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Best Bar for a Stiff Pour 

AL'S & VIC'S

Readers' Pick

Some bartenders' idea of a cocktail comes in a skinny glass with an umbrella. Those bartenders don't work at Al's and Vic's. The blue-collar brother of the James Bar next door is an establishment by drinkers for drinkers, but lacks the personalized bar stools or cigarette smoke of Charlie B's. Put it this way—when you walk in, nobody gives you the stink eye. But Megan, one of many venerable Al's and Vic's barkeeps, does keep it real. We ordered a whisky and seven and she poured it long and slow, garnishing our beverage with quality conversation. We didn't try, but we imagine that if we'd followed up with an apple martini, she would have kicked us in the teeth, picked us up and poured us a proper shot of bourbon before sending us on our way. Al's & Vic's: 119 W. Alder; 728-4804

FINALISTS:

2. Charlie B's: 428 N. Higgins; 549-3589

3. Iron Horse Brew Pub: 501 N. Higgins; 728-8866; ironhorsebrewpub.com

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