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Where Can I Get a Drink?

A look to the future...through beer goggles...

On the occasion my wife and I have a free night or babysitter, we often end up with a drink in our hands. Now, we like to be responsible and ideally would prefer to stay in town.  Problem is we cannot really settle in to the local pubs.  

Don't get me wrong...each bar in town has its own distinctive charms. Poor Herbie's has a nice pint of Guinness, quality food and a relaxed charm and character.  

54 Main has size, food and live music should you desire.  And Prospect is certainly the most aesthetically pleasing and pours a nice Guinness, too.

Somehow between the three establishments one, high quality bar exists.  For most of the time we want a burger and a beer, we are heading out of town: Arthur's or Sona in Morristown.  Delicious Heights or Trap Rock in Berkeley Heights. Anywhere in NYC. For the record, I am tired of going elsewhere.

Can I request the three owners get together, buy the old Exxon station across from Gary's and build a two-, maybe three-story gem?  Poor Herbie's can become another Chocolate Store. 54 Main can be the first spot to attract a big retail store. You with me folks? Think smaller Westfield. Will the women of Madison shop at an Anthropologie or JCrew at that location? My bet would be yes.

Prospect is pretty so maybe make that a nice tapas place/wine bar.  

The new superbar/restaurant can be multi-faceted. Downstairs would have a nice rathskellar feel to it. Think foosball, darts and peanuts on the floor. Maybe like the bar Rob Lowe and Jim Belushi shot mini hoops in "About Last Night."

Upstairs should resemble any one of the numerous places the Huntley group owns. Lots of dark wood, a fireplace and elegant fare. Ideally, there should be a Happy Hour and bar menu. A large dining room, without TVs, would serve the sophisticated diner. I am fine with a pretentious, smaller bar that would disallow hats and cursing. I am talking to you Trap Rock.

No live music.  The rathskellar has a supreme jukebox that will spin all the hits (as I see them.)  Be prepared for plenty of bands you have never heard of when I get my drunk on.  

A place for Madison folk of all kind. And I can stumble down Main St to my home... not worry about 78 West or Springfield Ave.  It exists in my imagination. Now, how can we make it happen.

And where will we find the staff? Ugh, that is an entirely different column.

For more, visit guidetosomewhere.blogspot.com

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Mikey D June 09, 2011 at 10:36 PM
Was there Friday night for a few hours. The Kellers (as always) are excellent hosts and a good time was had by all. Try the lamb burger! Also the bartender throws you a great Manhattan (or 3).
KeepItReal June 10, 2011 at 04:49 PM
The former Exxon and the vacant lot are one and the same. Or, are you talking about the old Jaguar dealership?
Donna June 29, 2011 at 04:59 PM
GK's Red Dog Tavern at the Madison Hotel is wonderful. It would be nice to have another good place open up in downtown Madison, though.
Patrick Franklin June 29, 2011 at 06:55 PM
I'm gonna have to check out red dogs. Rods was one of my favorite restaurants for years and their service was second to none, but over the last couple of years I felt as if the quality of service dropped off dramatically. Haven't been back in a year or so.
Dana D June 29, 2011 at 09:57 PM
I work for the Kellers but in Springfield. The restaurant and bar is wonderful. On Friday and Saturday nights they have bands that usually play classic rock. It's also an older crowd - not the 21 year old crowd which I feel to old for now. They are also very kid friendly and Sundays kids eat free off the kids menu with the purchase of an adult meal. And kids eat free in uniform. The food is great. They won an Irish culinary contest at bloomingdales this year with their Shepard pie. And need I say more abt the service??? Over all - great place w great bosses! They are like family! Check out McLynns if you're in Springfield!!!

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