Look in any direction at Cleats Bar and Grill, and there's likely to be some kind of competition in sight. HD televisions peer down on visitors, casting football, hockey, and baseball games across their glowing faces. Friendly bouts of pool and darts break out elsewhere, while foosball players spin their miniature players until they vomit LEGO blocks. On the outdoor patio, guests surrounding the fire pit pass subtle bets on which log will be the last to crumble into ash. All the while, these varying gladiators take bites from team-themed burgers and hoist domestic and craft beers.
Tunes pour from the jukebox at The Dirty Duck Bar, where bartenders help customers forget their thirsts and hearty grub slakes hunger. At the bar, frothy beers and mixed drinks command attention, with a selection that includes feel-good spirits in terms of their production: the bar proudly serves Idaho’s American Harvest organic spirit, for one, which is produced using sustainable agricultural methods and wind power. While barkeeps dispense drinks and help guests learn the proper knot for a cherry stem, the kitchen churns out classic pub fare from bacon cheeseburgers to pizza.
The bartenders at 12 Volt Tavern bolster its dive-bar cred with a daily two-for-one happy hour, pairing suds and spirits with a punk-rock-heavy jukebox that helped earn it Westword's Best Dive Bar in the ‘Burbs award in 2007. From 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., the daily happy hour lobs beer bottles ($2.75–$4.50) and cans ($2.25–$5.50) to those longing to grip longnecks or crush something other than Pringles cans against their heads. Draft beers ($2.75–$4.50) cascade from foam-flecked taps as imbibers sip to the refrain of rhythmically clacking pool balls and whizzing darts. Mad Dog 20/20 and its 10 electric libations glimmer and gleam over the bar’s pale light, headlining the top shelf of 12 Volt’s library of liquors and spirits ($3.75–$8). On weekends, local punk and rockabilly acts storm the intimate stage, blaring tunes that ricochet off the wall’s aluminum PBR signage and the ceiling’s bottle-cap frescos of Johnny Rotten’s boyhood pony (a cover charge applies to live shows).