Grill’s spacious patio, camped out in the sort of luxurious patio furniture your rich friends have out by their pool, on the outskirts of the River Market district? We’ll take it. Or if the sun is still blazing, Copper has comfy chairs and a sleek bar inside, too. Plus, a wine list that’s gotten acclaim from Wine Spectator. 300 E. Third St., 375-3333, coppergrilllr.com
Ciao Baci A casual fine dining restaurant in a converted Craftsman-style house in Hillcrest, Ciao Baci’s wraparound porch is one of the finest places to drink a cocktail in the summer months. Grab a Naughty Lemonade and some tasty bar snacks on a Wednesday, when it’s happy hour all day. Excellent wine list, too. 605 Beechwood St., 603-0238, ciaobaci.org.
Core Public House Core brews its own up in Springdale, so that’s what this little storefront bar in Argenta — with its ping pong table and foosball table and low-light, old-fashioned ambiance — serves. Most popular beer: Arkansas Red Ale. The hard cider is a good seller, too. FYI: The walls are hung with art by members of the Latino Art Project. 411 Main St., NLR, 372-1390, @corepubargenta.
Crazee’s Cafe On Cantrell since 1997, Crazee’s is another of the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it places that have cultivated a loyal clientele as a quiet spot to catch a meal with a drink after a long workday. It has a full
Cregeen’s For the heat of summer, the Irish pub is going South Seas with the Bikini Bottom: a layered beer with Ace pineapple cider on the bottom and Guinness up top. No coddin’! 301 Main St., 376-7468, cregeens.com.
Crush Wine Bar On a hot Friday night, the proprietor of this friendly, low-lit little hole in the wall will offer you a “cold glass of Argenta’s best tap water,” help you select a wine from his broad menu and suggest the best
Damgoode River Market Try one of the local mini-pizza empire’s three Damgoode Brews staples — Red Ribbon Golden Ale, Arkansas
Del Frisco’s Grille This national chain can seat 30 at its bar and there are “quite a few regulars,” bartender Shannon Newcomb says. Those who imbibe split between beer and booze; a favorite of the latter is the VIP, which is a vodka infused [with] pineapple martini. Here’s the recipe: Cut up a gold pineapple and soak in Clementine vodka for 14 days, strain through cheesecloth, serve. “I tell people it is dangerously delicious,” Newcomb says. Showoffs can order an ounce and a half of Macallan 25 single malt whiskey for $155. Promenade at Chenal, 448-2631, delfriscosgrille.com.
Discovery Little Rock’s legendary, 40-plus-year-old LGBT club — known affectionately as simply “Disco” — has trended toward an inclusive “alternative club” clientele in recent years, with drink specials, dancing and drag shows in three big rooms in a cavernous warehouse space in Riverdale. With one of the city’s vanishingly rare 5 a.m. club permits, it’s great for drinking with friends until the dawn’s early light. 1021 Jessie Road, Little Rock, 664-4784, latenightdisco.com.
Dizzy’s Gypsy Bistro One of the friendliest restaurants in the River Market district, Dizzy’s has quirky decor and carefully constructed dishes that pair well with their equally quirky slate of signature cocktails: For example, limoncello martinis, basil and orange mojitos, and a drink called the “Big Menage a Trois Chill,” made with red wine,
Dugan’s Pub Part of the area’s three-leaf clover of Irish bars — along with Cregeen’s and Hibernia — Dugan’s understandably sells a lot of Guinness and
Electric Cowboy Electric Cowboy sounds like a fantasy invented by a middle-school boy, but it’s real. It’s open until about 5 a.m. Beer can be pretty cheap: It’s usually between $1 and $2, depending on the night’s special. The main thing is to know what to do after you’ve had a few: dance, dance, dance. 9515 I-30, 562-6000, electriccowboy.com/littlerock.
Envy Nightclub The name changed several years back, but the nightclub formerly known as Elevations maintained a longtime formula: big dance floor, Saturday night “sexy dress” contests and hours that stretch to the early morning. 7200 Col. Glenn Road, 569-9113, @envy.littlerock
Ernie Biggs Sing along to songs you know with people from near and far. 327 President Clinton Ave., 372-4782, erniebiggs.com.
