The big draw is the courtyard. Ask anybody. It's a nice, high atrium that's open year-round, and a welcome respite from apartment-induced claustrophobia in the dead of winter. In warmer months, it opens out to the beer garden, where everything is ivy-covered and super. In said garden, in said courtyard, and jammed back to front inside the Northside, you'll find a bustling crowd imported from the pages of the latest Abercrombie catalogue. Perhaps you'll even recognize the one guy who was playing volleyball on page 48. Guys and gals alike are pretty and well-funded, sort of like the characters from 'Friends.' They'll be there, though not necessarily for you, sipping a beer from the Northside's modest but varied selection. Cocktails get mixed marks. Some patrons decry the margaritas, but if you get a blue one, it will look neat, even if it's no good.
Food is a few safe steps above your typical bar fare, and is served until 2 a.m., which, besides being convenient, will alleviate the problems you've been having with drunken late-night fights in diners. Nibble on hummus or calamari, or really stuff your face with a big, half-pound burger--or, better yet, a steak. Vegetarians will find plenty of dainty selections: salads and pastas and all that.
For the fidgety, a couple of pool tables and a Golden Tee machine provide a place to put their paws. The less active will be content to snack on eye candy: "See that one in the khakis? No, not the brownish khakis, in the sort of greenish khakis. Oh, forget it."
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Ryan Learmouth