When it comes to bars, I have to say that Raleigh has a bit of an edge on Durham. While Durham may bear the foodie crown in the Triangle, if you want to get out for a drink or go dancing, the Oak City is definitely the place to be. From speak-easys to breweries and dive bars, Raleigh has a lot of great choices to get your drank on! One new bar that recently hit my radar screen is Apero out in City Market. Located in the old Lucarne space, the owners have transformed the location into more of a continental bar and cafe offering up wine, cocktails, food and drink. And while I didn’t quite understand what they were doing with Lucarne, Apero makes good on the promise of this prime, downtown Raleigh space.
If you’re looking for Apero and don’t recognize the address, it’s just that Blake Street is one of those short cobblestone pathways at City Market. Doors down from City Market Sushi and Woody’s, Apero sits quietly in the center of the block with a set of large glass windows up front. Inside, the Apero space is wonderfully weathered with a lot of dark woods and cozy holiday lighting at the bar. The space feels like a great option for an intimate date or small group gathering over drinks! There’s definitely plenty of room here to have a conversation rather then just sitting at a crowded bar.
Apero offers up a huge selection of apertifs which is their specialty drink category. The liquor menu covers vermouth, sherry, ports, and more. Another drink item that caught my eye on Apero’s menu are their floats: Affogato (ice cream and espresso), Campari float and Fernet and Coke float, very intriguing. On my first two visits I’ve tried out a bit of wine along with their Greyhound cocktail made with grapefruit juice and gin, super refreshing. But given Apero’s focus, I would like to dabble in their selection of apertifs, soon. It would be a shame to hang out in this great space without taking advantage of their expertise!
And what really makes Apero special is that they’re not just a bar! Apero offers up a short menu of Continental-inspired small plates, snacks and desserts if you’d like to linger. I haven’t had much of a chance to work through Apero’s menu but managed to try out their bacalao dish: a salted cod and potato dip served with Boulted bread, very tasty and traditional. I do like the fact that Apero seems to be pushing the envelope a bit with its small menu.
So what can I say but I’m so happy to see Apero down here in City Market! From the great decor to the interesting drink selection and unique food offerings, they are certainly not doing the same ol’, same ol’ at Apero. It’s the type of place that feels like it’s made for sophisticated adults looking for something different. Definitely drop by if you’re in the Moore Square area, Apero is currently only open from Tuesday to Saturday in the evenings, enjoy!
309 Blake Street
Raleigh, NC 27601