Friday Night Cocktails
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Foxwoods Resort & Casino
Clubby and cosmopolitan is the feel of this new Foxwoods addition. Deep-cushioned burgundy-colored chairs and globe-shaped pendant lights create a hotel-bar-style lounge for high rollers taking a break from the Grand Pequot Casino.
New Haven, 203/777-3116
If you’re looking for original cocktails, few in Connecticut make them better than John Ginnetti, co-owner of this Elm City favorite. Ginnetti sets a high standard for his libations, sourcing pure ingredients to create cocktails that are both novel and classic. The bar is mod in mood, attracting a knowing clientele at mealtimes and skewing younger and louder on evenings when there’s live music.
West Hartford, 860/236-6195
Owner Benny Delbon recently expanded this popular “American joint,” adding a long bar and televisions for the sporting set. Downstairs, young clubbers dance the nights away to music orchestrated on weekends by deejays. In warmer months, the action moves to the rooftop “surf bar,”where cocktails are dispensed from a tiki hut and warm breezes blow.
West Hartford, 860/236-1930
Young or old, dressed up or casual, alone or in a group, Grants is the go-to bar for grown-ups in the heart of West Hartford Center. Trattorialike—with a tile floor, dark wood furnishings and low lighting—this comfortable haven attracts shoppers and the office crowd during the early hours. At night, a younger crowd makes it their own.
The Scorpion Bar
Foxwoods Resort & Casino
Not many bars advertise a “dark sinister setting,” but that’s what you’ll find at this expensively rendered, kitschy collision of a Mexican cantina with high-volume rock ’n’ roll. Goth-inflected Day of the Dead decor is the backdrop for tunes like “Fight for Your Right To Party.” The large stage welcomes bands and deejays. Intimate this Scorpion is not, with room in its 5,000 square feet for you and 299 of your hard-partying friends.
The Loft Martini Lounge
South Norwalk, 203/838-6555
Perpetual winner of this magazine’s Best Bar accolades, this happening hot spot combines chic decor—orange pendant lights, curvilinear wrought-iron staircase, and exposed brick—with more martini flavors than you can try in a lifetime. Live entertainment four nights a week keeps the decibel level on the rousing side.
Squint into the two-story party space where young professionals are backlit by ever-changing panels of colored light. Boys meet girls and dance to electronica/trance music. Not just for astronauts is the bar’s Tangtini.
Mohegan Sun, 888/777-7922
Viva Las Vegas right here in Connecticut. Everything about this tony-looking escape is done in a big way—from the 300-plus capacity size to the wall of TV screens and list of specialty drinks and martinis. Feel like dancing? Go right ahead—you’re feeling Lucky’s.
Bar at Capital Grille
A relative newcomer that was a hit from day one, this bustling mahogany-and-leather bar in the Stamford Town Center caters to the 25-to-45-year-old professional set. Order the Stoli Doli, made from Maui Jet pineapple marinated for 10 days in Stolichnaya vodka.
This chestnut-paneled bar and nightclub is a magnet for young singles who throng the self-styled speakeasy. The music from deejays and live bands can get so loud that speaking is not easy, but that doesn’t seem to spoil anyone’s fun.