Best in Show

Bar patrons converge to watch TV and get smashed.

Grange Tavern owner Angel Raphael controls the remote for tonight’s Ugly Betty/Grey’s Anatomy Night. Not that he has to twist any arms -- patrons demand to watch the popular TV programs. “They’re women’s shows,” says Raphael. “But so many women watch it, they make their men watch it too.” Between glances at Dr. McDreamy, customers hit up bartender Dave for cocktails he learned to mix in his native Scotland. His most potent potable is the $5 Nasty Martini, a sharper-edged cousin of the Dirty Martini. It includes vermouth, vodka, and green olives. “They’re much harder drinkers over in Europe,” says Raphael. “I’ve only had one customer who’s been able to drink more than one.”

Raphael bought the bar in March, after running a high-end dance club in Connecticut. He soon discovered the local clientele were more entertained by live jazz bands and TV nights than DJs spinning electronic tunes. “We’ve got people putting their kids through school, paying off mortgages, and making $40,000 a year,” says Raphael. “You don’t have to get dressed up to meet your next-door neighbor and have a good time.”
Thursdays, 8-10 p.m., 2006