The diversity of the population in Fresno’s West Side has led not only to an abundance of authentic cultural cuisine, but also a wide variety of activities. This can hardly be more evident than in the city’s bar scene. Everyone has a different take on the local bar, with features ranging from arcade games to a pool hall to live music. Here’s a list of our 10 favorites.
With a couple TVs, an incredible selection of drinks, movie nights, board games, and a cool atmosphere, Das Bierhaus is the perfect place to hang out with friends or even make new ones! The owner is a beer enthusiast – she home-brews and she is a member of the local home-brew club. She and the bartenders know a lot about beers and breweries, and love to share their knowledge. If you want snacks to go with your drinks, though, you’ll have to bring them yourself.
Just south of the city college lies Spokeasy Public House, a small low-key bar with bicycle decor and some of the best craft beer in the Tower District and Fresno. They have such a wide selection of beers that there is barely enough space for all of them on the menu boards, and they keep adding more to it! The bartenders are very knowledgable and friendly, and they’ll be happy to recommend drinks or let you try samples. In addition, there is an arcade in the back filled with old games for you to play, and they also sell their own T-shirts and sweatshirts.
Not only does LeLa’s Restaurant have an award winning wine list sourced from select vintners throughout both California and the world, they also have an exquisite farm to table menu that pairs excellently with the wines. Chef Manny Carr, whose grandmother inspired the name of the restaurant, offers contemporary and classic dishes as well as seasonal specialties, all with vibrant flavors. Some popular dishes include the pork chop and the deconstructed drumstick dessert. Ask your server which wines pair best with which dishes.
Walk into the Manhattan Steakhouse and Bar, and right away you’ll hear Frank Sinatra playing or a jazz band in the corner. You can sit at a table in the restaurant if you’re in the mood for a steak, or you can take a seat at the bar, where you’ll find a wide selection of quality liquor and wines as well as unique and delicious appetizers. You can get interesting dishes like a peach, prosciutto and goat cheese flatbread or portabella mushroom fries or watermelon salad to go with your wine or beer. Everything is top quality and made with the freshest ingredients.
At The Break Room, the largest pool hall in Fresno, not only can you play endless games of pool with your friends, but you also have access to a huge selection of beers and great food. There is even a jukebox so you can play your favorite songs. They have weekly specials like a Ladies Night, when all women can play billiards for free, and a day when all members of the military get a free table for themselves and their friends. There are also tournaments held every so often, in which the winning team can win thousands of dollars.
For over half a century, Lime Lite has provided Fresno with fine dining and great drinks. The bartenders will make your favorite cocktail for you just the way you like it, or even mix your own exotic recipe with their wide variety of high quality beverages and ingredients. They also have premium selections of wine to complement a meal in the restaurant. Every Wednesday evening, also known as “Wine Not” Wednesdays, you can get a 20 percent discount off of regular prices on any wine. On “Bar Snacks” Saturdays, you can get a free chili dog and fries with the purchase of any bar drink between 11:30am and 2:30pm.
If you come to Fat Boys Taqueria and Sports Bar to watch a game or fight night, it will be packed with people, beer buckets, and food. Any other day, people still love to hang out at the bar for its popular drinks like the cucumber martini, the tacos, the foosball table, and the live band. They also have karaoke on Thursday nights, a jukebox, pool tables, and dancing. It’s a fun place for sports fans, families, and Mexican food lovers alike.
Next door to the Italian restaurant Frankie 568 sits Bourbon & Taps, a classy establishment with a cool atmosphere, friendly staff, and over 100 bourbons at a great price. Most people love to order food from next door and bring it over to the bar to enjoy with their drinks. A popular choice is the New Fashioned, an updated and lighter version of the Old Fashioned. The owner can sometimes be seen around the bar, and he really cares about customer satisfaction as well as supporting local businesses and artists.
At High Sierra Grill House, you can choose from their list of exquisite wines and handcrafted microbrews to pair with tasty items from their extensive menu including everything from barbecue pulled pork to seafood to salads. Some popular menu items include the tri-tip sandwich, the clam chowder, and the hand-rolled taquitos. You can also watch sports games on any of the many TVs around the restaurant. High Sierra Grill loves sports so much that they often cater tailgates, too!
In the Mural Arts District of Fresno, Fulton 55 hosts live music and entertainment provided by local and touring acts, where visitors can get up close and personal with the artists while enjoying cocktails from the bars. Each month, they hold an art hop event, where they feature art from a local artist with a DJ and no cover fee before 9pm. They also have a Motown night, comedy events, and “industry night” every Sunday with a variety of drink specials. Friday and Saturday nights usually have the most live bands performing.