Bars in Sanford

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Strafe Gaming Lounge pairs the excitement of an arcade with the laid-back social characteristics of a lounge. Game gourmands choose from hundreds of titles for Wii, Xbox, and PS3, setting up camp in semiprivate gaming rooms with rocking chairs, couches, and 42" high-definition TVs. A family-friendly environment, Strafe Gaming Lounge holds special hours for preschool gamers, while of-age console commandos can imbibe responsibly by BYOBing after 8 p.m. A high-def 100" projector is also available for stadium-sized gaming, such as Rock Band 2, or Blu-ray movie viewing. Choose unlimited gaming for a day or month, or take over the entire lounge for a three-hour birthday party, bringing cake and gaming together more effectively than your failed Atari title Baker Time.

101 S Main St
Fuquay Varina,
NC
US

From its quiet perch on Franklin Street, Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop slings premium fair-trade ice cream right alongside warm hand-rolled soft-pretzels from Auntie Anne's Pretzel. Friendly staffers fill cups with famous flavors such as Cherry Garcia, a smooth blend of cherry ice cream speckled with cherries and flakes of chocolate fudge. Phish Food infuses chocolate ice cream with marshmallow and caramel swirls, paying homage to the mellow tunes of the jam band Phish with fish-shaped fudge pieces that play eight-minute guitar solos. The shop was recently renovated to include an Auntie Anne's, whose pretzel professionals prepare a wide array of sweet and salty snacks, spiraling them into ornate knots with the delicacy of a grandmotherly sailor, and baking them to golden brown in full view of customers.

109 North Main Street
Holly Springs,
NC
US

Squire?s Pub

Squire's Pub attracts patrons with British-style fare and a distinctive pub atmosphere, both of which have helped it win several of The Pilot's Best of Moore County awards, including the All-Around Restaurant and Burger categories. The Squire Pub's owners honor their English, Scottish, Welsh, and Irish ancestry with authentic artifacts and antiques throughout the establishment, including a 1719 map of Kent, photos of Trafalgar Square, and William Shakespeare's cherished childhood Nintendo. The stained glass, mirrors, and dark woods of the interior take eyes on a historical journey as patrons sip on cold pints of beer, and hanging dartboards, backgammon, and cribbage games are available from the barkeep to keep hands busy.

1720 Us Highway 1
Southern Pines,
NC
US

Inside the kitchen at Le Mussels, chefs combine Asian, American, and tropical influences, revering seafood above all and using it to unite disparate culinary styles. Pots of mussels can arrive in a traditional broth of white wine, garlic, and butter, or in an international mélange with cilantro, Japanese sake, or spicy Italian sausage. During each mealtime rush, housemade mango salsa is poured generously over coconut-crusted tilapia while the kitchen’s grill tops teem with Angus-beef patties and tuna steaks.

Eleven flat-screen televisions surround the intimately lit dining room, which creates a modern, industrial ambiance with its high ceilings, exposed ductwork, and coal-powered napkin dispensers. As the sounds of sports broadcasts echo throughout the space, guests can visit the bar and snag a hand-shaken cocktail or a beer from the ever-changing selection of 18 domestic and imported drafts.

2016 Creekside Landing Drive
Apex,
NC
US

When Scotsman Archibald Leslie settled in Holly Springs, North Carolina, in the early 19th century, he built a 180-acre estate right by the town’s freshwater springs. These days, only the estate’s springs and main house—a nationally registered historic site known as the Leslie-Alford-Mims House—remain. But with their pub, the proprietor’s of Archibald’s Tavern make sure the settler’s name lives on as well.

The tavern’s cooks specialize in staples of American bar food, such as hot wings, wraps filled with philly cheesesteak fixings, and burgers crowned with pepper jack cheese and jalapeños. Selections from an ever-expanding beer list pair perfectly with feasts, which patrons can complement by taking in that day’s game on flat-screen TVs mounted around the bar.

5160 Sunset Lake Rd
Apex,
NC
US

A comedic abode of gut-busting proportions, DSI has hosted hundreds of joke slingers that have corralled scores of laugh-seeker smiles without nitrous-oxide tanks or clips of football-privates contact. A company of 45 active performers lives underneath the 84-seat non-smoking theater, constantly training with dummy microphones and audience dummies to provide optimal quip delivery. Owner Zach Ward leads this comedic cabal, and also has trained and worked with nationally known giggle catalysts of Saturday Night Live and MADtv fame. Visitors will be able to choose from a variety of scheduled Friday- and Saturday-night shows, including improv slams, stand-up, and slide shows of platypus photos.

200 N Greensboro St
Carrboro,
NC
US