Thursday, July 31, 2014

Let's get a drink!

After a long drive into town, a busy day shopping and exploring, or after an hour of being cooped up in a hotel room, who doesn't want to get out and sit down for a drink?

What’s your “go to” concoction? A Jack and Coke or an Apple Martini? Something dry or something fruity? What about locally brewed beers? I’m a Merlot lady, myself.

If you don’t know your way around, no worries! We’ve put together the ultimate guide to drinks and happy hours in Ruston and Lincoln Parish!

At the top of the list is Sundown Tavern. Located downtown and known for its laid back atmosphere, Sundown has been a local hot spot since 1975. Sit at the bar and visit with their friendly bartenders or take a seat outside on the patio and enjoy the unique d├ęcor. Try award winning Bloody Mary (voted Best of the Delta!) or a Fresh Mint Mojito.

Red Wine Sangria
Portico Bar & Grill of Ruston
Next is Portico Bar & Grill. It’s another great place to sit and sip. Tuesday nights are 2 for 1 Pint Nights and Happy Hour is from 4 p.m. til 7 p.m. Stop in for $4 wells and $1 off draft beers. Or beat the Louisiana heat with a guest favorite – the Red Wine Sangria made with red wine, brandy, cranberry juice, pomegranate juice, Sprite and fresh fruit. I’ll take a pitcher, please! Portico also offers outdoor seating with refreshing cool-air misters and live music on the weekends.

Around the Louisiana Tech campus? Stop into the Dawghouse. They’ve been in business for twenty years and have earned a reputation for tasty food and great drinks. Play a game of pool or darts while you’re there, or check out any number of sporting events on their thirteen TV’s. They have a large selection of bottled and keg beers. They also carry premium liquors and can whip up anything your heart desires. And there is always something new to try with their seasonal beers!

And of course, there’s Ponchatoulas. Also located downtown right next to Sundown Tavern, Ponchatoulas is a Cajun/Creole restaurant with a great bar featuring daily specials. Try the Bob Marley, the layered martini made with vodka, rum, melon liqueur, pineapple and cranberry juice. They also serve locally brewed beer like Abita and Great Raft. And of course if you get a little hungry, their menu includes burgers, gumbo, seafood and more. And I get the white chocolate bread pudding with my wine. Try it; it’s fantastic.

The Bob Marley

Also on the list is another restaurant with great bar and drink options. RAW, located in Downtown Ruston, serves a variety of wines, Saki and mixed drinks alongside their delicious sushi and Japanese cuisine.  

Beau Vines & the Revelry

Beau Vines and the Revelry are a great combination for fine dining and specialty spirits. Beau Vines offers an extensive wine list that guarantees something for everyone. Try one of their specialty drinks like the “manly, yet smooth as honey” Honeycomb made with Maker’s Mark, local honey and served on the rocks. Their counterpart – The Revelry is a more laid back “bar and grill” atmosphere. It’s the ideal place to grab a few beers and catch some live music. Check out the Revelry’s calendar for upcoming shows.

Trust a local on the right place to go!

“I really enjoy Ponchatoulas because of the great Cajun food they work hard to cook and provide by a very friendly staff. Not to mention the wide variety of local brew, my favorite being Abita Andygator on tap! Nice people, good location and great food and beverages! I highly recommend!” – Joey S.

“Dawghouse is the place to be. Play some pool, throw some darts. They have awesome burgers and plenty of beer.” – Lee R.

“RAW is a great place to grab cocktails with the girls. The location is ideal, very trendy and upscale, and the staff is friendly.” – Jessica E.

“I love Beau Vines. Go in, get a great steak, then walk over to the Revelry for some beers and live music. The Justin Moore show out on the outdoor stage was incredible. It’s one of my favorite places to go.” – Jeffery C.

Amanda Quimby is a native of Franklin Parish, a University of Louisiana at Monroe alumna and now a proud Ruston resident. As the marketing director for the CVB, she has an love for travel and tourism, and the coolest job ever. Amanda’s favorite things: coffee, wine and swing jazz. When she’s not working, ...just kidding. She’s always working. Follow her on Instagam and Twitter.