THE BAR SCENE (Originally published in edibleBERKSHIRES 2013 - please contact venues for updates)
A brief overview of bars in the Berkshires, driving from southern-most Berkshire County, near the CT border, to north County, near the VT border. All venues offer cocktails, wines by the glass/bottle and draft and bottle beer, unless otherwise noted.
STAGECOACH TAVERN - 864 S Undermountain Rd, Sheffield (413) 229-8585
Features specialty drinks. The "Down County Social Club", a speak-easy style club, downstairs, has eclectic live music and original events every Thurs. night. Lovely outdoor seating in summer months provides a charming place to enjoy cocktails or glass of wine.
JOHN ANDREWS RESTAURANT - 224 Hillsdale Rd South Egremont (413) 528-3469
Seasonal cocktails are creative and beautifully crafted here. At the bar, watching Eric make cocktails, you know this guy knows his stuff, and he's very good. Passionate about the wine list, too. Eric says “it’s the food - Dan Smith’s menu is what sets this bar apart from the rest.”
THE OLD MILL - 53 Main Street, Route 23, South Egremont (413) 518-1421
The Old Mill is a mainstay of the locals – they depend on this bar as a place to come where they’re loved and served well. That starts at the door with Terry, the owner, and then Adrian follows through at the bar - you feel at home. Weekly cocktail list featuring seasonal favorites and an extensive wine list. This is a place that cares about its guests in every way – with good food and good conversation.
CASTLE STREET CAFÉ – 10 Castle Street, Great Barrington (413) 528-5244
You walk in and everybody seems to know each other at this bar. Lots of locals here and lots of nice vibes. Live music on weekends; jazz, rock, blues and swing music, and it gets very busy. The regulars know who’s coming, so they show up. Customers are happy here – Mike knows what many are drinking and often introduces people at the bar.
ALLIUM - 44 Railroad St, Great Barrington (413) 528-2118
After dinner, the crowd changes from a dinner crowd to a different mix, turning into a vibrant bar scene on weekends. Bartenders enjoy introducing people to drinks they may not be so familiar with, keeping it fresh. Cocktails are crafted to expand the palate. Allium’s wide window onto Railroad Street totally opens the restaurant up.
20 RAILROAD STREET – 20 Railroad Street, Great Barrington (413) 528-9345
A convenient place to stop on Railroad Street, the bar and restaurant are open to Railroad Street, so you’re in the heart of town.
THE WELL – 312 Main Street, Suite 1, Great Barrington (413) 528-3651
Occasionally have live music. Beer on tap and cocktails are popular. Local regulars here.
BELL & ANCHOR- 178 Main St, Great Barrington (413) 528-5050
Large bar for drinks and dining. Cocktail list includes drinks unique to the restaurant. Tables outside, with ping-pong table on the large lawn leading to Main Street.
CAFE ADAM - 420 Stockbridge Road, Suite 3, Great Barrington (413) 528-7786
This is a food centric bar, where you can get oysters, a burger or fresh seafood. Adam and Sylwia have added a beautiful contemporary bar, and this new location should please the many devotees who love this restaurant. A great view of the open kitchen at work, here, and the bar is in the midst of it all.
BARRINGTON BREWERY & RESTAURANT - 420 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington (413) 528-8282
Exclusively Barrington Brewery beer on tap, which is handcrafted with no preservatives. Everything can be put in the growler bottle to go. Beer garden in the back is open and off the street.
ROUTE 7 GRILL - 999 Main Street, Great Barrington (413) 528-3235
Large whiskey collection. Bourbon Lemonade is a bestseller. House wines (red and white) are featured from Millbrook Winery in the Hudson Valley. Full restaurant menu is available at the bar. Music is live outside Fridays and Saturdays.
BIZEN – 17 Railroad Street, Great Barrington (413) 528-4343
Small bar in a cozy front corner of this attractive Japanese restaurant. A popular Great Barrington spot for Japanese cuisine & sushi.
AEGEAN BREEZE – 327 StockbridgeRoad (Route 7), Great Barrington (413) 528-4001
Greek restaurant with very friendly, welcoming atmosphere. Bar menu and full dinner menu. Live music on the patio on Saturdays beginning in July.
AROMA BAR & GRILL – 485 Main Street, Great Barrington (413) 528-3116
Very small bar serving Indian beers and local beers. Cocktails and wine too. Indian food is their specialty.
