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Best Place to Hear Live Music 

Top Hat

Readers' Pick

After Top Hat owner Steve Garr passed away in 2009, the future of the blues and jam rock club looked grim. But thanks to some of Garr’s children, the swampy venue got a makeover and reemerged better than ever. Now the elegant wooden bar gleams, art hangs on the walls and, thanks to the state’s new smoking ban, the air remains clear. More importantly, the bar attracts a swarm of top-notch acts, from locals like Butter and Wartime Blues, to national alt-country heroes like Fred Eaglesmith. All of it adds up to an upset in this category, moving it past the Badlander. This year the Top Hat takes the crown. Top Hat: 134 W. Front; 728-9865
click to enlarge Top Hat - PHOTO BY CATHRINE L. WALTERS

FINALISTS:

2. Union Club: 208 E. Main; 728-7980

3. The Badlander: 135 W. Broadway; 549-0235; www.myspace.com/thebadlander

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