The Faded Rose I asked a guy at The Faded Rose bar about how long he’d been drinking there and he laughed a bit. “I’ve been a regular so long I can’t remember,” he said. This isn’t the type of bar where you come for a specialty drink; it’s for folks who know what they want and trust the longtime bartenders to make it right. It’s also a place where it won’t be long before it’s your regular haunt: “You can become a regular after two visits,” said Jay Jennings, an editor at Oxford American magazine who was helping a reporter get to know the place. Jennings used to come here with Charles Portis, the legendary writer based in Little Rock, and chat about mostly anything but writing. He pointed out an Englishman’s towel behind the bar that a patron used to stretch out as if he were in a pub. On the bar are two small gold plaques to commemorate where two former regulars used to sit (you’d get up if you saw them coming). There are $7-$8 drinks, like rye whiskey (for the “refined palate,” the manager told me) and a good wine selection. During happy hour on Monday, most folks were drinking bottled domestics for about $3. 1619 Rebsamen Park Road, 663-9734, thefadedrose.com
Flying Saucer Draught Emporium The River Market’s longest wall o’ beer boasts 75 beers on tap and around 150 more brews in bottles, general manager Jason Davenport told us. We asked him if there was anything on tap that might be hard to find elsewhere. “That’s probably half the wall,” he answered. He should know, too — Davenport’s been working there for nine years, enough time to have accrued three wall saucers with his name on them, designating that he’s tasted over 600 beers there as part of the Emporium’s “UFO Club.” So what are people drinking this summer? “A lot of people are drinking seasonally, so that means wheat beers, Berliner
Flyway Brewing This popular North Little Rock brewery and tasting room does all sorts of styles right, but it’s increasingly known for its Bluewing Berry Wheat, an American wheat with blueberries added after fermentation. Since Flyway introduced it as a seasonal, it’s been far and away the brewery’s biggest seller. Now it’s being canned and widely distributed in Central Arkansas. 314 Maple St., NLR, 812-3192, flywaybrewing.com
The Fold Botanas & Bar The bar at The Fold is meant to conjure up a relaxing day on a Caribbean beach: Sun, sand, blue ocean, bay scallops and a watermelon mojito or a strawberry-infused margarita. Another cocktail tips its hat to international waters: The Francophone, which is a combination of cucumber sake, gin, lime juice and agave, served in a glass gift-wrapped in the funny papers and garnished with a flower and a lime. That’s not all! The Fold also has a drink named after a bartender’s three-legged dog: The Three Paws Tippin. The TPT — vodka, lemon juice,
Four Quarter Bar The still newish Argenta watering hole hits all the right notes, with an understated but classic decor, scads of local beers on tap (plus Pabst and other commercial faves), shuffleboard,
Fox and Hound With 27 draft beers between $3.75 and $7, Fox and Hound is a solid place for lubricated game-watching. If it’s
Grumpy’s Too A classic neighborhood bar and grill
Gusano’s A popular River Market district pizza place that does big bar business, too, especially when there’s a big game or UFC fight on. Its big sellers are local brews like Lost Forty and Diamond Bear. 313 President Clinton Ave., 374-1441, gusanospizza.net.
Heights Taco and Tamale Co. Get some chips and Ark-Mex-style cheese dip and a frozen margarita or mojito and watch the Kavanaugh crowd from the patio bar. Or mix it up with a new spin on an old favorite: The HT&TEA features bourbon mixed with the restaurant’s house-made
Heritage Grille Steak and Fin This bar next to the lobby restaurant (not to be confused with the private lounge for Marriott Silver Elite members) gets its customers mostly from hotel guests in the evening, but the general public stops in around lunch. The specialty drinks include the popular Heritage Mule (Crown Royal, orange bitters, ginger beer and fresh lime) and the aptly named La Petite Roche, which, thanks to its mixture of Bacardi, Capt. Morgan and Myers rums with a splash of pineapple juice and grenadine, may get you a little stoned. You can nosh at the bar. Little Rock Marriott, 3 Statehouse Plaza, 399-8000,
Hibernia Irish Tavern Buried in a nondescript strip mall alongside a Goodwill outlet and an adult toy and lingerie store, Hibernia Irish Tavern is a
Hillcrest Fountain Drinking at the Fountain — whether in the fresh breeze of the outdoor porch with its patented view of the Kroger parking lot or in the smoky pool hall up front — is not about special drinks. It’s mostly about good people, behind and in front of the bar, bartender Richard Dean says. But, the beer and wine can be sneakily enjoyable. Consider a $7 glass of Calcu Rosé or a $5 SweetWater Blueberry Wheat. Or, just kick back with those friends and grab a Miller Lite for $3.50. 2809 Kavanaugh Blvd., @thehillcrestfountain.
