Atwater's neighborhood watering hole Village Tavern has arrived toting avocado fries and a rotation of local craft beers to wash them down with. Nestled on the main strip of Glendale Boulevard, the pub is bringing specialty margaritas and Mexican barbecue—as in smoke brisket, grilled chicken and pulled pork—to the heart of the Eastside. This local tavern taps the neighborhood hipster vibe with exposed brick walls, industrial lighting and the ubiquitous communal table lining the front patio. Catch the latest sports game on either of the flat screens at the ever crowded bar, while the bartender mans drinks like an old pro. You may feel like you’ve stepped into a hodge-podge between a trendy Silver Lake hotspot and a sports bar—perhaps because patrons look like they’ve either walked out of an American Apparel ad or belong to a Harley Davidson biker gang—but drinks are skillfully mixed and the beer selection locally curated.
Good for: Groups on the hunt for a neighborhood bar that knows their local craft beers and tequila. Bar grub boasts a take on Mexican barbeque fusion—we like the pulled pork tacos ($10) and the crazy cob ($4) slathered in the house guacamole sauce and cotija cheese—that expertly pairs with the selection of margaritas.
The scene: Locals that want a nearby enclave to catch the game, nosh on quesadillas and socialize post-work in groups of 20’s and 30’s sprinkled with the occasional bearded rough-and-tumble barfly.
The playlist: Low-level music bumps a mix of old-school hits from Outkast and classics from the King of Pop. The tunes keep in tone with the bar's social vibe and reflect whatever the bartender taps their toe to.
The bartender says: Ask the bartender to whip you up a margarita ($10) with a splash of Damiana—an aphrodisiac liqueur used in lieu of Triple Sec—poured from a bottle reminiscent of a Botticelli painting that’s sure to get you in the mood.
Drink this: While there's an obligatory wine list to fill the gap, locals line-up for a taste of any number of the dozen craft brews on tap. From Golden Road's Hefeweisen ($6) to Monkfish Brewing Co's Oblate ($7), the rotating selection will stave off boozy boredom and wet the neighborhood’s whistle.