Cocktail Lounges in Syracuse
Armory square is good if you want to wander around and stop to check a few different ones out. The Blue Tusk is fun, 60+ brews on tap, good sandwiches. Kitty Hoynes is an Irish pub with good grub. Ambrosia is upscale, asian themed, w/ great food. Dinosaur BBQ is a loud, crowded honky tonk BBQ joint with blues every night. Daniel Jacks is a nice piano bar with interesting food. The Bull and Bear is a few blocks away, fun, neighborhood-y with live music and you never know who will stop in (John Corbett a few months ago). Some other non-Armory spots are Hafners (north) and Colemans (west). If "nice watering hole" means someplace you would take your mother in law try the Marx or Drumlins GC.
The lounge in the Marx is very fancy and upscale looking.
Coleman's is a great Irish Pub/Restaurant with a busy bar and Guiness on draft. We have seen performers doing Irish songs and it has a good atmosphere. The food is excellent
Kitty Hoynes has good fish and chips.
Unless you want barbecue, stay away from the Dinasaur since it is a biker bar and a mob scene of people waiting for tables for their barbecue.