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Pubs we love: Art bars

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Creativity fills the walls and the pint glasses at these beer bastions that double as art galleries.


DETAILS: One-third beer bar, one-third art gallery and one-third arcade, BART just needs beds, and we’ll never leave. Husband-and-wife team Chris and Adrian Brown curate a bright collection of modern artwork for sale and classic 8-bit games like Frogger, Donkey Kong and Galaga. DRINK: The coolers at this bottle-only joint (better for joystick maneuvers!) include picks from nearby Cigar City. Look for wallet-friendly specials when pair-worthy food trucks pull up. LOOK: Sometimes, the games and artwork mix, like in Destiny Harding and Dennis Hansbury’s “The Legend of Zelda”-inspired pieces.

PORTLAND, ORE. | Graeter Art Gallery

DETAILS: Leave it to Portland to build a beer bar inside an art gallery. Housed in the historic 1880s Merchant Hotel building, this progressive art house showcases contemporary and street works from Portland artists and national names. DRINK: Four taps pour local delights from Terminal Gravity, BridgePort and beyond. LOOK: After a winter hiatus, the gallery reopens in March with street-inspired art from the likes of photog Nile Hagen.

LOS ANGELES | Sunset Beer Co.

DETAILS: One of the stars of beer-flooded Echo Park, this leather-chaired lounge displays (and sells) local art on uncluttered walls, and stocks more than 250 craft bottles in the attached shop. DRINK: Take your bottles to go to avoid the corkage fee and sip from the six phenomenal taps. Look for handles from Sacramento’s tiny, farm-driven Ruhstaller Beer. LOOK: This spring, watch for the energetic mixed-media works of Bughouse, aka the husband-and-wife team of Jeff Klarin and Rebecca Johnson.


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