Jimmy Doyle’s Country Club At the bar, a reporter turned down a cigarette offered by a truck driver from Austin who, smiling, said he was not a longtime patron — this was his first time at Jimmy Doyle’s — but he wished he were. There’s a truck stop next to the bar, so this could be a common sentiment of visitors to one of the last real honky tonks. “In the peak years, some 20 years ago,” wrote former Times reporter Will Stephenson in his profile of the place and its owner, Jimmy Doyle, “they say you had to show up early to even get in the door.” But, a group walked in on a Saturday with ease and went to one of quite a few empty tables right at the edge of the dance floor. The wood-paneled dance floor was almost empty; a few couples were spinning together. The men in cowboy hats moved with a controlled grace. “Friday nights are for karaoke, Saturdays are for the house band. There are no other nights,” as Stephenson wrote. The specialty, the bartender Dwight says, is the OH MY GOD shot: Parrot Bay, Bacardi 151, grenadine and cranberry and pineapple juices. It’s pink, smooth and fun. He made it by accident, served it, and a woman liked it so much she shouted, “OH MY GOD, that’s good!” 11800 Maybelline Road, 945-9042, cash only.
Joubert’s Guinness is on tap at Joubert’s, $4 at night and $3.50 with the sun out. While you drink, you can admire the mural of bears in love (really, really in love). Folks are friendly and there are usually some sports on the TV, making it a nice spot for a beer after a long day. 7303 Kanis Road, 664-9953.
Khalil’s It’s the near-picture perfect corner bar where everybody knows your name, smack in the heart of West Little Rock, featuring cozy pub decor, flaming hearths in the winter, high-backed chairs and a well-attended karaoke scene on the weekends. Don’t forget to throw a leg over the handlebar-mustache-shaped teeter-totter, which has likely given more drunk folks a ride over the years than that ex you hate. 110 S. Shackleford Road, 224-0224, khalilspub.com
Kings Live Music Kings has become known for its diverse music lineup and emphasis on local bands and songwriters, and the booze selection stays close to home, too. Kings
La Terraza Rum and Lounge The perfect spot for those who love them some rum, La Terraza features 20 different types of the sugarcane-based spirit, with different varieties available for tastings in flights of three or five. Befitting its signature liquor, La Terraza is best known for standout mojitos, offering several variations on the sweet and minty cocktail. 3000 Kavanaugh Blvd., Suite No. 202, 251-8261.
Local Lime If you’ve tried the house margarita, regularly heralded by Arkansas Times readers in our annual Toast of the Town poll, and run through mezcal and tequila flights, and sipped a Mexican Mule or Pisco Sour (all on separate visits, of course), the brain trust at Local Lime recommends the Gin in Bloom, made with Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin, elderflower liqueur, house-made lavender simple
Lost Forty Brewing Look for the state’s largest brewery to continue to expand its year-round and seasonal offerings as it keeps growing. We’ve got our fingers crossed that its Snake Party Double IPA makes the jump to
Maxine’s The former brothel on Hot Springs’ Bathhouse Row that’s become known for its killer live music lineup, red-light
Mellow Mushroom With 40 beers on draft and another 35 bottled, including most all of the local and regional brews you’d want, this pizza chain is a reliable West Little Rock watering hole, with great pizza, too. 16103 Chenal Parkway, 379-9157, mellowmushroom.com.
Mike’s Cafe Enter Mike’s Cafe and you might think you’re in a nightclub. The foyer’s got everything a club entrance usually does: a little window where you’d show some beefed-up bruiser your ID, a liquor license taped to the wall. But don’t stop and wait to be seated. Push on and enter the full glory of Mike’s, with its white-curtained stage, where after 8 p.m. there will be a full-on light show and maybe someone singing karaoke. A neon-yellow board lists menu items and says “Well Come to Mike’s Cafe.” You’ve arrived: It’s not a nightclub or a surrealist painting or even a hipster dive bar. It’s just a solid Vietnamese restaurant with $3 Singha Gold and Tsingtao beers. Drink away, enter the void. 5501 Asher Ave., 562-1515.
North Bar Snee Dismang will mix you North Bar’s favorite drink: a combo of Grey Goose vodka and mango and pomegranate juice, a.k.a. the Park Hill martini. That’s the favorite; No. 2 is the Blueberry Lemon Drop, a blueberry-muddled vodka martini. The bar, which opened five months ago, has just added eight beer taps, bringing the total to 16. North Bar is proud of its culinary abilities, too: Check out the very tall fried chicken sandwich. 3812 John F. Kennedy Blvd., NLR, 420-1117, @501northbar.
