Did you know there are more than 10 spots to grab a bite in the College Town area? After repeatedly catching glimpses of casual to fine dining restaurants and hearing recommendations from friends, I realized I was overdue in regards to exploring the area’s food and beverage scene. Until recently, my experience with the mixed-use district was mostly limited to working out my muscles at a Breathe yoga class; however, my February food crawl made the location just right to work out something else — my appetite.
To wet our whistles, I asked my friends Erin, Eve and Julie to meet up at The Beer Market (1401 Mt. Hope Ave.). While the establishment’s name may imply a grab-and-go destination, founder Greg Goodrich explains that it is much more. “Occasionally, some guests expect more of a store than a bar and eatery,” he says. “However, those guests are delighted time and time again to find out we are both a place you can dine in and enjoy an extensive selection of craft beers complemented by ‘good eats.’” And if time is of the essence, to-go selections are offered in the form of beer growlers, six-packs and food items.
The back entrance put me directly at the bar area, where the bartenders (one sporting a top that designated her as a “Beer Whisperer”) were busy working the extensive line of 50 beer taps. The main dining area reflected an energetic space with plenty of high top and communal wooden tables, flat screen televisions and a small stage where live music is played mostly on Fridays and Saturdays. While beer lovers will clearly be in their element given the almost 500 local, American and imported beers, craft ciders, cocktails and wines provided options to delight any taste preference.