1/2 Lounge

by Gray Cargill on August 16, 2008

Last week, I had the pleasure of going to the 1/2 Lounge (so named because it is located at 136 1/2 Church Street) in Burlington for the first time. I met friends there, but would feel pretty comfortable being there by myself, too. The 1/2 Lounge is a dimly-lit, cozy little space that you could easily walk past and not even know it’s there, tucked away as it is next to the much more prominent Red Square.

This is a great place to kick back and listen to some great music if you have a night to yourself in Burlington. They had a DJ playing salsa music the night I was there (too bad there’s no dance floor). One of the reasons it is dimly lit is that the small stage is set up in front of the only window, blocking what little light might enter the space.

I got a kick out of poring through their cocktail menu, as they have some very creative drinks. I’ve heard people praise the quality their drinks, so I was a little surprised that mine was quite weak (I’m a lightweight when it comes to drinking, so if I don’t get a buzz, it’s a weak drink). It may have been the drink I ordered (The Starbuck) or it may have been an off-night for the bartender. After the Starbuck, I asked for a decaf iced coffee with Baileys, and that was much better–still weak, but at least I could taste the Baileys. I wish I could review the food, as I’ve heard it’s quite good, but I didn’t have any (an excuse to go back!).

What really sells this place is the atmosphere. It’s intimate. A lot of bars call themselves lounges, but this one really feels like a classic lounge. The narrow room has a small bar, comfy bench seats, small tables and recessed seating areas. There is also a downstairs cellar lounge that I didn’t actually get a chance to see. As the bar fills up to hear the live music at night, you can find yourself sitting very close to your neighbors, which, if you’re friendly, is a great opportunity to make new friends. I found the bartender to be friendly as well.

In short, if large, noisy bars full of drunk college students isn’t your thing, you might want to give the 1/2 Lounge a try some night. Do tell me how you liked their drinks.

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