The Ohio Club On Hot Springs’ famous Bathhouse Row since 1905, the building that houses The Ohio Club has been many things over the years — including, reportedly, a casino and brothel. But most enduringly, it’s been a bar. Even during Prohibition, says Ohio Club owner Mike Pettey, the joint housed a semi-clandestine speakeasy frequented by
Old Chicago Pizza and Taproom An anomaly in once-dry-as-a-
One Eleven The Capital Hotel’s fine dining restaurant just unveiled a new cocktail menu. Head bartender Loic Lautredou predicts the new Thyme Basil Martini will be the big seller. “It’s very floral for the summer, very refreshing, with a not-too-sweet finish,” he reports. 111 W. Markham St., 370-7011, onelevenatthecapital.com.
The Oyster Bar This downhome eatery serves up just enough beer and wine to whet a whistle otherwise employed in lapping up gumbo or chowing down on a po’boy: On the beer side, it’s Lost Forty and Diamond Bear local brews, beers on draft and bottled ales. The black and tan — Bass Pale Ale and Guinness
The Pantry (11401 N. Rodney Parham Road) and The Pantry Crest (722 N. Palm St.) David Timberlake (no relation to Justin, he says), who bartends at both of Tomas Bohm’s successful Czech/German restaurants, sees a difference in the West Little Rock crowd and the Hillcrest crowd. “Honestly, people are a bit apt to drink and stay longer,” consuming spirits, in Hillcrest; he thinks that’s because Hillcrest is a walking neighborhood, so folks can just stagger home on foot. The West Little Rock customers, an older group, drink more wine. The favored drink is the Old Fashioned; folks in Hillcrest also really like the mules: The Moscow made with vodka, the Tennessee with bourbon and the Mexican with tequila. Another popular drink is the Negroni (equal parts gin,
Petit & Keet The gourmand who enjoys a great meal at Petit & Keet will be tempted by the specialty cocktails from the huge bar, like the Smoking Gun, a blend of mezcal, pineapple
Pizza D’Action PBR is $1.50. At this point, you should have put down the paper and headed over to the lovingly smoked-filled and above-ground cavern for a drink and a random conversation. If it’s Wednesday, grab a $3 Fireball shot with new friends or old. 2915 W. Markham St., 666-5403.
The Pizzeria General
Prost The calmer, loungy cousin to Willy D’s and Deep, two bars that are connected to Prost via a hallway and stairs. With a strong beer menu and plenty of TVs. 322 President Clinton Blvd.
The RAB While the bar side of things at The RAB doesn’t sound like it’s going to set the world on fire, with the standard foreign and domestic beers on tap and bartenders willing to whip up a cocktail or mixed drink, there is a draw: pool. A classic bar/pool hall that draws everyone from college kids to retirees, The RAB features eight competition-grade Diamond Billiard pool
Raduno Is there a better Little Rock bar — like the actual bar top — than Raduno’s marble counter? We haven’t found it. Like the cool stone, the SoMa spot’s new cocktail menu is a summertime dream. We were particularly taken by the Hummingbird (vodka, honey, lavender syrup and lemon juice) and will be back for Summer in SoMa (gin, grapefruit liqueur and watermelon juice) and a spin on the Pimm’s Cup. 1318 Main St., 374-7476, radunolr.com.
Rebel Kettle Complimentary popcorn, a new outdoor stage, tasty Cajun-tinged pub grub and 16 beers on tap — what more could you want from your local brewpub? The blonde ale Working Glass Hero is a good starting place for newbies; it’s long been the brewery’s best seller. The week of the Fourth of July, look out for the rerelease of the hugely popular Summer Jam, a raspberry sour
Revolution Rev Room knows how to name drinks: The bar menu includes a “Latin Kiss,” a “Fuzzy Thing” and something called “Dirty Juan Pedro’s Bloody Buddy.” There are over a dozen types of tequila, and you can supercharge your drinks with a “fruit fusion” puree — lemon basil, blackberry tangerine, pineapple vanilla bean, watermelon mint or mango chili Sriracha. 823-0090, 300 President Clinton Ave., revroom.com.
