- Best Cocktail Mixer (James Douglas)
- Best Bartender (James Douglas)
- Best Bouncers (Debo)
- Best Cheap Beer
- Best Bloody Mary
- Best Neighborhood Bar
- Best Late-Night Bar
- Best No-Frills Watering Hole
- Best Downtown Bar
Silver Moon Saloon cleaned up in 6 separate categories and was runner-up or closely linked to 3 others in this year’s Best Of The Beat. Silver Moon Saloon is downtown’s resident dive bar, best neighborhood bar and late-night watering hole of choice. The Moon, as it’s called by frequents, is proof that Winston-Salem doesn’t need to don fancy clothes and dust off the AmEx to enjoy a good time, a good beer or a good Bloody Mary. The Bloody Marys here are as Instagram-worthy as Bloodys come in the City of Arts & Innovation with over-the-top garnishes like mini-waffles, fried chicken tenders, fresh fruit and enough cured meat to make a charcuterie plate jealous. With just enough space inside for 10 folks to stand uncomfortably next to one another, the expansive patio oversees Trade St. and the glittering, clicking, ringing and whizzing of the Arts District and its passersby. The Moon may be a physical space slinging PBRs, local brews and cocktails into the dark hours of the night, but it’s the denizens of the city that make it the stuff of legends.
James Douglas of both Silver Moon Saloon and Hoot’s Roller Bar is one such individual. He started serving and working restaurants and delis in his teens but says the best education he ever received was a “trial by fire” at Finnigan’s Wake, another Trade Street standby. In the early 2010s, he bought a hot-dog cart and started up Street Meat Inc., which operated on the weekend nights on Trade Street, cementing his legendary status amongst late-night revelers and after-hours crowd. Douglas was hired on at Hoots Brewery and Silver Moon in 2014 and has been at both places ever since. When asked what the secret to the Silver Moon Bloody mix is, Douglas responded, “You have to play Roxy Music or Wu-Tang while you mix it, otherwise it curdles. Sometimes both.” (facebook.com/silvermoonsaloon)
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