Hugo's and Ye Old Watering Hole: AVOID THESE PLACES
What ever happened to customer service? It doesn't exist in these places.
If you like slithering into a hole-in-the-wall dive then this is the place for you. The woman that runs Hugos is a total hag and a ***. She thinks the world should kiss her ass just because she runs a bar. Oh, and expect to double tip for the terrible service.
My recollection of Ye Old Wateing Hole is that it is-a hole. (Use you imagination). The female bartenders resemble crack whores. Both places are filthy, disgusting and they stink. There are better places to go in Northampton.
People are generally stuck up and obnoxious at these places. Why? I don't know. It's not like there that great to begin with. Apparently if you don't blend in with the click of bar-skaggs you don't fit in. Good riddens to you people anyway.
Dress Code: The "dress code" seems to be looking as dumpy and dirty as possible. And girls you don't have to shave under your arms here. Deodorant is optional here too.
Moan and Dove: Beer, beer, beer!
The Moan and Dove was the reason for our trip out to Amherst/Northampton, since it was voted number one on beeradvocate.com's 2006 list of the "Top 50 Places to Have a Beer", and we're big fans of the second-placed location, The Publick House.
On the negative side, the Moan and Dove is obviously something of a trek unless you're from the area, and since it's not located downtown (it's at an intersection a couple of miles south of Amherst, at what is to all intents and purposes a country crossroads), you are more or less obligated to drive here, or else make an advance appointment with a local cab service. In addition, to our great surprise they don't serve any food at all here (except for a large barrel of - delicious - peanuts), which is again surprising given the out-of-the-way location (you'd imagine that more than a few people have driven home when they shouldn't). They do allow you to bring in takeout from the nearby establishments (a pizzeria and a Chinese restaurant).
More positively, they do have an excellent beer selection, with some extremely unusual choices on tap: the night we dropped in, they had options like a Cantillon gueuze, a German smoke beer, a Weissebock and an English bitter, among many other selections (the gueuze got very high marks: it's one of the best beers you'll ever try!). They also have an extensive selection of bottles, but quite a few of them were sold out: while they do have a board listing the bottles that are sold out, it's in a dark corner out of sight of the bar, and we felt that they should simply re-print the menus a bit more often rather than carrying many names that aren't in stock (to his credit, though, the barman gave us some excellent alternative recommendations at times, including one beer which we probably would never have spotted). The bar itself is fairly small, and very convivial, with nice booths and a good crowd.
The drinking establishments of Northampton, MA: The Bars as I See Them
The Tunnel: Bring your wallet. Martini's, leather arm chairs and a rounded ceiling. And, they microwave the bowls of nuts to warm them up.
The Toasted Owl: sports bar w/ spicey ketchup
Silk City: known for their hot dogs. Pool.
Silk Road: Tragically hip. Impossible to mix up with Silk City.
Tully O'Reilly's ( previously City Cafe): cop bar during the day; drunk jocks at night. DJ.
The Elevens ( previously Harry's): lots of live music and a little bit of pool.
Hugo's: I spent my 20's in Hugo's. Cheap drinks. Some pool. Nice folks. Good juke box.
Ye' Old Watering Hole: Don't leave your drink alone. Pool and fooz-ball and darts. Good juke box.
Packards: Even more of a cop bar than Tully's. Ladies- watch yourselves walking up to the second level- the boys sit under the stairs on purpose. Pool and darts and pinball. Good munchies.
Joe's: As old school Northampton as you could possibly get.
Silent Cal's: horrible acoustics.
The Office: a fantastic hidden jem. I won't tell you where it is- you must earn your way to it.
The Basement: lots of music. low ceiling. quaint.
Dress Code: yes, please wear clothes.
- Gay and Lesbian
- Road Trip
- Beer Tasting
Okay, western Mass is not...
Okay, western Mass is not known for its nightlife and Northampton is no exception. There are a couple of clubs -- Pearl Street and a bar/dance place called City Cafe. Stick to the lowkey bars and cafes though if you're used to clubs in larger cities.
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