THE BRICK HOUSE – 425 Park Street, Housatonic (413) 274-0020
Home-style atmosphere makes this a comfortable place. Live music every Friday and Saturday, and on occasion other days – check web. A local, neighborhood bar with strong following of regulars.
RED LION INN - Main Street in Stockbridge - corner of Rte 7 & Rte 102 (413) 298-5545
- LION’S DEN – Great for after-dinner drinks, craft beers or flight of local spirits & digestifs. The tasting flights are nicely done. Live music featured every night, and Trivia night is on third Thursdays.
- IDOW BINGHAM’S TAVERN – Comfortable bar. Can also have cocktails on the porch or in lobby.
- THE COURTYARD – Described by Dan, the Inn’s sommelier, as “the best kept secret in the Berkshires,” the courtyard is secluded from the bustle of the street and has bar and tables.
MOE'S TAVERN - 10 Railroad Street, Lee (413) 243-6637
Serving huge list of American craft beer and American craft whiskeys. No wine, no cocktails, no food. And no Coors Light! But you can order food in from neighboring places.
MORGAN HOUSE INN – 33 Main Street, Lee (413) 243-3661
Fronting right on Main Street, this Inn was built in 1853, so there’s an authentic sense of history here with the low ceilings and old tavern feel. American bistro cuisine combined with old New England inn stylle. Tavern area has bar, tables for dining and closed-in porch on the front.
BRAVA - 27 Housatonic St, Lenox (413) 637-9171
Large selection of wines by the glass and bottle. Craft beer also popular here. Tapas style food and pizza. Lots of regulars from the Lenox area and actors from theatre companies nearby. This is a small, cozy place where it's not unusual for patrons to engage in conversation, table to table.
ALTA RESTAURANT & WINE BAR - 34 Church Street, Lenox (413) 637-0003
Signature cocktails and infused drinks. Choice of wine flights, such as "Mediterranean Red". Extensive wine list and after-dinner options of port wines, spirits, single malts and coffee drinks, such as the Espresso Martini. Style is European, with an elegant, casual atmosphere. Outside seating on the front overlooking the street. People come here for "pleasures of the palate rather than heavy drinking," according to Aurelien and Stephane.
CHURCH STREET CAFE - 65 Church St, Lenox (413) 637-2745
Owned by the same group who own Alta up the street, this restaurant is more American, less European. Pours Berkshire Brewing Company beer exclusively and has extensive wine list. Signature cocktail list includes infused drinks and favorite bar food is mac & cheese and flatbreads from Berkshire Mountain Bakery.
OLD HERITAGE TAVERN - 12 Housatonic Street, Lenox (413) 637-0884
Outdoor patio on the back for dining and drinks. Live music most Thursday nights. Casual atmosphere that’s a cross between an Irish pub and American sports bar.
ZINC BISTRO & BAR – 56 Church Street, Lenox (413) 637-8800
Large bar in attractive, contemporary restaurant setting. Seasonal cocktail list. Bar menu between lunch and dinner service.
FIREFLY GASTROPUB & CATERING CO. – 71 Church Street, Lenox (413) 637-2700
Enjoy drinks on the back porch or at the bar and booths inside. Sometimes live music – check Facebook page . A friendly, neighborhood restaurant bar setting.
PRIME ITALIAN STEAKHOUSE & BAR - 15 Franklin Street, Lenox (413) 637-2998
Full menu for seating at bar or tables. Late night menu draws a crowd, including staff from Tanglewood and the theatres. Special cocktail list featuring seasonal drinks.
RUMPY’S TAVERN – 16 Church Street, Lenox (413) 637-0020
Downstairs at the Village Inn. Tavern menu Wednesday - Sunday. Monday & Tuesday lighter menu. Check web for music, karaoke, etc.
MISSION BAR + TAPAS - 438 North Street, Pittsfield (no phone)
Craft beer, all Spanish wine, no cocktails. Tapas menu with indoor or outside seating. Monday, live jazz; Tuesday open mic; Thursday bluegrass. Some Sundays and Wednesdays feature singers/ songwriters (local, Boston, NY). First Fridays Artswalk features jazz and Third Thursdays is bluegrass. Pre-theatre/post-theatre crowd for Barrington Stage and the Colonial Theatre. Popular with locals and tourists spilling out onto the street.
BABA LOUIE’S – 34 Depot Street, Pittsfield (413) 499-2400
Recognized by locals for its creative pizzas and salads, you can count on Baba Louie’s for great food. The Pittsfield restaurant serves wine and beer and has lots of seating, with a great view of the pizza oven.
