The Bar Exam
Our resident party boy tested a few great places to get your drink on.
These earn the As.
research assistance by Caitlin Birch
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Buckley’s Tavern (5812 Kennett Pike, Wilmington, 656-9776) owner Dave Weir likes to joke about the Rolls-Royce parked next to the pick-up truck in his parking lot. “It’s pretty eclectic here,” he says. “That’s kind of the Buckley’s thing.” Summertime mingling on the upstairs terrace is unbeatable, especially with a cool Twin Lakes brew in hand.
A neighborhood pub with an upscale vibe, Cromwell’s Tavern (3858 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 571-0561) does martinis and craft beer right. Live music on Thursdays and a great late-night menu add to the charm.
The Cork Bar—30-feet long and decorated at its base with real cork ends—at new and improved Pizza By Elizabeths (4019 Kennett Pike, Greenville, 654-4478) made a real splash when it opened in winter. It’s a picturesque setting for sipping any of the 40 wines available, and the bartenders always give generous 6-ounce pours into larger glasses so the wines have lots of surface area to breathe.
With some cozy new renovations to the former Hi Ho Tavern, the new James Street Tavern (2 W. Market St., Newport, 998-6903) serves its customers Siren Specials ($2 beers, $3 rails and $3 glasses of wine) whenever the siren from nearby Minquas Fire Company rings. A renovation has brightened the place considerably, and it makes a serious—and successful—attempt at serving great food. As extreme makeovers go, this one earns the highest of marks.
JB McGinnes Pub & Grille (519 E. Basin Road, New Castle, 322-4766) is a great dude’s hangout, with LCD TVs, pool tables, Texas Hold ’em tournaments, and yeah, beer. Live music from the likes of Burnt Sienna brings the ladies out.
It’s still more restaurant than bar, but the beer selection at Jessop’s Tavern (114 Delaware St., New Castle, 322-6111) is outstanding, with 13 drafts, like Flying Dog Gonzo Imperial Porter and an extensive collection of bottles (like Belgian Delirium Tremens). Quite a few British immigrants have made this their local.
The spacious bar at Polidoro Italian Grill (129 N. Dupont Hwy., New Castle, 322-1500) is perfectly fitted to dinner and dancing to live music on Saturday nights. Even better, Peroni drafts are $2 during happy hour.
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