HOME > Chowhound > Mid-Atlantic >


Suggestions; After Theater New Brunswick

Looking for suggestions for a Saturday night, after theater, light dinner, casual drinks place; affordable, and calm enough that some hard of hearing seniors can still hold a reasonable conversation. wines or light cocktails, salads or sandwich menu okay. We have limited experiences in NB other than Stage Left (too pricey) and their upstairs counterpart (way too pricey) for this sort of evening and this economy. Thanks for any suggestions.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We always go to Tumulty's Pub on George Street when we go to the theater in New Brunswick. It is an old-fashioned pub with decent food.

    1. Maybe Old Man Rafferty's? It's not spectacular food, but it's not crazy expensive and the menu is fairly diverse. Use some common sense (for example, don't order anything even vaguely ethnic and expect it to be authentic) when you order and you can have a pretty good meal there. It's not like it's a wild college crowd either, I don't think. My friends and I go there frequently when we can't agree on a type of cuisine and don't feel like paying through the nose.

      That said, I also enjoy Tumulty's - I like the atmosphere. However, I've never been there late at night. Not sure if the college kiddies swarm the place then or not.

      1. You kind of get what you pay for in New Brunswick, unless you are going towards more "street food" or type food (which isn't a bad thing!)

        Rafferty's is going to be way too loud and the food is on par with TGI Fridays. I wouldn't call it a wild college crowd, but it's definitely not a place you can have a decent glass of wine (on a saturday night) and not see some frat guys being loud and the bar is usually pretty crowded and loud. If it were another night, I'd recommend, or afternoon, but not on a saturday night.

        I like Tumulty's.....its not bad for the price, I don't think the college kiddies swarm tumulty's as much as rafferty's. Place still serves the ever so "classic" wedge of lettuce salad, so don't expect innovations on the menu, but it's prepared ok....for the price.

        I gotta say though, I know you don't like Catherine Lombardi's for the price, and I may be a mark for it because I frequent there often, but, if what you are looking for is light cocktails, wine, and some food, Catherine Lombardi's would be the first place I'd recommend. I wouldn't recommend ordering a bottle of wine and having table service where you order 5 courses, but take up a bar table, have a quartino of wine and split a pasta dish and still leave some on the plate. And, you can't get a better cocktail in NJ. But, I don't know your budget, but id imagine it be cheaper than tumultys and better food/drink.

        1. I highly recommend Daryl Wine Bar. They have small plates for sharing so you can control the cost.

          Clydz is a unique destination if you enjoy old-world mixology.

          5 Replies
          1. re: fershore

            Another vote for Daryl as well. Pick up a bottle of Lillian syrah from their wine shop while you're there. Absolutely amazing! Some other great picks as well there! -mJ

            1. re: njfoodies

              Another vote for Daryl. It's my favorite restaurant in NB and is exactly what you are looking for. Good Luck.

            2. re: fershore

              Clydz on a saturday night....you can't hear yourself think! let alone get through the door! so I wouldn't recommend that.

              Also, I wouldn't call clydz old-world "mixology", when they can make a Sazerac without looking in a Mr. Boston, I'll say they can make a cocktail.....but I wouldn't call 100 flavors of vodka martini's old world, nor "mixology". Granted it caters to a little different crowd and there isn't much money in Sazeracs.

              Daryl is a good option, but, take a look at the menu, small plates, but, the prices aren't that cheap, so not sure what the budget looks like. I haven't hate a plate there in a long while so can't speak to how the food is, but have heard mostly good. the good thing about them is they offer different size wines by the glass which is a plus. Saturday atmosphere should be good there.

              1. re: RPMcMurphy

                I regret that my word choices offended you. Would "creative drinks" suit you better?

                Did you mean "when they can't make a Sazerac..."? (I'm off to Mr. Boston to learn what a Sazerac is.)

                1. re: fershore

                  Oh not offended, sorry if it came across that way. I was being a little bit pretentious i suppose..

                  I wouldn't call them creative either, but.....haha.

                  I mean when they "can" make a Sazerac, I'll say they can actually make "cocktails". Sazerac is just a classic cocktail, one of the first cocktails invented according to the cocktail "historians".

                  Believe me I'm not a Clydz hater, I dig their food a lot and their bar is actually better than most. I'm just not a fan of [insert flavor here] vodka "martini's". unless the vodka flavor is gin, and its 50/50 or 2:1 with non-stale vermouth.

                  Sorry if I came off as pretentious, just makes me twitch a little to see their drinks described as "old-world". When I think of old-world cocktails I think of Old-Fashioneds, Sidecars, margarita, julips, sazeracs, flips, martinis (not just a drink served in a martini glass), sours.


                  Back on topic, if it was an afternoon or weeknight Id recommend clydz.

                  I hear some ok things about Christophers in the heldridge too, but mainly from a appetizer/lounge perspective. I don't don't first hand, but it's worth the original poster looking into as it's also right across the street.

                  edit: actually i just looked in the lower right sidebar of my chowhound screen and saw a video for making the perfect Sazerac. haha.

            3. Since you specifically say "after theater", I strongly suggest you phone to make sure the place you want to go will still be serving food after 10 PM.

              My choice would also be Daryl Wine Bar but according to their web site the restaurant closes at 10 PM. The bar, however, remains open. I have never been to Daryl's later in the evening so I have no idea what you can expect. Given Daryl's location though I'm sure they cater to the after theater crowd. You might also consider making a reservation on a Saturday night.

              1. For a nice comfortable atmosphere and a good reasonable menu for after theatre, try Soho On George.
                Under menus, go to dinner and then scroll down to their sandwich menu which offers a wide selection, are very good and they are affordable. Pair the sandwich with a glass of wine and you have a nice evening and you will be able to hear each other :) Here is the website

                1 Reply
                1. re: tom246

                  soho's sandwich menu is actually pretty good. I'd recommend Soho over Daryl actually now that I think of it, given the description of what you are looking for.

                2. What about Frog & Peach? -mJ

                    1. No to Rafferty's. It's overrated and crowded.. not a good place to unwind after theatre.

                      Daryl, Christopher's, F&P, and Clydz seem like fancier places that you'd have dinner at, not stop by for some light food and drinks.

                      Harvest Moon has pretty good food, and it's casual and affordable.. great bar. It's a brewery and cafe. It's not a dive either. If you're looking for a more laid-back place to grab something, but still has pretty good food and is not overly crowded, it might be a good fit: harvestmoonbrewery.com

                      1. Thanks to all for a wonderful variety of ideas.

                        1. Some of the places mentioned have the potential to be complete zoos on Saturday night. Harvest Moon is typically packed with the college crowd and it's far too crowded for me (in my 30s) so I can't imagine that it's appropriate for hard of hearing seniors. You can barely move in Clydz, Old Man Rafferty's is crowded and loud too.

                          I second the suggestion to order some food and drinks in the bar at Catherine Lombardi. The drinks are the best in NJ and if you choose wisely, it can be affordable.

                          Steakhouse 85 or Due Mari may be other options to consider as well. Also Sputino 360/360 Gill might be an option. It's usually not crowded.

                          1. Hi, it's been a long time but if Makeda's is still there (and I hope it is) on George Street, definitely check them out. They have a lovely Ethiopian menu. Although, you did get some great suggestions. I miss Tumulty's...Enjoy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: rutgers2

                              Makeda often has live music late at night which would be too noisy for the quiet after-theater drinks they were hoping for. But the food there is really great!