An exception to the college-bar rule of its 'hood, Matilda posts a sign out front that says you have to be over 23 to get in the bar. Even though the staff says the rule isn't always enforced, it's nice to think that they've made an effort to provide an oasis for those who've seen at least a couple of years go by since their last beer bong.
The two-room bar maintains an arty feel, featuring dark walls contrasted by chrome accents, colorful artwork and dim light glowing from candles on the tables. The back room has two pool tables plus several larger booths and tables where you can dine on one of Matilda's notable appetizer options like bruschetta, goat-cheese crostini and hummus, or entrees like shrimp diablo and the stuffed and stacked filet. On most nights the back room of the bar is less crowded, though Saturday's 3 a.m. closing time contributes to a tighter space. Any frustration will quickly be calmed by the indie-rock-friendly juke box and the drinks, especially the Happy martini, a standout concoction of Malibu rum, Frangelico liqueur and cream.
Baby Atlas, which can be rented out for private parties, is in the downstairs area, which claims its own bar and sound system. The scene differs significantly from Matilda's, providing a basement college party atmosphere on many a night.
Centerstage Reviewer: Ann McDonald