Downtown Burlington

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Downtown Burlington, VT

ESOX
Blue-collar hangout by day, college party by night. This open-air bar serves up burly beverages, billiards, and '80s jukebox rock. The Meathead ski-film crew has forgotten many a rainy winter day here. Peep the back walls for their tags. (194 Main St.)

JP's Pub
Join Karaoke Dave on Wednesdays and Saturdays for billiards, foosball, $4.75 domestic mini-pitchers, and bad karaoke. Brush up on "Glory Days," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights" before you go. (139 Main St.)

Nectar's/Club Metronome
Famous as the birthplace of Phish, Nectar's is tuned in to up-and-coming acts, and it occasionally calls in heavyweights like Melvin Sparks or KRS-One. The gravy fries are the best this side of the border, and Saturday's "Retronome" (upstairs at Club Metronome) is a must-hit '80s dance party. (188 Main St.)

Plan B
This trendy lounge serves up delectable tapas (that's Spanish for "snacks") and robust cocktails. Its specialty beverage is the Bathing Suit Area (Stoli Rasberry, cranberry juice, and Red Bull). With occasional appearances by the likes of Slick Rick, the hip-hop DJ scene here is Burlington's best. (156 St. Paul St.)

Red Square
Local talent—hip-hop, jazz, blues, reggae, and funk—is the mainstay of this quirky Church Street bar. Try not to miss the Grippo Funk Band on select Monday evenings. Beware the $3 cover charge on weekends, though the action is usually worth it. (136 Church St.)

Ruben James
Wings are free during Friday and Saturday happy hours. On Thursdays, pints of Stowe-brewed Shed Mountain Ale are $3. Lots of flatscreen TVs mean you can catch the Sox, Bruins, Pats, and MetroStars all at the same time. Later on, the tables disappear and throngs of coeds migrate in. (159 Main St.)

The Vermont Pub and Brewery
Unfiltered and unpasteurized suds are brewed right on the premises. The vibe is more restrained than rowdy, making this a great spot to grab a couple pints and a burger ground from local beef with a side of sweet-potato fries. (144 College St.)

What Ale's You
Ales is your basic dimly lit basement watering hole teeming with youthful humanity. On Thursdays, buy your buddies and that group of college girls a round of $2 drafts. Talk philosophy and politics, not why they wore skirts and tank tops downtown in January. (125 St. Paul St.)

OCTOBER 2007

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