When the owners of Lounge 201 decided to revamp their business, they wanted to move toward something that looked more like a “modern tavern.” Their efforts yielded The 201 Bar, which has more than 50 bottles of craft beer, 30 bottles of small batch wine, and bartenders who mix cocktails by hand. The drinks complement a mix of seafood dishes and delightfully referential sandwiches such as the Elvis’ Peanut Butter Sandwich with bananas and bacon. The spirit of the old business wasn’t abandoned altogether, however. The best parts are still in tact, such as the private rooms available for all manner of party, gathering, or celebration.
Stigma Tattoo Bar compiles a trifecta of signifiers of lighthearted vice in its combination tattoo and piercing parlor, bar, and pole-dancing studio. Red vinyl couches line brick walls, and poles reach from floor to ceiling for classes scheduled along with lap-dance and burlesque lessons. Flat-screen TVs entertain customers as they're inked or studded, and a dramatic metal cage in the center of the room contributes to an edgy club atmosphere where you never know if a lion might appear from behind the bar.
As patrons walk into Sahra Hookah Lounge, a cushy, red velvet ottoman emerges from behind puffs of smoke. Golden drapes sweep along the top of an exposed brick wall, and candlelight flickers across knee-high tables where patrons share plates of spicy hummus. A profile on Thrillist lists some of Sahra Hookah Lounge's other features: nine wines, Geary's beer, and double-apple hookah, which conjure memories of roasting pies over a tobacco-free campfire.
A menu of time-tested Moroccan cuisine fills Marrakech Lounge's casual two-story dining room and lounge with enticing aromas and cheery chatter. A medley of traditional, oven-baked tagines range from the sweet-and-savory Chicken Marrakech, loaded with sweet dried apricots, to tender braised lamb simmering in a pot of artichokes, fava beans, and vegetables. A selection of couscous dishes includes a vegetarian option that mingles fistfuls of warming spices that conceal heaps of produce like a farmer's offshore bank account. The Couscous Royal struts to tables accompanied by a procession of lamb, chicken, and lamb sausage, and patrons sidle up to the bar beneath a bright, curry-colored wall to sip on glasses of domestic brew, pinot grigio, or house cabernet. On weekends, chefs forge time-tested dishes until 2 a.m. to fuel joviality in an upstairs lounge equipped with black leather couches, which serve as an ideal late-night rendezvous point after long evenings of book-club hopping.
The Iron Horse Tap Room is a welcoming space where fine-liquor purveyors can sample new libations, play shuffleboard, watch sports, or engage in vigorous debate over the best British Parliamentary debate. Standard drafts like Miller Lite ($5) and Blue Moon ($6) make appearances, while adventurous barley adherents can appraise the wheaty Allagash White ($7) or the Ommegang Abbey Ale ($8), brimming with clove and dried-fruit flavors. Beer indulgers can get more explosions for their buck at the Iron Horse's happy hour, when draft beers are $2 off. Otherwise, Iron Horse's impressive collection of bourbons and whiskeys, from Blanton's to Crown Royal, is enough to impress even a bourbon-filled floaty-pen salesman.