Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Bar Scene

A long time ago, hotel lounge bars were the scene with a few independents here and there.  Now the scene goes from restaurant chains to locally owned bars. Most chains offer a non smoking environment while a few accommodate the smokers separated from the dining room.  Chili's, Applebee's, Longhorn, Outback, and Red Lobster (had a bar scene, really) all have non smoking bars.  The first two of the list tend to be more sports bar oriented.  That's not to say that the others do not have the games on. You pretty know what you are going to get from these places.

Just so you know:
The city of Rome is the only place where hard liquor can be purchased.  Bars are required to have sales of 50% food in order to serve liquor.  Bars are allowed to serve alcohol on Sundays but you can not purchase it from a liquor store (makes sense to me!?!). Also if a restaurant accepts patrons of 18 or younger it is classified as a non smoking.  Bars that are outside the city limits are limited to serving malt beverages and wine only or possible brown bagging.
Locally owned bars include:

The Moon Roof atop the Harvest Moon
234 Broad St. 
Ginny Kibler
      706 292 0099

- It's small outdoor deck that gets crowded on the weekends and if you're a guy it's hard to get a drink.  The bar is extremely small for the volume it does. Usually local musicians are playing at night. This crowd tends to vary from college students to young and old local professionals.  They allow smoking when the flaps aren't down due to cold or rainy weather.  So if you can handle an occasional whiff of a cig, this should be alright for you.  They show sports on their 2 TV's. Some happy hour specials do

Old Havana Cigar Bar
327 Broad St.
Stephen McDowell

     706 295 0546
- Nice quaint venue that serves only beer and wine.  They have a good selection of both.  It can get very smoky and crowded on the weekends. Service is knowledgeable and decent.  Good music.

325 Broad St.
Brent and Debbie McCrobie

     706 295 4484

 - Never know what you are getting here.  From lousy service and drinks, head banging music, young folk everywhere and no sports on their 14 TV sets to good food, laid back music, middle aged folk and the game on provided they are open. Don't count on them to be open during one of your prized football games. And beware their prices change frequently and without warning so be prepared.  They use to have one of the best happy hours in Rome. Not any more. They have 5 pools tables and some bar top video games.  Also be prepared for your clothes to stink when you leave - it is a smoking environment and that's not the only smell you will be taking home with you.

340 Broad St.
Jeff Webb
       706 378 0222
 - Great little place with atmosphere an plenty of TV's.  Their service is good and food is of the pub type style.  This is not a bar but lends itself to one on game days.  If you want to grab some grub and a beer then head down here.  I know I didn't write anything bad on these guys but I really have had some of the best service there time in and time out.

333 on Broad
333 Broad St.
Jay Shell
706 528 4844
 - This upstairs bar does not open it's doors until 7:00. Why I don't know?  Apparently they don't need the profit from happy hour.  Makes no sense to me.  Anyways, this bar changes it's stripes too.  Upstairs they have an "acoustic" lounge with entertainment at least 4 nights a week.  They have an uncovered deck with a tiki bar. So if it rains you will be smoking in the rain on the deck as the inside is designated to non smokers. Downstairs they have a bar which I think they only open on big occasions.  The crowd is generally 21-30 upstairs, I would say.  They have had some occasional trouble up there but probably no more than any other bar.  Downstairs can draw a little older crowd that doesn't want to hear the music.

Peach Palace
425 Broad St.
706 235 1487
 - Young booty shaking crowd and everything that comes with this type of scene. I think that sums it up.  They use to have live bands downstairs if the booty shaking isn't your cup of tea.  This is a non smoking club however upstairs they have a small room you can cram into with other smokers.  You wont even have to bring a cig with all the smoke in there.  The upstairs also has pool tables and a really high bar - strange...So if you're short, you might want to bring a tall person to get your drinks.  Be aware that you may be frisked or "searched" and metal detected so that kind of should give you a clue as to what you will be getting yourself into.

400 Block  just inside La Scala restaurant.
400 Broad St.
Piero Barba
     706 238 9000
 - Quaint and generally not raucous. Somewhere you can bring a date to. This is attached to La Scala.  It has seating upstairs in the bar, downstairs and outside on Broad St.  Their appetizer menu is generally good.  This is a smoking environment after 9pm, I believe.  They have a daily happy hour.

Opi's Waterfront Country Showcase
112 W 2nd Ave  just at the confluence of the Oostanala and Etowah rivers to form the Coosa. 
Mel Funk
      706 528 4082

 - Well besides the crazy new set up and the bar owner who hasn't made a lot of friends in town, I am not sure why you would want to go there. Great place to have a bar just never any success there. Not sure about happy hour but expensive drinks if not.  They have live country bands on the weekend which sometimes showcases Buck and Duke.  Not sure of the smoking policies but I have seen people smoke in there.  There is a dance floor of sorts that stands above the crowd.  Not sure who designed this place but it's a crazy layout. This is the only country venue in the city at this time.

Opi's Hwy 53

 same as above

- No really shouldn't be mentioned as a bar however the deck has turned into one.  This has a heavy biker influence as well as locals from Shannon and Calhoun.  Have not eaten there but heard it was decent.  They serve beer only. But if you know the owner, Mel Funk, you might be able to get the $3 "endless cup of ice" to bring your own in.  The deck was recently torched and no word on when they will open back up.  Told you the owner is on everyone's hit list! 

Hooter's - Oh, there is no Hooter's anymore.  Just when I was going to the help save the tatas or at least help buy a pair. 

Off the beaten path

Buffalo's Southwestern Cafe -  This small bar can have a range of different people.  Good luck on service.  The bartenders will take their time getting you a drink IF they are even behind the bar.  Nobody working here is very observant.  You never know what temperature it will be in there either. Smoking is allowed.  There is occasional live music on Thursdays.
Sports Page   Dean St (Ave to others) - This is your working class bar with a few professionals sprinkled in there.  It is extremely smoky.  For entertainment they have weekly plastic dart tournaments, pool tournaments and karaoke. 
The Lantern  Maple St - Although I have not visited this place much, they have a stripper pole that apparently gets used.  This is a working class bar and definitely is smoking.
The Mesa   Kingston Rd - Dunno. Working class people. Never been there that I can remember.  It's been there for awhile. Judging by the windows, it's heavy smoking and I think I made out a couple of pool tables on my drive by.
Beer Barrel  Kingston Rd - Neighbors to the Mesa. Small bar with a working class crowd.  NASCAR fanatics but can't show the race on Sunday because they are not open . Pool and darts, I believe.  They also have a patio on the side.  Not sure what goes on there.

Let me hear your opinions.  Or add on a bar I might have missed. 

Also please let everyone know about any server or bartenders.  Good or bad.  They deserve the credit for a job well done.  Plus I will ask for them the next time I am there...

            Check back for a happy hour schedule posting coming up soon.

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