Raleigh >The Borough
Cool place but thank God for upcoming smoke ban!. The Borough should be the poster child for why NC needed the smoking ban. I still wonder why the owners didn't voluntarily go smoke-free from the beginning... were they brain-dead or just stuck in the 50s?? But thankfully, after January 2, 2010, I can start going back to this otherwise great bar and enjoy their fantastic drinks and food!
Best Bar In Raleigh!. The Borough is probably my favorite place in Raleigh. The bar is inviting and the food is delicious (although I'm sad that they got rid of the Vizzini, which was my favorite). Their drinks menu features kitschy drinks with out-there ingredients, and I've never met a person who hated the PomBR--but they also have an extensive beer and wine list. I've never had a bad experience here.
Wonderful Downtown Urban Pub. The Borough is a wonderful downtown urban pub. If "Cheers" could come to Raleigh then The Borough would be it. Always welcoming and inviting, the staff, was voted the best bar staff in Wake County by The Independent Weekly. The prices are really modest for this location for both food and drink. The Brute is a mouth watering hamburger which is marinated prior to grilling and served with crispy onions on a delicious bun. I love the "Dizzy's Bent Trumpet" which is a salad prepared with pears and pistachio nuts.
plus: cheese sandwich, the Smattering appetizer, roast beef au jus.. all the food is great, can't go wrong probably with anything on food or drink menu.
minus: smoke--- thankfully that won't be an issue as of jan 2/2009 . we'll get to gleefully watch the smokers freeze their a**es off as we sit comfortably inside, thanks to NC's new anti-smoking bill.
minus: service.. there have been lightly-attended weeknights where I swear either we're sitting in a table that nobody realizes belongs to 'their' section, or we've done something to horribly upset one or more servers as everyone on staff blithely flits, desperate to not make eye contact with us
Funky and Fun, but Smoke-Filled.
The Borough has a casual yet sophisticated atmosphere, and the clientele is a cross-section of eclectic Raleigh's hippest and funkiest . The small menu is surprisingly varied with several delicious vegetarian entrees.
I'd like to patronize the Borough more; however, each time I have been there the place has been FULL of cigarette smoke. I find it an odd juxtaposition that a place with such a healthy menu is not smoke free - particular for a small restaurant of this size. The size of the restaurant pretty much dictates that if anyone is smoking, everyone is second-hand smoking. After my visit last night, I had to strip down at the door, toss my smoke-saturated clothes in the wash, and take a shower to get rid of the smoke smell that permeated my clothes and hair.
Great food & fun staff!. This is my new favorite hangout! They have a great menu that they serve all night - it is really reasonably priced & they have a good amount of vegetarian options - homemade veggieburger, vegetarian soup, grilled cheese & tomato sandwich (with the tomato bisque is awesome!), but my meat-eating friends are always happy with what they find too! And I?ve never had to wait to be seated. I?ve always found the staff fun and attentive (even when it?s busy). They have a full bar & PBR on tap for $2. I love hanging out there for dinner after work or a drink late at night.
A "Cheers" finally in Raleigh. I have decided that I need to tell people in Raleigh about special finds. This, The Borough, is one of those special finds. The establishment now on its second year has proven its sustainability. As a matter of fact, finally after ten years of living in Raleigh, I have found a neighborhood bar where you can trust the food, the drinks, and the atmosphere. I feel safe and always welcome here. Consistency is a trademark for Liz, the bar?s owner. She is very good at ensuring there is always a new beer on tap, or the consistency of her staff and their product. I know exactly what I am going to get when I order it, and most of the time, the staff can even anticipate my order by suggesting the new hoppy beer added to the drink list. It is a fun neighborhood bar, where the staff is very aware of Raleigh happenings and tries to ensure their constituents are happily attended to. Just as Farther and Son has become a downtown Raleigh retail staple, The Borough is in it?s genesis of being tapped the Raleigh downtown eatery and neighborhood bar.
Cool Atmosphere; All Around Good.. The Borough has that all around cool atmosphere that makes it perfect for an after-work drink, happy hour with friends, quick dinner, or late night hang-out on the weekends. The aesthetic is trendy yet warm and inviting. The food is solidly tasty. And, the wait staff is reliably great. I'm sure the staff has an occasional off night, but every time I've been there I've been impressed. The owner and her staff will often shout a greeting as you walk in the door, giving it an intimate quality that makes it an excellent candidate for your new "regular", neighborhood bar.
The Borough is Great; The bartenders, well....
I was reading reviews of downtown restaurants, I love the Borough but I know what you mean about the bartenders, I saw Shmitty chase down a customer one night, she literally ran down the street after them. I would have been so angry I would have thought about suing them. The customer had paid the other person at the bar. While I sat at the bar, they're so busy talking back and forth with people they don't know all of what's going on and it shows.
Still, the Borough is great. The bartenders just need to be organized and act with class
I like it but there's always a problem every time I go.. I'm 36. I do look young but not under 21 young. Liz at The Borough does. She honestly thinks I have a fake ID. I would think after so many visits (I'm there at least every other week) she would finally know me. Last Sunday I was there with a friend, 10 years younger. He didn't get carded- I got quizzed. She also knows a lot of people I know. This past Sunday she pulled and tugged at the plastic. It's honestly getting frustrating; this last time I went I literally was embarrassed because of it. She could be more tactful. Instead I had other people sitting at the bar joking about it. It's a shame because it's a great place, the food is good and the atmosphere is great. I like The Borough but I'm going to have to think hard about going again since I'm tired of the inquisition and the lack of tact.
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