Barstool: Covering the classics at After Hours Tavern

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after hours billiards

I’d only heard of After Hours Tavern in High Point because I made a point to seek out bars in the Triad’s smallest city. It didn’t sound like the kind of place I’d normally frequent, made clear by college nights and $4 Fireball shots, but I wanted to find some worthwhile venues in the Furniture City.

My husband and I were immediately set at ease when a warm, friendly woman greeted us at the door. We filled out membership forms and paid the $5 cover charge for the band playing that night.

The main area, housing the bar and four pool tables, stood mostly empty since the band, Shmack Daniels, was about to play in the next room. With no menu to go by, I eyed the modest liquor collection and the stand-up fridge by the back wall, containing bottles of Red Oak, Sweetwater 420 and a few Big Beer options like Shock Top, plus wine like Sutter Home. The bartender motioned to a separate fridge underneath the bar where Bud Lights were stashed. A sign suggested several specials, including $2.25 Bud Lights and $5.25 Long Island Iced Teas.

I expected a lack of craft beer but was happy to find one local bottled option, Foothills Jade IPA. The bartender offered a cold glass, and I happily obliged. My husband chose Aviator on draft, one of only three beers on tap.

The music underway, we snagged a candlelit table under LED icicles. Each Saturday hosts a different local band. After Hours typically chooses cover bands; they’re more popular with audiences.

Nonetheless, this particular band, the interestingly named Shmack Daniels, was rocking. With each cover in their own style, classic and popular songs like “Cars,” “Moves Like Jagger” and even “California Love” became pierced, tattooed, bearded versions of themselves, much like lead singer Lee Myers. The band’s strong stage presence and the impressive, professional light show added to the effect.

Friday night karaoke apparently draws a larger crowd, although I can’t see why. A whiteboard by the door advertises the upcoming Saturday night band lineup, which is also posted on Facebook; genres range from country/rockabilly to heavy metal, psychedelic blues and 80s hair metal.

Some might find the drink options at After Hours limited, and nearby venues like the Garage in Winston-Salem and Blind Tiger in Greensboro offer original tunes. But if you’re looking for entertainment and a classic bar in High Point, After Hours is a worthy contender.