The neighborhood dive continues to hold sway among Times readers in our annual survey of booze and bars. White Water Tavern, the storied Seventh Street watering hole, returns as the people's champ, taking home not only best bar, but top billing for best bar for live music and best dive. Meanwhile, Riverdale's favorite hangout, The Town Pump, scores five wins (for best bartender, best bar for games, best Bloody Mary, coldest beer and best happy hour) and four runners-up, which makes it the most broadly popular bar in town, according to our readers. What's the appeal? Jell-O shots and an encyclopedic memory of what regulars like to drink, Bernard Reed learns after spending an afternoon at the Town Pump with best bartender Loryn Smith. Elsewhere in the articles that follow, Lindsey Millar explores the places you go to buy booze you can't find anywhere else — the Capital Bar and Grill and Colonial Wines & Spirits — and David Koon discovers that being a bouncer in Little Rock is not at all like Patrick Swayze did it in "Road House."
White Water Tavern, Town Pump win big
Working bar security is no non-stop party, but it ain't for meatheads, either.
By David Koon
Loryn Smith is the readers' choice for best bartender.
By Bernard Reed
Capital Bar and Grill and Colonial Wines & Spirits are the twin pillars of local liquor culture.
By Lindsey Millar