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Apr 19, 2014

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Atlanta pub crawl

By Gregg Smith

Start on the Northeast side of town at Dante's Down the Hatch 3380 Peachtree Rd NE (just past the Art Institute near Lenox) (404) 266-1600 Any tour through a city's bars should begin with something to eat as a matter of self-preservation. Dante's does not have the largest selection of beers in the world (there are 8) but it is included on this list of bars by virtue of its unusual nature. The outside appears to be a group of shanty's along a wharf and once in the door you find yourself on a pier. Below you is water filled with snapping turtles and alligators and directly in front is a pirate ship with full rigging. In the hold of the ship is a jazz combo which you can enjoy while munching on any number of Dante's well handled specialties - fondue. There's also a small bar which seats twelve.

Second stop is The Tavern at Phipps 3500 Peachtree Rd. (404) 814-9640 (Phipps plaza) a short but comprehensive beer list is available at this somewhat upscale tavern which prides itself on its kitchen. Out front there's an area for patio dining while inside there's a comfortable area of warm brick walls and cherry wood decor. Thursday thru Sunday you can sip your beer while enjoying live music which encompasses jazz to blues.

Next head south to County Cork Pub 56 E. Andrews Dr. NW (404) 262-2227 The atmosphere of the pub seems a little contrived with a few too many cheesy Irish souvenirs, but their heart is in the right place, back in County Cork. This might be the best pint of Guiness in the city but they also serve from a varied list of bottled beers.

Catch another ride to the area known as the highlands where the next several recommendations can be visited on foot. Taco Mac at 1006 N. Highland Ave. NE (404) 873-6529 is one of the original beer bars n Atlanta, it got its name when the owners took over and didn't feel like buying a new sign. There are nine beers on tap and 300 bottles at this, the original location. If you want to be overwhelmed ask for directions to their Sandy Springs bar which boasts 116 taps, 500 bottles, 75 single malts and 100 vodkas, it's at 5830 Roswell Rd. (404) 257-0735

You can walk down the street to the next stop Limerick Junction 822 N. Highland Ave. (404) 874-7147 Another Irish Bar in Atlanta that successfully replicates a pub feel. There are 10 taps and a variety of bottles. Menu items include traditional Irish dishes such as meat pies and fish and chips but they also serve americanized pub grub. There's often live music favoring folk and Irish styles.

Walk down the street again to Atkins Park Restaurant 794 N.Highland (404) 876-7249 This is the oldest state licensed bar in Atlanta, dating back to 1927. Actually, this is two places in one. A full service restaurant is part of the establishment, but through the door is a dark wood bar and the cherished mementos of a classic pub. There are 9 taps and 20 bottles on the beer list, music and a dart board for diversion. This is a classic bar

Another short walk brings you to Manuels Tavern 602 N.Highland, NE (404) 525-3447 which holds claim as the bar in Atlanta owned longest by a single family. Old wood paneling walls are covered with sports and political pictures and you just might spot Jimmy Carter stepping up to the 100 year old bar. There you will also find 14 taps and more than 30 bottles.

It's another ride to the last stop, the Vortex 1041 West Peachtree (404) 875-1667 There are seven taps adequately backed up by a respectable choice of 105 bottles. Just as tempting is the impressive array of more than 40 single malt scotch's. From the food list burgers get the recommendation.

Gregg Smith

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