Ristorante Capeo To match its top-notch fine dining menu, Ristorante
Rocky’s Corner A good place to drink off the sting of a losing streak at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming across the street — or buy a round if your horse comes in — Rocky’s Corner bills itself as a family-friendly joint that’s not afraid to have some fun. On tap are
Samantha’s Tap Room & Wood Grill As the name implies, Samantha’s is
Silk’s at Oaklawn At Silk’s you can order beer by the yard. That is, you can order a 96-ounce draft beer — advertised as two yards worth — for $21. Or you can go for the
So Restaurant-Bar What is so special about So? The Hillcrest stalwart “definitely has the best wine list in town,” bartender Justin Butler boasts. It’s also got Butler’s colleague Veo Tyson, perennial winner or finalist as the best bartender in Little Rock in the Arkansas Times’ annual Toast of the Town. Killer bar menu, too: BBQ chicharrones; a bacon,
South on Main Bar manager Sarah Harrington, who spent a good amount of time working closely with former bar manager David Burnette before he took off for Ciao Baci, has mixed up some sparkling summer cocktail offerings: The Evening in Missoula — a blend of vodka, herbal tea, honey, orange, lemon,
Southern Table In July, when winemaker Margie Raimondo opens her “board and bites” restaurant in the space where cheesemaker Kent Walker once held forth, she’ll be serving her own and other small farm wines and local beers, including brews from Lost Forty and Flyway. She’ll also offer a Brewed Mary (a Bloody Mary made with beer instead of vodka), a seasonal sangria and sparkling wine cocktails. If you want to stay
Stickyz Rock ‘n’ Roll Chicken Shack This River Market district staple makes chicken its bread and butter, so the standout cocktail here is the Frozen Motherclucker, sort of like an adult Orange Julius. It’ll run you $5 during happy hour and $6 regularly. July’s Beer of the Month selection ($3.50 per pint) is the Lagunitas Pilsner, and you’ll also find the Lagunitas IPA, Fat Tire, Diamond Bear Pale Ale, SweetWater 420, Lost Forty Honey Bock, Stella Artois and Flyway Brewery Bluewing Berry Wheat on tap. 107 River Market Ave., 372-7707, stickyz.com.
Stone’s Throw Brewing Amadeus Vienna Lager is the beloved Ninth Street brewery’s best seller, and you’ll find it, along with Common Sense California Common and Shamus Oatmeal Stout, on tap year-round along with a rotating cider selection and three seasonals that change every three months. 4402 E. Ninth St., 501-244-9154, stonesthrowbeer.com.
Table 28 Table 28 has the elevated feel without the price. During happy hour (4-6:30 p.m. weekdays), swing by for $5 wine, $2 domestic beers and the well-known cucumber martini for $9. The cucumber gin is made in-house and mixed with elderflower liqueur, a little lemon
Taco Mama The house margarita is definitely the ticket at Taco Mama, head bartender Holli
The Tavern Sports Grill A
TC’s Midtown Grill There aren’t many bars where you might be served by Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s sixth great-grandson, but TC’s is one. Or at least that’s what barkeep Nathan Tennyson says. TC’s Tennyson creates a different kind of poetry, like his “Sex with the Bartender” and “Loudmouth Bitch” drinks. Seems like he’s aiming for the female market with his concoctions of Watermelon Pucker plus a banana liqueur, orange juice and a Tropical Red Bull (“Sex”) and coconut rum, peach schnapps, pineapple and orange juices and grenadine (“Bitch”). More patrons of this smoking bar are going for beers, Tennyson said, including locals Lost Forty, Rebel Kettle, Flyway and Diamond Bear. Restaurant servers get a special membership that reduces the prices of drinks at this private club. TC’s is also known for its hamburgers. 1611 E. Oak St., Conway, 205-0576, tcsmidtown.com.
Thirst N’ Howl Let yourself relax with an Absolute Stress Reliever for $8 at Thirst N’ Howl. It’s got Absolut
Town Pump About 10 minutes before the doors opened for lunch at 11 a.m. on a Friday morning, regulars were leaning on the wall outside waiting to get into this Riverdale dive. Bartender and server Sydney Daniels, who’s been there four years, knew them all by
U.S. Pizza If you enjoy sitting on a patio and drinking, you probably already know this: U.S. Pizza has some of the best happy hour specials around. At all locations, select drafts are $2 on Tuesday and $2.50 on Thursday. On Saturday and Sunday, Bloody Marys are $3, mimosas are $2 and champagne buckets with a carafe of orange juice are just $7.49. Brunch runs 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Many locations all over Central Arkansas. uspizzaco.net.
