When you talk about bars and cocktails, speak-easy type bars are usually what comes to my mind. From Foundation to C. Grace, Greenlight Bar and Watts & Ward. Dark, dim and hidden for some serious cocktail drinking. But every now and then you get a different interpretation of a classic cocktail bar and William & Company in Raleigh fits that bill. Located in the increasingly popular Oakwood neighborhood, it’s been quietly making some great adult bevvies for several years (opened in April of 2015). And it continues to get better over time!
Inside William & Company you’ll find yourself in a classic and comfortable setting. L-shaped bar to the right, comfortable stuffed couches and chairs to the left for lounging. The large plate glass windows up front give you a great view to the action outside on Person Street. The crowd at William & Co reflects the neighborhood and is comfortably hip and younger. It’s definitely a spot for locals to gather for dates and conversation. The cocktails at William & Co are usually more of a spin off classics. You’ll find margaritas, old fashioneds, daiquiris and more but usually with a twist. Aromatics, fruit juice and additional flavors are brought into the mix to bring in a unique and seasonal perspective. A chalkboard next to the bar displays some special beers, drinks and cocktails for the evening, don’t miss it.
I’ve been here four or five times (at least) and they shake up a quality cocktail here. Fresh juices and herbs-aromatics are used often to bring an unusual flavor profile to the drinks here. And while I’m sure they can do your classic cocktails, I usually explore a bit with their seasonal offerings. And once you get your cocktail, you can hang out at the bar, grab a comfy seat in the lounge area or take it outside on their sidewalk patio for some fresh air. Just beware, the fluorescent signs at Krispy Kreme may pull you in! And I have to confess, the cocktails at William & Co go pretty well with hot-glazed donuts… 🙂
All in all I’ve been pretty pleased with my visits to William & Co since it does some great drinks but in more of a lounge setting. And while it’s got a neighborhood feel, the bartenders here are professionals that know how to take care of their regulars and newbies. (Very important) So rock on, William & Company! Perfect for pre-drinks before dinner next door at Crawford and Son, perfect for a evening night-cap, or perfect for a quiet date night. You’re doing a lot of things right for Raleigh’s cocktail culture….