“As we plunge into the snow-filled season, it is vital to find a cozy place to hibernate. Basically, that means finding a comfortable, familiar spot to drink yourself into a deep sleep. There are a few locations on the west side of Akron known as Highland Square.””
As we plunge into the snow-filled season, it is vital to find a cozy place to hibernate. Basically, that means finding a comfortable, familiar spot to drink yourself into a deep sleep.
There are a few locations on the west side of Akron known as Highland Square. For some, it is already a treasured home to get away from home, because we all know how claustrophobic the holidays can get. However, for others it is a section of town they have never explored or experienced.
Luckily, a couple of bars have already been decorated for the holiday season.
One of these is an old standby among the Highland Square crowd. The new owner of Annabell’s Lounge recently installed a new sound system and repainted the whole bar.
The drink prices are as fair as any bar around with $1.50 pints and a shot called the I.R.A Protestant for $5, which is something you need to experience to believe.
The staple of the bar, though, is its constant musical entertainment. Bands play four nights out of the week, and on Wednesdays you can get an $8 bottle of wine while listening to an acoustic act.
This fits the crowd at Annabell’s, as head bartender T.J. Masterson described it as, hippies rubbing elbows with punks and businessmen, which holds true considering the weekend lineup of acts. On Friday, The headliner is Co-Conspirator, which has a Primus sound, and then Saturday night’s headliner, Rue, who is said to be very, very, very, metal.
Although the owner has made some improvements, it still has the same feel as that alternative lounge tavern that everyone has come to know and love; even the basement bar still feels the same with the new paint and refurbished ceiling.
The formula of live music, a good atmosphere and inspiring prices will assure this venue’s continued survival of good times.
On the same sidewalk as Annabell’s, a newcomer to the Highland area is Ray’s Pub. Opening officially only last month, Ray’s has transformed what was once known as The Bucket into a shining example of what a neighborhood bar should be.
The crowd has not changed much and neither has the attitude of the place, but Ray has put in an all new interior. A Foosball table, dartboard and plenty of high-definition televisions increase the warmth of the bar during the winter months.
The only remaining piece of The Bucket is the bar and the wood-finished coolers, from which you can acquire a tasty domestic beverage for only $1 on Thursday nights from 8-9 during Ray’s power hour.
The cooler is just one step owner Ray Nemer is taking so he can keep the old Bucket memories, while trying to build some new ones along the way.
In case you are wondering, Ray is the son of Manny Nemer who owns Manny’s Pub on Exchange Street.
Starting this Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m., the national 97-second Wing-Eating Contest starts, with a grand prize of a $50 bar tab for six months or $100 for three months being awarded on December 27, and to soothe the sting of those hot wings, there are $1.50 Miller Lite bottles during the contest.
Also, Ray’s has a happy hour from 3 to 7 p.m with $1.50 bottles everyday of the week. This is just another way, as Ray said, that he is trying to add my own touch to things.
With all these improvements to the area, everyone will surely be dreaming of a merry Christmas.
Now, if you hear such a racket coming from Highland Square, do not be alarmed. It is just the happy, holiday-spirit-laden folks adjourning from these sanctuaries in the coldest, but most joyful season of the year.