Best Neighborhood Bar (Mid-County)

The Village Bar

The Village Bar is what you imagined bars to be like before you were old enough to get into one yourself. Curiously wedged between a wig shop and a flag store, the place is dark — despite the windows that peek out over busy Manchester Road — even in the middle of the day. The only overhead light comes from a lone ceiling fan and an old Budweiser pub light above the shuffleboard table (which sports a sign forbidding anyone under the age of 21 to play it). Ceiling tiles gently sag, condensation drips from the air-conditioning unit and a fireplace is tucked off to one side, giving the 66-year-old place the musty charm of a beloved bachelor uncle's basement. Endearingly loudmouthed regulars hold court at the bar, discussing the day's goings-on ("Did you hear Joan Rivers died?" "Really? How?" "She stopped breathing."), and the bartender is kept on his toes from their near-constant requests ("Give that dipshit a beer, too."). Fans of Grey Goose and cheap beer will be equally pleased, and you'd be crazy not to order a burger — easily one of the area's best — with a side of fried jalapeños.

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