MAZZEO’S RISTORANTE - 1015 South Street, Pittsfield (413) 448-2095
Large restaurant with classic Italian offerings. Busy full service bar. This is a new location for the enlarged restaurant, serving dedicated clientele since 1988. Live entertainment Thursdays on the patio beginning June 6.
Y BAR – 391 North Street (no phone yet)
Events include painting exhibits and Writer’s Room with open readings.
FLAVOURS – 75 North Street (entrance on McKay Street), Pittsfield (413) 443-3188
Asian style cocktails and popular American cocktails. Beers from China, Thailand, India and Japan. Malaysian, Chinese and Indian cuisine.
PATRICK’S PUB – 26 Bank Row, Pittsfield (413) 499-1994
Irish restaurant and bar, located downtown on Park Square, with outdoor seating on the street. Live music twice a month on Thursdays. Seasonal sangrias. Draws steady stream of regulars and tourists.
OLD FORGE RESTAURANT - 125 N Main St, Lanesboro (413) 442-6797
The Old Forge is well known for its beers. Chicken wings are big here, and summer months are especially popular, with the large open deck overlooking the Berkshire hills. The Forge draws families, dates and motorcyclists. Lots of Harley Davidson jackets! Students from Williams College and many from nearby towns of Pittsfield and Williamstown, too. A welcome spot for dedicated regulars.
MEZZE BISTRO AND BAR - 777 Cold Spring Rd, Williamstown (413) 458-0123
Craft cocktail program here includes respected ingredients and a strong listing of gin cocktails and aperitifs. "Cultural Cocktail" list is creative and named after popular cultural institutions, celebrating the rich arts of the region. Bar overlooks Sheep's Hill and the patio is large. Popular with locals and the Williamstown Theatre crowd.
HOPS & VINES BEER GARDEN & BRASSERIE - 16 Water Street, Williamstown (413) 884-1372
The restaurant features two themes: the "Hops" side is casual, while the "Vines" is more fine dining. Outside beer garden and vine deck and a private tasting room inside.
WATER STREET GRILL 123 Water Street, Williamstown (413) 458-2175
Casual food, rustic atmosphere. Live music on occasion. Patio on side of the restaurant is popular. Casual, homey atmosphere. Parents enjoy bringing students here when they visit.
GALA STEAKHOUSE & BISTRO (@ Orchards Hotel) – 222 Adams Road, Williamstown (413) 458-9590
Cocktails in the Gala Lounge or garden courtyard. Signature cocktail list and wine flights. Occasional live music – check listings. Bar menu served in addition to restaurant menu. Comfortable restaurant setting.
PUBLIC EAT + DRINK - 34 Holden Street North Adams (413) 664-4444
Bar has a view of the open kitchen. Live music once a month – check the web. Focus on craft beer, microbreweries and local breweries. Cocktail list changes seasonally. This bar gets a mix of tourists, artists and locals.
GRAMERCY BISTRO – 87 Marshall Street, North Adams (on the walk as you enter MASS MoCA), Pittsfield (413) 663-5300
Elegant, artistic restaurant setting with outside patio. Located off the street, close to entrance to MASS MoCA, so lots of visitors from arts events and locals from the area interested in fine dining and good food.
MOHAWK TAVERN – 30 Marshall Street, North Adams (413) 664-9062
Neighborhood tavern with music, sometimes DJ, sometimes juke box. Can order pizza from outside to be delivered here.
FREIGHT YARD RESTAURANT AND PUB – 3 Furnace Street, North Adams (413) 663-6547
Al fresco dining outside in courtyard or dinners inside with white tablecloth. Pub feel, with live acoustic music Friday and Saturday. Eclectic mix of locals and tourists from MASS MoCA.
THE HUB – 55 Main Street, North Adams (413) 662-2500
Full menu served at bar. Patio out front and larger seating area outside in the back. Photos of old North Adams decorate the walls. Loyal customer base with people seeing people they know here. Draws visitors from MASS MoCA too.
DREAM AWAY LODGE
The Dream Away is legendary, and after a long and winding drive, you’ll be glad you’ve arrived. Drinks are creative here and a point of pride. The Music Room is where it’s happening at night after dinner. Wednesday is open music night, a big bar & music night. They run the gamut on scheduled music Thursday through Saturday – a good idea to check the web for all listings.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, limited space dictated our effort to cover all venues and in no way have we intentionally omitted a listing. Our apologies if we have.