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A YES! Weekly Bar Hop: a Ten Best field trip

by Brian Clarey

M’Coul’s Public House

110 W. McGee St.; 336.378.0204

I’ll admit it: sometimes the well runs dry. We had no solid ideas for this week’s Ten Best, so Art Director Lauren Cartwright and I headed downtown for a good old-fashioned pub crawl with the goal of hitting 10 bars before last call. What better place to start than M’Coul’s, the Ersin tavern at the crossroads of Elm and McGee streets? I got a big bottle of Sam Smith’s Old Brewery Pale Ale and Cartwright had a Captain Morgan’s and Sprite, the first of what would prove to be many cocktails.

Longshanks Billiards

106 W. McGee St.; 336.379.0054

We wanted to check out the Green Burro, but man, that’s a lot of stairs. We settled for the somewhat less lofty pool hall one flight up from the street. Amid the clicking of pool balls we had a quick round ‘— I switched to Heineken ‘— and had a speculative conversation with the bartender, Amanda Alls, about the pros and cons of plastic surgery.

The Rhinoceros Club

315 S. Greene St.; 336.272.930

I’m kind of persona non grata at the Rhinoceros Club these days, but we slunk in there anyway and ran into a couple of media types who joined us for a drink. While we sipped and crapped on about this and that we saw an inebriated woman fall backwards off her barstool and onto the floor. That’s why they should put seat belts on those things.

Much

113 S. Elm St.; 336.370.1311

All the swells in town crowded around the stony bar at Much on this night and we leaned in for a quick one. Mayor Holliday, who’s got plenty of fish to fry these days, stood at the bar surrounded by admirers, friends and ass-kissers. Accessible as always, he gave us a few moments of his time before heading out the door. I knew the Captain Morgan’s was starting to hit Cartwright when she described the mayor as ‘“kind of hot.’”

Hemingway’s

213 S. Elm St.; 336.275.6367

It’s pricey and filled with people dressed better than us, but there’s something we really like about Hemingway’s. We dropped in for a quick one and shot the crap with Urban Sophisticates frontman Benton James, who was working the door, and the bar’s owner Jeff Schleuning, who showed us a picture of his back piece, an elegant Japanese tattoo on which he’s already logged about 40 hours and still has a short way to go.

Liberty Oak

100 W. Washington St.; 336.273.7057

I like to hit Liberty Oak when my pal Jeff Barbour is behind the bar. I don’t get to see him much these days. I had another beer while Cartwright made the switch to a Cosmopolitan (though for some odd reason she insisted it be made with Sprite). Barbour poured well and we spent a pleasant half hour listening to his acerbic witticisms.

Stumble Stilskin’s

202 1/2 W. Market St.; 336.691.1222

The party bar on Greene Street was filled with attractive inebriates doing what they do. Pat Rock was on stage ‘— a real nice kid, and has anyone noticed that he’s got some serious chops these days? That’s what playing six (and sometimes seven) nights a week will do for you. Another highlight of the evening was watching bartender Susanne Kinzer’s top defy the laws of physics.

Greene Street

113 N. Greene St.; 336.273.4111

Things started to get interesting at Greene Street. For starters we met up with editor and journalist Nicole Crews and her husband Scott Bost. They’re trouble. For another, owner Kenny Efird took us up to the roof where he’s in the process of constructing a two-tiered deck with one of the best views of the city we’ve ever seen. I also had opportunity to pose with a few of my fans for a photo op. Anything for the fans.

The Left Field Tavern

422 Edgeworth St.; 336.272.2727

The new bar behind left field at First Horizon Park was empty on this night save for a few neighborhood cats getting a jump-start on the season. It won’t be empty for long ‘— opening day is on Thursday, April 6 and you can bet that the stools will be filled before, during and after every Grasshoppers home game.

Time-Out Saloon

330 Bellemeade St.; 336.272.8108

This was my first time inside the tiny bar that caters primarily (though certainly not exclusively) to Greensboro’s gay and lesbian community. The bar was everything one could ask for: clean, relatively quiet and filled with polite and interesting people, some of whom were availing themselves of the karaoke machine. I will definitely be back.

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