Vino’s Brewpub What do you get at a brewpub? Brew, of course. Vino’s four mainstays are Firehouse Pale Ale, Pinnacle IPA, Six Bridges Cream Ale and Lazy Boy Stout, but
The Water Buffalo Taproom While many homebrewers long to see the name of their beloved custom suds on a tap handle in a real bar somewhere, it’s rare for those dreams to come true: It’s a costly leap from stovetop to commercial brewing. Rare doesn’t mean never, however, as proven by the offerings at The Water Buffalo’s taproom. The Water Buffalo, which started out as a beer and
West End Smokehouse & Tavern A relaxed and comfortable place to meet and greet in West Little Rock — or to catch a game on one of its 50 televisions — West End features a big (and cheap) selection of over 50 beers, heavy on well-known foreigns and domestics. Rounding out the menu are 10 wines by the bottle or glass, plus
White Water Tavern The best damn bar anywhere does not do cocktails more complicated than whiskey and Coke. There’s no blender and, as far as anyone can remember, there never has been. After Matt White and Sean Hughes and others bought the bar 10 years ago, the bar sold something like 400 percent more Jameson than it had before they took over. “Maybe because we’re getting old,” White, 34, says of his cohort. “But people don’t drink Jameson like they used to.” Fireball has become
Willy D’s Another longtime River Market piano bar (the other is Ernie Biggs), where locals and tourists congregate to get sloppy and sing. Bonus points: The nightclub Deep is in the basement. 322 President Clinton Ave., 244-9550, willydspianobar.com.
Zin Urban Wine flights, three half-glasses providing a few tastes of this specialty spot for between $12-$16, are the trick at Zin Urban. The Call Me a Cab — a trio of Cabernets — is a favorite, but ask the bartender, who should be full of good suggestions. 300 River Market Ave., 246-4876, zinlr.com.
Zack’s Place Another local haunt whose bar side caters to those looking for a classic neighborhood feel, Zack’s has been open since
ZAZA We’ve long made stops at ZAZA just to get a scoop of impossibly creamy gelato on a hot summer night. Now there’s a new attraction: the F’Rosé (frozen rosé wine). The grown-up slushy will be available at the Conway and Heights locations through the summer. Beer and wine and margaritas are here, too. 5600 Kavanaugh Blvd., 661-9292; 1050 Ellis Ave., Conway. zazapizzaandsalad.com.
It doesn’t have to be a bar
Chipotle At Little Rock’s watering holes, everybody may know your name, but no one cares that you’re
Dickey-Stephens Park Some folks go for the baseball, others because they like to drink outdoors. But to most of us, the call of “cold beer” and the sound of cracking bats is music to our ears. The beer garden has
Leo’s Greek Castle It’s rare you get to report cost in the range of cents, but here goes: 75-cent PBR’s are served at Leo’s. This tiny Greek eatery is not a typical place to drink, but why not? Maybe you’ll be like Socrates, said to be able to “drink any quantity of wine and not be at all nearer being drunk.” Or if the Pabst catches up with you, maybe folks will say: “Will you have a very drunken man as a companion of your revels?” Either
Professor Bowl If it’s been a minute since you hit the lanes, here’s an extra incentive to step back out: Professor Bowl has a list of craft beers to rival any in town. That’ll help all those gutter balls go down easier. 901 Towne Oaks Drive, 224-9040, home.professorbowlwest.com.
Riverdale 10 In an age of movies on your phone, going to the cinema can be a dip into pure luxury. Especially around Little Rock, where the Riverdale 10 and other movie houses have tried to attract customers with big reclining leather seats. So, really go for it and get a beer or some wine. You’ll pay $7 for a 12-ounce beer ($10.75 for a 22-ounce). The wines are $7.50. Is that overpriced? Yes; it’s a movie theater. Honestly, it will help to be a little tipsy to get through the new “Transformers” movie. 2600 Cantrell Road, 296-9955, riverdale10.com
Taqueria Guadalajara The micheladas at Taqueria Guadalajara — Clamato juice mixed with your beer of choice and spices — come in giant steins with Tajín seasoning around the rim. The micheladas are strong and the stein’s size is no joke: I’ve never been able to finish an entire drink in less than an hour’s meal. Best to enjoy this refreshing gulp with the cheap, cheap eats of the taqueria, on a long summer afternoon. 3813 Camp Robinson Road, 753-9991.