The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday June 4th

Column: Best Bar in Chapel Hill

March is here and that can only mean one thing – it’s time for some bracketology. 

At a school like Carolina, basketball is king. It’s virtually impossible to avoid March Madness, so why not embrace it in every aspect of your life?

Trying to decide where to eat dinner? Fill out a bracket of all the restaurants Franklin Street has to offer and pick a winner. Signing up for next semester’s classes? Figure out which ones are the best by having POLI and MEJO duke it out tournament-style.

Recently, a certain type of bracket has been circulating the Twittersphere more than others, each one attempting to determine the finest location in all of Chapel Hill to crack open a cold one. 

It all started when UNC graduate Jacob Hancock created a massive 32-bar bracket dividing the establishments into east and west divisions, based on their location in relation to Columbia Street. Then, UNC’s Barstool Twitter account followed suit and hosted a smaller tournament between He’s Not Here, Sup Dogs, Goodfellows and Top of the Hill in order to select a representative for the brand’s national tournament. 

With so much uncertainty in the air, it’s time to settle this once and for all with The Daily Tar Heel’s Officially Unofficial Best Bar Bracket. 

While the seeding of this tournament is strictly based on my own personal preference, it is 100-percent factually accurate and not up for discussion. 

It’s no surprise the four highest seeds made it to the Final Four – they were the clear favorites, but once you’re there, anything can happen. Let’s take a closer look at Chapel Hill’s top competitors. 

La Residence

Interestingly enough, La Rez was the only true “party” bar to make the cut in my bracket, while its competitors are all mainly “hangout” bars. After beating out the hoity-toity folks at The Crunkleton in round one and barely squeaking by Goodfellows in the second round, La Rez is bringing the noise to the Final Four. The thing that elevates La Rez over its fellow rowdy bars is its versatility – capable of providing both the dance floor and a place to sit and chat.

Top of the Hill

Similar to its competitor, He’s Not Here, TOPO is a Chapel Hill blue blood that’s synonymous with the town itself. There’s a reason students camp out overnight just to watch basketball games here – its long tradition and prime Franklin Street location make it one of the best places to take in a Tar Heel victory. However, its “fancy” reputation and mixed crowd of both students and adults might work against it for some. 

Linda’s Bar & Grill

Compared to the rest of the field, Linda’s is somewhat of a dark horse. A Cinderella story, if you will. It’s definitely not the go-to party bar for a wild night out, but Linda’s has its crowd and they will defend this establishment with their lives. Home of not only the best cheesy fries, but also the best trivia in Chapel Hill, there’s a lot worth fighting for here. From trivia to stand-up comedy and all kinds of sponsored events, once you pop in at Linda’s for the first time, it’s hard not to come back.

He’s Not Here

Blue Cups and UNC go hand in hand, making He’s Not the quintessential Chapel Hill bar. Not much can beat hanging out with your friends in the courtyard on a beautiful spring Pint Afternoon. With Sunday karaoke, Tuesday discounts and trivia and the traditional free pint glass on Wednesdays, it’s never a bad day to stop by He’s Not. There’s a reason He’s Not has remained a Franklin Street staple for nearly 50 years. 

So, there you have it. 

He’s Not Here defeats Linda’s in a closely contested battle that truly hurt my heart to decide. While this is the only official and perfectly correct bracket, everyone can fill out your own bracket below and yell at me on Twitter about how wrong I am!


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