The Pine Bar

It’s that special time of the year for sports fans. Even as temperatures hover above 90 degrees, there are slivers of fall in the air. Excitement is building all across the nation as team lineups solidify, old rivalries are rekindled, and places that haven’t seen a championship team in decades begin to dream. Others dare to dream of a repeat.

We are talking, of course, about the impending baseball playoffs. Yes, we know that it’s football season. And we’re plenty into that too. But the Braves are making a bit of a run this year, what with their young Say Hey Kid, super slugging catcher, retiring old school Hall of Fame manager, and killer closer. They just got Derrek Lee off the Cubs! Omar Infante’s looking for a batting title! It’s been a long time since we were this into a Braves team, and we were heartened to see that the Pine Bar over in Old Cloverdale was telling all its hundreds of Facebook fans to come on over for some baseball on big screen high def TVs.

Last week, we did just that, watching the Braves beat the Mets in the cool comfort of what’s got to be one of Montgomery’s best bars. It’s non-smoking, which we love (but there are lots of tables outside for our smoking friends or people just enjoying a cool evening). The bar and tables within are made from reclaimed pine, finished to a smooth and luxurious shine — perfect for resting a drink on while you watch baseball, or football, or just make small talk.

The bartenders know what they’re talking about and can talk about the hops content of various limited-run beers while pouring you a mixed-drink from the well-stocked bar. While there, we were offered the chance to sample a new item we’ve never tried before, a cocktail mixed with elderflower syrup. Was it amazing? Not really. It was fair. But it’s fun to try new things and to talk to bartenders who know a lot about their trade.

Sure, the Pine Bar may close earlier than some places (people live upstairs, so after 11 p.m. it’s not cool to be drinking and talking loudly right underneath them), but it’s got a great selection of delicious beers or tap and in the bottle. Also, they have music most Saturday nights. We’ve been in there before when it’s full with people chatting and nodding their heads to a great jazz trio. And if you’re so inclined, you can get there via the city’s Entertainment Trolley – maybe making it one of several stops in a night on the town. With the Village Kitchen opening in the space next door (where Nancy Paterson’s used to be), Old Cloverdale continues to be a good place for a night on the town.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with a cat, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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