The better bars of Burly

The Our Mirthful Board staff got a little thirsty this week.

So we went on a tour of the best watering holes in town, chatted up our favorite bartenders and studied menu and special board alike.

HereÕs what we came up with.

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LeunigÕs Lounge

This is my personal favorite, but not many are aware this place even exists.

In an open room one floor above the front dining room, magic happens.

The Lounge boasts a full menu of signature drinks and small fare from LeunigÕs famous chefs.

On a weekend evening, youÕll probably share the room before 10 p.m. with people waiting for a seat downstairs, but itÕs slowly becoming a favorite for the later, younger crowd.

Wait staff is incredible and the ÒVesperÓ Ñ a gin and vodka martini with Lillet Blanc instead of vermouth Ñ is by far the best in town.

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Juniper

If youÕve heard of Hotel Vermont, youÕve probably heard something about the lobby bar, Juniper.

An open, Vermont-themed den, the bar offers the best array of locally sourced brews and booze.

Chill out by the fire, on a couch or at the window bar to get a view of the lake at sunset.

Better yet? The terrace next to the bar surrounds a large, open fire pit.

Oh and one more thing: itÕs the only place on this list to feature regular live music on the weekends.

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Church & Main

One of the few restaurants on Church Street whose food is as good as its drinks, Church & Main is a great second-date destination.

But after the kitchen closes on weekends, dining tables are pushed aside and a DJ sets up near one of the black curtains that flank the dining room.

Set up at the regular bar or at the window bar to people-watch.

Church and Main bartenders love to experiment, so take a look at the menu but feel free to tweak the recipes to your liking.

The highest recommended is the Purple Haze, an indigo-colored dance of vodka, St. Germain and orange curacao.

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Citizen Cider Tasting Room

Okay, this isnÕt a bar. But Citizen CiderÕs new tasting room on Pine Street deserves a mention here.

Hard cider isnÕt for everyone, especially for the brew crew, but this local company has achieved equality with most craft breweries in Vermont.

On tap at area bars and following Heady TopperÕs mission to bring back the 16 oz. can, Citizen features five to eight regular ciders and experiments often.

Those experiments are best tested at this fun, wood-accented room, where visitors can grab a tasting board or fill a growler-style ÒBootlegger.Ó