It’s official, Hopscotch is upon us, and 2016’s lineup is so lit that you’ll be talking about it until next festival season. However, most of the venues wrap up at around 12:30am, which leaves you with about an hour-and-a-half of prime party time in the Oak City. There are plenty of places to keep the party poppin’, but check out these spots to make sure that you really end the night right.
Level Up Kitchen & Barcadium
126 S. Salisbury St.
Yes, there is another bigger barcade in Raleigh at Boxcar, but everyone from the age of 21 to 35 knows about it and goes to it. Therefore it’s always packed, and sometimes isn’t even fun. Enter, Level Up Kitchen & Barcadium which is right off Fayetteville Street, in prime bar hopping territory. They’ve got all the classic standup arcade games from your childhood, and seldom do you have to do battle with drunken frat boys to play. On top of that, they have a bangin’ menu and a great selection of craft beers. Boxcar has a crappy food cart outside, with chicken shwarma that tastes like dysentery, not what you need after a night of raging to dope music. Need a lil break from games? Downstairs from Level Up is a taco bar by the same owners, that serves up fresh and delicious creations folded into tortillas, and one of the best damned margaritas in the Triangle.
237 S. Wilmington St.
This place is all class, and is the perfect spot to just unwind at the end of the night. If you’ve had enough of the screaming crowds of Hopscotch, and want to duck into a spot for a nice quiet drink, Fox’s is your unparalleled destination. This is one of Ashley Christensen’s creations, so you know the drink list is on point. They specialize in craft cocktails made by real and competent bartenders. Your wait time for a drink will be a little longer than your average meat market bar, but what you get at the end of the wait is a real treat. If you’re a Long Island Ice Tea enthusiast, you won’t get this place, so don’t bother; but if you can appreciate a perfect Woodford Manhattan with burnt orange, stirred and served up, this is where you need to be.
414 Fayetteville St.
Ruby Deluxe is great if you’re looking for a cool dive bar. There’s a rumor that it’s a gay bar (which it’s not), so it keeps the obnoxious frat boys at their end of Fayetteville St. at Capital City Tavern. If Hopscotch got you feeling like you need to dance the rest of the night away, hit up this spot. The DJs who work here are prime, and are some of Raleigh’s most respected, including DJ Luxe Posh, WKNC alum DJ Sami Automatic, and Kooley High’s DJ Ill Digitz. Drinks are inexpensive as well. Cheap drinks? Good music? Nuff said.
****Bonus Brunch Spot****
Beasley’s Chicken & Honey
237 S. Wilmignton St.
More like Chicken & Money. Bruh…. This place kills. That girl Ashley Christensen goes in on this place! They serve brunch on Saturday and Sunday, and if Hopscotch mornings have you feeling like a mere mortal in the face of alcohol’s side effects, Beasley’s will get you back to flexing like Yeezus on some “I Am a God,” sh**! It should be mandatory to order their chicken & waffles, and their pimento mac & cheese seriously makes you want to smack someone it’s so good. Wash it down with an old school glass bottle RC Cola or Nehi orange soda, or even a mimosa, and get back out there to tackle Hopscotch.
–DJ Iron Mic