North

CW Porubsky Grocery and Meats

508 N.E. Sardou Ave., Topeka

A Topeka classic where time stands still. Porubsky's has the same weathered bar signs and packs the same lunch crowd ranging from the everyday worker to governor. Chili season -- from October to April -- marks the start and end of winter for many, and a county judge is among the servers. The founder's son, Charlie, runs things now, and serves up beer from bottles, cans and kegs.



Pizza Parlor

1919 N.E. Seward Ave., Topeka

Little changes at this no-frills joint frequented by Oakland locals. Don't be fooled by the name "Pizza Parlor." Bill Domme serves just about anything. "If you can't find something on the menu to eat," he says, "you're not hungry." He serves a more limited offering of drinks. The Parlor offers 3.2 beer -- mostly domestic stuff but some imports, too. Wine coolers as well.



Gage Bowl North

200 E Highway 24, Topeka

Bowling and beer are almost inseparable, and Gage North's bar won't disappoint there, but mixed drinks are available, too. Let a lane waitress save you steps and a sticky approach. Order something tasty from the snack bar and point the kids toward the arcade.



The Den

1116 N.W. Lower Silver Lake Road, Topeka

Marriage didn't work out for Sue and Willie Artzer, but the private club the ex's opened in 1984 has lasted. Willie died in 1999, and Sue now runs The Den -- a place she calls "down-home country, probably one of the last honky-tonks." Look for live, local country bands on Fridays and Saturdays. Locals fill the place the rest of the week.



Joletta's

600 NW Paramore Street, Topeka

One of the cleanest bars in town, hard wood walls, flags over windows, neon lights, darkened ambience, and lots of interesting characters of all walks of life, including cowboys, attorneys, blue collar workers, lots of working men. Bartender Jennifer Falley has 13 years of experience and knows how to take care of customers.



Kickstart Saloon

2521 N Kansas Ave, Topeka

The Kickstart is the No. 1 hangout for bikers in Topeka. These aren't Hells Angels -- just Topekans who like to ride their motorcycles and stop in for a cold one. The bartenders, including Cindy, are considered some of the best in the business. Beginning in May, the bar hosts bands every Thursday night.



Sasnak North

1834 NW Topeka Blvd, Topeka

Owner Irvin Metz, who opened Sasnak North in 1952, likes to keep it simple: Hire attractive dancers, sell 3.2 beer and wine coolers, offer free hot dogs and have a good time. "We're like your neighborhood bar -- with dancers," an employee said. "We're very friendly here."



Reed's Ringside Sports Bar & Grill

4731 N.W. Hunters Ridge Cir., Topeka

It’s no surprise a restaurant owned by former professional boxing brothers Derrick and Damon Reed thrives on sports. Don't even think about turning on the juke box during big games. Catch sports on the 110-inch projection screen, one of five 60-inch TVs or 20 to 30 25-inch sets. Reed's likes its family crowd which turns to a younger, bar crowd as the night goes on. Beer is served in frosty mugs.



North Star Steakhouse

1100 NW 25th St, Topeka

The North Star used to be a private supper club, but changed more than a decade ago and opened to the public. It has served countless legislators and the Kansas governor. The place serves several beers on tap, including Blind Tiger beer. There is no smoking allowed in the restaurant part of the North Star. However, smoking is allowed in the lounge.



CG's Lounge

501 N.W. Lyman Road, Topeka

CG's is very friendly, a place where everybody knows everybody. The bar opened in February 2008 and serves bottled beer and mixed drinks, nothing on tap.



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