Your Guide to the Downtown Winston-Salem Bar Scene
It can be a little overwhelming determining how and where to kick off your night out in Downtown Winston-Salem! The Camel City holds many surprises, but one we love is the dynamic and culturally rich bar scene. From Fair Witness on one side of 4th street all the way down to Gatsby’s on Burke Street, you can tailor your night out in many different ways to match the vibe you are shooting for. In this article we will walk you through some of the best bar crawls that you need to add to the queue for your future night out.
Updated: October 2021
Fourth Street Marathon:
If you are looking for a straight shot string of bars, 4th street is the place to go. To kick off this marathon night out, set your sights on Fair Witness Fancy Drinks, right on the corner of 4th and Patterson Avenue. Fair Witness is the best spot to relax with a well-crafted cocktail, a great atmosphere, amazing bartenders, and a fire pit and patio you could sit at for hours. Once you finish your drink, head up Fourth Street to the Thirsty Pallet or Tate’s Craft Cocktails. The clientele at Thirsty Pallet is typically an older crowd but it always has good energy. Tate’s skews to a younger clientele with great music, fun mixed drinks, and string lights that make the perfect background to every photo. Your next stop on this night out (remember it is a marathon, not a sprint) is the trifecta of Bulls Tavern, Recreation Billiards, and Bar La Chingada. Bulls is always a great choice for live music and dancing, and truly represents the spirit of the original Winston-Salem scene. Recreation Billiards houses two pool tables and a hidden secret downstairs…another bar, Whiskey Box! With three dartboards and a great speakeasy vibe, this duo is a great choice. Finally, for the last drink of the night head to the brand new Bar La Chingada. Described as a lounge bar that hosts great events throughout the week this is the perfect setting to drink your nightcap before you head home!
Burke Street Sweep:
If you are looking for variety, the Burke Street Sweep should be your choice! Begin your night feeling like the year is 1925 at Joyner’s Bar. The décor is incredible, the bartenders very skilled, and the music pumping makes this a great place to get your spirits high! Then, walk down Burke Street toward the Vintage Sofa Bar. With a pool table, many sofas, and a great cocktail selection, the Vintage sofa bar is the perfect place to post up and have a conversation. Next, head down the street to Burke Street Pub, a large, two-level bar. With multiple games to entertain you and your friends, you can get ready to head across the street for karaoke. To end your night, head into Gatsby’s Pub and sing your heart out to Bohemian Rhapsody!
West End Night Out:
For a low-key night head to the three bars in West End off of Reynolda Road, The Tap, West End Opera House, or WEHO for short, and Bar NOLA. The Tap is known for its welcoming and relaxing atmosphere as well as its iconic porch that looks over West End. WEHO is a long-standing local establishment that transports you to the old west. The saloon feel, good drinks, and comfy seats make this a great place to play some darts and relax on your night off. Bar NOLA is a New Orleans-themed themed bar offering specialty cocktails, games, a dartboard, and a fun environment.
The Dash Duo:
If you are looking to catch a drink before you head over to a Dash game or looking to celebrate a Dash Win, head on over to Whiskey Dogs off of Brookstown Ave and Second & Green Tavern on North Green Street. Whiskey Dogs is a crowd favorite and hosts some great DJs, while Second & Green Tavern is an older crowd favorite.
The Trade Street Trek:
Single Brothers has a small and dim interior, but this intimate bar opens up to an incredible patio right off Trade Street. It is a great place to sit down, have a few drinks, and relax. Next, head on over to the ever famous Silver Moon Saloon. Although its reputation precedes it with many questionable stories, this place is a great stop on any bar crawl and a Winston-Salem icon. For the home run on this trek make your way down Trade Street to the corner of MLK and Trade St. to grab a drink at Gas Hill. The host of many fun music events and silent discos, Gas Hill is a great place to refuel before your last stop, Earl’s. In the heart of Industry Hill is Earl’s. With great late-night snacks, bumping live music, and more places to sit than any other bar in Winston-Salem, Earl’s is always a great way to round up your night!
The Art Park Pac:
Now it is time for the final three, the Art Park Pac. Bar Pina is the summer jewel of Bars in Winston-Salem. With its great atmosphere, incredible music, and rooftop bar that has the best skyline view in the city, Bar Pina is the best place to kick off an amazing night out. To continue the fun, head down North Liberty Street past the art park to Reboot Arcade Bar! Full of every arcade game your young self always wanted to play, and more pinball machines to choose from than toppings at an ice cream shop, Reboot is a fun experience for all! Finally, for a great and classy end to the night walk across the street to Trophy Room! Reminiscent of a prohibition-era speakeasy, this bar is home to an incredible bourbon selection. The atmosphere is impeccable, and if you are lucky you will get served by one of Winston’s best bartenders, Al!
Daniel has lived in Winston-Salem for 6 years. He is originally from Atlanta, GA, and moved to Winston to go to Wake Forest in 2015. He has worked in community organization/programming, and truly believes Winston-Salem is the hidden gem of NC!