Raleigh >Bars & Clubs > Slims Downtown Distillery
227 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC | Directions 2760135.777434 -78.638119
horrible – During a recent visit to Raleigh I unfortunately was occasioned to go to Slim's. The music being played on the staff stereo was abhorrent and unreasonably loud. The bartender was someone I feel cheated for having been forced to speak to in any capacity; when I ordered a Pabst he ordered me to call it "PBR" because otherwise it sounds too close to Bass and they've had to throw out a lot of Bass Ales for this reason. Someone else I was with told me he got the same speech but it went on a lot longer. What an idiotic soapbox to invent and then rail away at night after night to customer after customer; sad, stupid and pathetic. Unless the Led Zeppelin reunion comes to Slim's and tickets are two dollars I will never set foot in this place again.
Cold Beer, Best Music Venue in Raleigh – I've been hitting Slim's off and on for two years now, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a more relaxed, unpretentious bar in Raleigh. If you're not into whatever band is playing, you can hang out on the back patio or head upstairs to shoot pool. The bartenders and regulars are friendly, too. Note: If you can't handle smoke, stay away.
A bar with stripped down essentials for people who like loud music. – In Short
It's rock-and-roll-friendly at Slim's. The music is bartender's choice--a Rolling Stones album, for instance, plays from start to finish at a volume that doesn't preclude conversation. Colorful light fixtures and wall hangings lend a creative vibe. There's a pool table upstairs, while seating out back provides an outdoor oasis on warm summer nights. Located on a quiet block of Wilmington Street, Slim's feels more ike a neighborhood joint than a stop on a Friday night bar hop.
Are you serious? – We rolled into this place late Saturday night hearing this was a cool, laid-back place to hang. WRONG. Apparently this is where all the record store clerks go after work. 25+ people standing around hitting on the one decent looking tatooed chick in there. Drinks were decent, not too expensive. A few minutes later a normal suburban-looking couple probably in their thirties walked in and was met with the evil eye by everybody in the place. The bouncer immediately came up and told them they had to be members to get in, which is funny since he didn't even check our IDs! I guess the rules only apply to uncool people. If I wanted to be in an elitist club, I would have joined a country club. There are a lot of other cool places to hang without having to worry about "membership".
GREAT PLACE – I've been hitting Slims off and on for about two months now, and it has become the favorite hangout with my friends. The drinks are great, service is great unles it is REALLY busy (which isn't THAT often), and it is a colorful mix of people (that is good, btw). It is the closest thing to a neighborhood bar I know, even if my neighborhood is 20mins or so away. Cool artwork too.
chill place – Slim's is one of the coolest bars in Raleigh. Yes, they will turn you away at the door if you're not either a member or with a member. [That's the law, with private bars, if you serve liquor, but don't serve food, you have to have private memberships. They'd get their liquor lisence revoked if they got caught letting in non-members.]
That being said, Slims is a great rock and roll bar. They are mostly a late night place (restaurant employees, etc.), so they won't get rockin' until 11 or midnite. The bartenders there are awesome (shoutout to Mikey, Carter, and Abe), and it's just a nice relaxing place to chill. Also, they never get packed. . . it's not a pack it in meatmarket like Hi-5 or Bogarts, it's easy to get a drink, and find conversation.
This Place is a Choke – I went there this past Saturday night right before 10 to get a drink and check it out since I heard it was a pretty cool place. When we walked in (4 of us) we were the only ones there who weren't employees. The bartender told us we had to be guests of someone to stay, and didn't even offer us the chance to become "members". We bolted and went to the only cool bar that's left in Raleigh, Havana. No place is too cool to turn away business.
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