Best of booze 

Times readers select their favorites.

White Water Tavern continues its unbroken reign as the people's champ in our annual readers' poll of booze. The storied dive bar was voted Best Bar, Best Bar for Live Music, Best Dive Bar and runner-up for best bartender (for co-owner Matt White), Best Pick-Up Bar and Best Bar for Food, all of which makes it the most broadly popular bar in town, according to our readers.

Meanwhile, another regular Toast of the Town winner, the Capital Bar & Grill, racked up three firsts and one runner-up prize. What's its appeal? It's one of the go-to places for hard-to-find spirits, David Koon reports.

Lindsey Millar drops by Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge, another readers' favorite, and somehow doesn't come back reeking of smoke. Michael Roberts finds that the innovation of Vino's Brew Pub brewmaster, Josiah Moody, is separating the brewpub from the craft beer pack.

Speaking of craft beer, there will be a celebration of suds at the Arkansas Times Craft Beer Festival, presented Nov. 2 by the Argenta Arts District. It will run 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Argenta Farmer's Market grounds at Sixth and Main streets. Funkanites, The Salty Dogs and Weakness for Blondes will perform, and Argenta restaurants Cregeen's Irish Pub, Cornerstone Pub & Grill and Reno's Argenta Cafe will serve food. Tickets are $35 via arktimes.com/craftbeerfest, or $40 at the door if still available. See here for profiles of the more than 30 breweries that are participating.

Best Bar

White Water Tavern

Runners-up: Capital Bar & Grill, Dugan's Pub, Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge

Best Bartender

Veo Tyson at SO Restaurant-Bar

Runners-up: Julianna Garner at The Hillcrest Fountain, Spencer Jansen at Capital Bar and Grill, Matt White at White Water Tavern

Best Wine Bar

Crush Wine Bar

Runners-up: By the Glass, Zin Urban Wine and Beer Bar, Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge

Best Sports Bar

Dugan's Pub

Runners-up: Gusano's Pizza, West End Smokehouse and Tavern, Big Whiskey's American Bar and Grill

Best Pick-Up Bar

Bar Louie

Runners-up: The Hillcrest Fountain, White Water Tavern, Cajun's Wharf

Best Gay Bar

Discovery

Runners-up: Missy Kitty's, Trax

Best Bar for Live Music

White Water Tavern

Runners-up: Stickyz Rock-n-Roll Chicken Shack, Revolution, Afterthought

Best Dive Bar

White Water Tavern

Runners-up: Midtown Billiards, Town Pump, Pizza D'Action

Best Hotel Bar

Capital Bar & Grill

Runners-up: Mallards Bar, Embassy Suites (WLR), Bogie's Nightclub

Best Bar for Pool, Darts, Shuffleboard and other games

The Hillcrest Fountain

Runners-up: Town Pump, West End Smokehouse and Tavern, Zack's Place

Best Bar for Food

Capital Bar & Grill

Runners-up: Dugan's Pub, Reno's Argenta Cafe, White Water Tavern

Best Happy Hour

The Hillcrest Fountain

Runners-up: Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge, Dugan's Pub, Crush Wine Bar

Best Drinking Brunch

YaYa's Euro Bistro

Runners-up: The House, Loca Luna, Red Door Restaurant

Best Patio or Deck for Drinking

Cajun's Wharf

Runners-up: U.S. Pizza Co. (Hillcrest), Hillcrest Fountain, Vino's Brew Pub

Best Beer Selection

Flying Saucer

Runners-up: The House, Dugan's Pub, Big Orange

Coldest Beer

U.S. Pizza (Hillcrest)

Runners-up: Flying Saucer, Dugan's Pub, Town Pump

Tequila Selection

Santo Coyote Restaurant

Runners-up: Cantina Laredo, Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge, Senor Tequila

Best Bloody Mary

Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge

Runners-up: The House, Dugan's Pub, Hibernia Irish Tavern

Best Martini

Capital Bar & Grill

Runners-up: Maduro Cigar Bar & Lounge, Ciao Baci, YaYa's

Best Margarita

Santo Coyote Restaurant

Runners-up: Senor Tequila, Cantina Laredo, El Porton

Best Liquor store

Colonial Wine and Spirits

Runners-up: Grapevine Wine and Spirits, Popatop Fine Wine and Spirits, Springhill Wine and Liquor

Local Brew

Diamond Bear Brewing Co.

Runners-up: Vino's, Boscos

National Brew

New Belgium

Runners-up: Boulevard, North Coast, Blue Moon

Speaking of...

  • Ginsu Wives to release new EP in pill bottle form

    June 11, 2014
    Locals Ginsu Wives, who we noted in this week's paper will almost definitely give you nightmares, are playing a record release show on Saturday June 14 at White Water Tavern, and here's one more reason you should go: The EP, titled "Panic," will come in the form of a prescription bottle containing a pill-shaped USB flash drive that includes the EP in three formats, music videos for each track and other stuff. Check out the infomercial above. The album will be available online July 1 at Thick Syrup Records. /more/
  • The Top 10 Sandwiches in Little Rock

    May 14, 2014
    There are few foods as convenient and satisfying around the lunch hour as an exceptional sandwich. Nearly every civilization on earth has their own unique take on the sandwich, filling sliced bread with practically any ingredient under the sun. Little Rock is no stranger to great sandwiches, indeed it's one of the strongest aspects within our culinary scene. Here we present the 10 best sandwiches we've eaten around town...dig in, folks. /more/
  • Stream the new Glittercore album (or even buy it)

    May 1, 2014
    Little Rock trio Glittercore has a new album out today. One of the tags on Bandcamp is "90's," which I guess means they aim to sound like a band from the `90s, which they arguably do, like tuneful, drop-d, Dinosaur Jr.-era indie rock or like a band that might be on Merge or Rough Trade. You can find it at iTunes or at Bandcamp, or you can wait and see them live with Mad Nomad at White Water on June 10. But then June 10 seems like a long time to wait, maybe you'd better go ahead and listen. /more/
  • Thursday night: Bonnie Montgomery and Andy Warr benefit for tornado relief

    April 30, 2014
    Tomorrow night, White Water Tavern will host the first in a series of anniversary shows for Little Rock's Thick Syrup Records, this time featuring locals Bonnie Montgomery and Andy Warr. Proceeds will go to benefit ongoing tornado recovery and relief efforts. Other Thick Syrup Anniversary shows on the way include a concert at Stickyz on May 9 featuring Bear Colony and The See and two shows at White Water on May 16 and 17, featuring Brother Andy and His Big Damn Mouth, Nathan Brown, Bonnie Montgomery, Ginsu Wives, Twelve Tone Elevator and Jumbo Jet. /more/
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