The earliest, most primitive forms of jukeboxes were invented around the turn of the 20th century, coinciding with the start of the recording industry. The jukebox, as currently known, got its name and first came into widespread popularity in the U.S. in the 1940s. While the jukeboxes of today no longer have the same look or style of the classic Wurlitzer models, they still provide a way for bar and restaurant patrons to enjoy a soundtrack to their evening. The next time you and your friends head out to one of these Connecticut bars, bring extra change to program some great tunes.
Central Cafe
24 Whiting St.
Plainville, CT 06062
(860) 747-0405
www.centralcafect.com

Along with 14 HDTVs, arcade games and several pool tables, you’ll find a TouchTunes digital jukebox at Plainville’s neighborhood hangout, Central Cafe. The jukebox is equipped with thousands of current and classic rock, pop and country hits, and it is the only digital jukebox to carry the Beatles’ songs. Central Cafe hosts DJ trivia on Wednesday and karaoke on Saturday. Non-musical attractions include mouth-watering wings in over three-dozen styles and flavors and Hummel hot dog platters.

Friends Cafe
15 N. Liberty St.
Southington, CT 06489
(860) 426-1020
www.friendscafect.com

With its simple but modern decor and amiable staff and clientele, this Southington bar is indeed friendly and inviting. Friends Cafe also has a large dance floor perfect for moving to the latest jams playing on the digital jukebox. Test your musical knowledge and get a chance to win prizes by playing a few rounds of jukebox bingo on Wednesdays or DJ Trivia on Thursdays. Friends has over fifteen beers on tap, with local craft brews represented, and has one of the most impressive martini selections in the area.

Club Eldorado
24 Isaac St.
Norwalk, CT 06850
(203) 299-0083
www.eldoradonorwalk.com

You can dance the night away at Club Eldorado, a Latin nightclub and lounge. The jukebox is stocked with a range of Spanish music genres along with an assortment of popular hits. While you’re listening, try one of Eldorado’s great South and Central American specialties, like pollo saltado, paella marinera or bistec encebollado, and one of its Mexican beers. The club also brings in DJs and live bands on most weekends.

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Towne Billiards & Bar
17 Marne St.
Hamden, CT 06514
(203) 281-7665
www.townebilliards.com

For over twenty years, one of the top spots in the state for shooting pool has been Towne Billiards & Bar. In addition to its 18 Brunswick Gold Crown tables, Towne Billiards & Bar also has a TouchTunes jukebox with its deep catalogs of songs from hundreds of artists. You can even access the jukebox using your smartphone (there is free wi-fi), allowing you to program your favorite tracks even if you are in the middle of a game. Towne Billiards also has several dart boards, flat screens and a full bar that serves a number of specialty cocktails.

Hoops And Hops
1185 Hopmeadow St.
Simsbury, CT 06070
(860) 651-3334
www.antoniosofsimsbury.com/hoops

Located behind Antonio’s in Simsbury, Hoops and Hops is an always lively sports bar. If you love classic rock, you’ll find nearly all the genre’s most essential albums, among many others, on its jukebox. Hoops and Hops always runs fun, food and drink specials inspired by holidays and notable dates in history and has several dozen brews bottled or on tap. Recent additions to the bar’s selection of games and activities are bubble hockey and keno.

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Joshua Palmes is a freelance writer covering all things Connecticut. His work can be found on Examiner.com.