Best Bar, Downtown to Shockoe Bottom

Siné Irish Pub

Readers' Pick

1327 E. Cary St.

Second Place: Capital Ale House, Downtown

Third Place: The Tobacco Company

We were there in 1999, when the Irish painters were creating colorful ceiling murals and carpenters were putting the final touches on this former warehouse space in Shockoe Slip. Siné — did you know that the name means "This is it," in Gaelic? — is one of those pubs that's been around so long you tend to take it for granted. Especially with all the new hotshots popping up here and there. Just recently some friends pulled us inside on a weekend night, and the live music and lively crowds were just as we recalled. Sure, you can expect a good time on St. Patrick's Day (if you can get in). But that patio out back tends to fill fast after work. And inside you'll find small spaces for more private chats or a dance floor suited for mixing and mingling. Capital Ale House is a reader favorite. And the Tobacco Company is king of the Slip. Stay up top for live music and a grownup feel, or venture downstairs into a raucous and diverse club teeming with a youthful vibe.

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