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Cocktails, apps, downtown Raleigh

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I have a friend in town tomorrow night, staying in Raleigh. I'm looking for a lively, hip, but not too noisy place to get cocktails and appetizers downtown. If it were Durham, I'd do City Beverage or the Federal, but I don't venture into Raleigh very often, so I'm hoping someone can give me a few good recommendations. Any cuisine is fine, but a good vibe and great food are paramount. Doesn't have to be cheap, but I don't want anyplace stuffy either. Extra points if the place has good desserts.

Any ideas?

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  1. The Raleigh Times Bar might work,. I only went there once for a quick dinner before a show, but it was good, there were tons of choices of beers, and there were lots of good-looking, young, professional folks there. We had sort of appetizer-y things, though I can't remember what.