When I first got to Raleigh back in 2007, there weren’t a ton of good eating and bar options like there are today. Pretty much most of the places I hung out at would be considered Raleigh classics now. One Raleigh classic that recently re-opened is the OG Mitch’s Tavern! Located on Hillsborough Street in the heart of NC State’s campus, Mitch’s has been a longtime favorite bar to grab a beer and a bite. But during the pandemic, they had shut down for over two years before re-opening in May of 2022. I dropped in to re-visit this historic bar to see how it’s held up.
The first thing you’ll notice is the narrow doorway and stairs that lead up to the main dining room and bar area. As you can guess, there’s a lot of polished woods, basic bar stools, and paraphernalia lining the space. From a swordfish hanging overhead to a vintage bicycle placed next to a carved deer piece, the decor is quirky and probably full of stories at Mitch’s Tavern. A pool room has been refreshed with a classic red table and the small juliet balcony up front still looks out onto the old Mitch’s Tavern sign! If you’re a fan of the 1988 baseball movie, “Bull Durham“, you’ll recognize the space for the hilarious bar scene when Crash Davis and Nuke Laloosh first meet. I’ve heard that they will be bringing in some memorabilia to further commemorate the role that Mitch’s Taven played in that movie!
Mitch’s Tavern is still working on its food menu but there will be a small assortment of affordable sandwiches, salads, and bites. In another pleasant twist, Mitch’s Tavern owns the first-floor space that held the long-defunct Village Grill! Forgotten for decades, the space is being cleaned and refurbished for private events and parties. It’s another classic and cool spot, check out the quick tour I did of the space during opening week.
Overall it’s great to see Mitch’s Tavern back open on Hillsborough Street. It’s a classic spot that holds many memories for the Wolfpack crowd and Raleighites. It’s wonderful to see the place back in business after the pandemic. Here’s to making more memories at this classic Raleigh bar for the years ahead!