Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

Business Spotlight: Imbibe and Zog's Pool Hall & Art Bar

If you are looking for adult sophistication in drinks and entertainment on the east side of downtown, step through the white door at 108 Henderson Street into the world of Imbibe, a recently opened pub just off East Franklin Street.  Here you will find live jazz, classic silent movies with a live original piano score, jam sessions (bring your guitar), mimes and comics – virtually every evening is an adventure.

Imbibe specializes in craft beers, such as Gizmo from Raleigh and Abita Peach Lager from Lousiana. Imported German beers include Marzen from the famous Weihenstepha Brewery.  With 16 taps and free Friday evening tastings, as well as carefully selected wines, Imbibe is the place to discover interesting alternatives to the usual choices on East Franklin Street.

The bar food is equally upscale.  Imbibe makes authentic New Orleans gumbo from scratch.  The muffuletta, using bread imported from Italian markets in New Orleans, is an indulgent spread of olive salad, ham, salami, and provolone cheese.  Pork skins are made fresh to order and served hot.

If you prefer stiffer libations and a more animated style of fun, enter the adjacent yellow door and venture upstairs to Zog’s Pool Hall & Art Bar, under the same ownership but entirely different in atmosphere.  Here the New Orleans heritage of owner Mandey Brown is strongly in evidence.  You may think you have entered a French Quarter dive bar, full of old wood and the warm glow of antique lamps, the walls rich in history.  Games are everywhere: dart boards, pool tables, and the addictive game of skeeball that challenges you, for a quarter, to roll or toss wooden balls into ever narrower circles ringing up higher scores.

At Zog’s, Mandey, a member of the Chapel Hill Art Commission, displays the work of local artists.  Both Imbibe and Zog’s are venues on the 2nd Friday ArtWalk. Talk to Mandey if you would like a venue for your own artistic efforts, or come to Zog’s to see the interesting works that lesser-known local talent is producing.  Your dog is welcome to accompany you, and be sure to try skeeball.

By guest blogger Jarrett L.