Watts & Ward

Everyone has one or two staple bars that they visit on a regular basis! Watts & Ward is definitely in my top 3 favorite bars to visit in downtown Raleigh. It’s a membership-based, basement cocktail bar. Not only do I love that it’s below ground, but the various tufted couches and vintage vibes are a nice touch! Every time I walk into Watts & Wards I feel like I am a part of a secret society. They have a variety of house cocktails to choose from and an extensive spirits selection. 

Did I mention they have live music every Thursday?! I don’t know about you, but t’s a great way to enjoy an after-hours cocktail and destress from the workday. I mean… who doesn’t love live music?! If you’re interested in cigars, they have a variety for you to choose from! You can enjoy a cigar at the outside bar filled with several picnic tables so sitting is never an issue unless the band is playing live outside! Otherwise, you might want to get there early to claim your seat! 

Personally, if weather permits, I love to sit outside, and people watch while I sip on one of their signature cocktails. The Carolina Lily is my go-to! It’s a vodka-based cocktail with strawberry, lemon, rhubarb bitters, topped with sparkling rose and lemon zest! Don’t worry, if you’re not a fan of vodka but love a good signature cocktail then they have several amazing drinks to choose from! My bourbon drinkers should try their Wagon Wheel, it’s a bacon fat washed bourbon, with pecan amaro, Irish breakfast tea, honey, Angostura bitters, and topped with candied bacon. If you’re a swine lover, this is a no brainer!! If you’re not into bourbon with bacon, then the U.S.S Maine is probably more your speed! For my Gin drinkers, you gotta try the IBISCO Fizz, it’s more on the sweeter side with ingredients like hibiscus-raspberry soda. If you’re not into sweet gin drinks, I’d recommend the Winter Rose! For tequila fans like myself, you can’t visit Watts & Ward without ordering the Seredipity. If you’re about straight shots, no chasers… or just a drink on the rocks, Watts & Ward has you covered! 

Next time you’re looking for something low-key or the perfect nightcap bar stop by Watts & Ward!


Street parking. There are public parking deck and lots in the area. 


Dim lights, cozy, and has an exclusive feel. 

Palate Points:

Most signature cocktails include ingredients you’d never think to include into a cocktail. 

Now it’s time for the tea… Sip, Sip, Spill Style:

Sip:  Membership is required. If you’re not a member they will charge you a $1 membership fee. Look on the bright side, now you’re a member! 

Sip: Parking is a pain, just Uber or Lyft! 

SPILL: The outside area is great! However, if you’re not a fan of smoke find a comfy seat inside on one of the tufted couches! The outside has a limited drink menu.

By: Briana Aguilar

Follow @SipSipSpill

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