C. Grace is refined, a little mysterious, and darkly fun. The bar and Jazz venue is driven by live music and commitment to elegant, creative cocktails. These are mixed with just a few, strong ingredients, and have names that recall Jazz lounge Americana, like Kelly’s Grace, Hemingway, and New York Sour. Damask curtains and dim lighting add to the sultry mood here. C. Grace is a one Raleigh’s most rarefied bars, though membership is only a dollar. Performing musicians are mostly local but rotate regularly.
Vinos Finos is a departure from run-of-the-mill drinking and dining experiences. Located inside European-themed Lafayette Village, the wine bar is designed to sample tapas-style dishes and world-class wines. The staff here is more than happy to help with wine selection and pairings. Dark woods, leather furniture, and warm colors make the interiors feel like an old-world wine shop. Vinos Finos encourages patrons to converse, and the intimate, colorful setting is doubly suited for first dates or casual business meetings.
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is a popular house of beer and UFOs in downtown Raleigh, where flying saucers adorn the walls and ceiling. The bar offers hundreds of beers to choose from and a generous menu of classic pub fare. Visitors can aspire to join the ranks of the “Ring of Honor,” a glory given to card-carrying U.F.O Club members once they consume 200 hundred different beers. Watch out for weekend fire sales, the Draught Emporium’s day-long version of happy hour.
Located beneath King’s Royal Barcade, Neptune's Parlour is a hip underground bar that offers DJs, pinball, ping pong and arcade games. It also boasts a menu of local craft beers from mostly small North Carolina Brewers, seasonal cocktails and the very popular shot of the week. On weekends the bar is packed with dancers, and on some nights live acts play in front of the brick-walled stage. Neptune’s adds subterranean character to downtown Raleigh’s bar scene, off–or under–the beaten path.
Noir is an upscale lounge bar and dance club near downtown Raleigh boasting sultry lighting, crystal chandeliers, exposed brick and plush velvet seating. The club has a vintage, ornate feel, and bills itself as an old-school European venue. The bar itself is a large room with a dance floor between lounge-seating and a beautiful black counter. In between cocktails and dancing at Noir, you can enjoy the club's front patio, which is a great vantage point for people watching.
Foundation is a subterranean bar reachable from a stairway on Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh. The bar, which makes good use of its underground location with exposed pipe work, brick walls, and reclaimed wood panels, is known for serving some of the best cocktails in Raleigh. The menu also features local beers and seasonal cocktails made with the best of diverse locally-sourced ingredients. Though Foundation is underground, on sunny days the bar opens street level seating perfect for enjoying a beer in the sunshine.
Carmen's Cuban Bar & Cafe have imbibed the Cuban spirit and transformed it into this charming bar. With authentic Cuban delicacies and Latin Music dance nights every weekend, Carmen's is a great place to let your hair down and swing to the music.
Tired from playing mini golf and other games at Frankie's Fun Park? Then head over to The Chill Lounge to grab a drink and relax. Located inside the park, the fully-stocked bar also offers American and Mexican cuisine. It's a great place to hang out with your friends and watch the game. The Chill Lounge also has pool tables and an excellent multimedia system, ensuring an enjoyable experience. The ambiance is also quite tasteful with multicolored wall decor, a cherry bar countertop and dark wooden furnishing. The lounge is an important, integral part of the park.
Capital Club 16 pays homage to the old and new. The restaurant serves American food with European influences and is housed inside a registered historic building in downtown Raleigh. Interiors here are a salvage house of reclaimed wood and tile taken from New York restaurants, Neuse River docks, and North Carolina mills. Classic dishes with the foresight of seasonal and locally-grown ingredients fill the menu. Capital Club 16 is a fine choice for a relaxed but refined dinner, and also has a full-service bar and serves lunch and brunch.
Sharp Nine Gallery is the right place to go to if you are interested in jazz. Located in Durham, NC, the venue organizes various music programs and classes and aims to educate the crowd on jazz culture. They are also available for concerts and other music events.