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A Tale of 2 Downtown Bars

We wanted to get ot tonight and wanted to roam our downtown xing neighborhood.

First stop, JM Curley's about 5:15 PM. No seats so we walked across the street to Stoddard's. 3 or 4 seats taken in the entire place. I'm not much of a beer drinker but it seems to be a feature there. Mention to the bartender that I love the list but I'm a bit overwhelmed by the vast array. He walked away and came back and asked if we were ready to order...? I picked something and Ms 9 ordered a white wine. Drinks brought..tasty beer. Guys sitting next to me inquired as to something with tequila, any creative ideas? Same bartender said, "I'm really busy and I have a cut on my finger." Tell me what you want to order. OK, Had our drinks and left.

Went back to JM Curley's and got 2 seats. Bartender came over to us and Ms 9 wasn' sure on her wine. Bartender said, "you had the Bin 26 (Babek Bina's house wine) last time and seemed to enjoy it, would you like it again? yes. I told her I wasn't familiar with the beer list, any rec's? She asked what I liked. I told her. She poured me a taste and it was great.. A dark beer, "voodoo something?" I'll take a glass.

We leave happy.

2 bars on oposite sides of the same street...2 ways of treating customers. I know where I will go back and where I won't.

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  1. Thanks for the report. Stoddards in my experience is very hit or miss depending on who you draw at the bar. I would be willing to bet I know exactly which bartender you drew last night. At times though I have had exceptional service and top notch bartending, others? I may as well hop over the bar and do it myself they are so worthless.

    JM Curley is a gem, wish I could go more often.

    1. Amen. I used to go to Stoddards a lot, but after probably 2 trips to JM Curley I could not bring myself to go to another bar on Temple place. They are hitting on all the marks I like in a local joint: great beer/cocktails; great food; comfortable atmosphere; and last but not least amazing service. I think a lot of places in town could learn a lesson or two from Curleys.

      1. Stoddards bartenders always seem to be weeded no mater the amount of people at the bar.

        1. Same experience at Stoddards. A few of them are fantastic, but there's one guy who always wears his suit but forgets his smile. Love JM Curleys.

          1. JM Curley's is my new favorite bar. The bartenders are all great, friendly and helpful. Great music mix albeit loud. Amazing beer selection which changes regularly although I am a little embarassed to admit that what brought me there in the first instance was their stocking Genny Cream ale. Went to stoddards once and though it is a nice looking place, i don't need to go back. One of these dys i will relent and try a JM curley's burger - they look soooo good on other patrons" plates.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Northender

              Strip T's also has Gennesee Cream Ale for $2.50 / can.

              1. re: Northender

                Does it get really crowded at night? I have been there for lunch and we were the only people in the place.

                1. re: nsenada

                  It does get fairly crowded at night (I work downtown, so head in after work usually), but it ebbs and flows. I find it worth hanging around to wait for a seat if need be.

                2. re: Northender

                  i will vouch for the burger. do not hesitate next time.

                  have only been to curley's at off-hours and am a big fan. they hit all marks.

                  while i love the interior of stoddard's, it's too hit or miss with the bar staff and a few too often the place has been utterly monopolized by large groups that are just too big for the damn room. after-hours office party kinda thing. eck. if i wanted to be bumped and jostled that badly by suits i'd go to post 390.