Few venues provide as much opportunity for fun and letting one’s hair down as bars and pubs. The variety in this list runs the gamut from the ultra-modern and trendy to the more casual old-time, laid-back tavern. Pick one for your next birthday bash.
270 Sisson Ave.
Hartford, CT 06105
This self-described “European Beer Bar Irish Gastro-Pub” serves the best “craic” in town. Confident in its own attraction, it laughs off the parking shortage in the area with the saying: “If you can’t find parking, you ain’t tirsty,” in a home-grown Irish accent. And the daily drink specials between $2 to $3 are hard to resist. Entertainment is provided frequently by musical guests. See if a band is playing around your birthday to add an additional component to the party.
165 Adams St.
Manchester, CT 06042
This 130-year-old renovated paper mill, restored with an eye to its original charm, is one of the sophisticated go-to venues for that memorable birthday or other celebration. Known as “the home of the birthday meal,” its gift is a free dinner for the birthday celebrant. The full-service lunch and dinner menus offer extensive options. Dine in the private and semi-private areas of the restaurant or celebrate a super-size birthday in the Waverly Banquet Room with up to 180 guests.
220 Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457
First & Last Tavern offers the quintessential experience of an Italian family-owned restaurant. Its simple philosophy of “Pizza, Pasta, Ambiance” offers a true welcome and superior Italian cuisine in a casual, yet unique atmosphere. A diverse drink selection and menu that includes “pastas, salads and gourmet brick oven pizzas make First & Last the perfect destination for quieter diners favoring quality food, modest prices and excellent service.” It will provide a birthday cake if advised in advance.
120 Hebron Ave.
Glastonbury, CT 06033
Rooftop 120 boasts that it is New England’s largest four-season rooftop sports bar. Its multiple seating areas, including the enclosed river-rock bar, the sky deck by the fire pit, an outdoor patio and the fine-dining lounge, have certainly brought a much needed trendy late-night dining and social venue to the quiet town of Glastonbury. This vibrant hot spot provides a sophisticated, casual fine-dining experience, accompanied by a wide variety of spirits, wine, beer and specialty cocktails, surrounded by stunning 360-degree views. Happy hour is every weekday from 5 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. and the calendar of events is chock-full with live music and rooftop happenings. It will organize specialty cakes and desserts for special occasions.
904 Farmington Ave.
West Hartford, CT 06119
For a bar/restaurant that is open only four nights a week, the Shish Lounge sure packs in a lot of action. From Swing Dance Wednesdays with lessons starting at 8 p.m. to Latin Thursdays and DJ Dance Nights on Fridays and Saturdays, there are few that beat its liveliness, color, music and general ambiance of frenetic fun. The food does not disappoint either. The small plate specials, especially those with a Middle Eastern flavor, are exotic and swoon-worthy.