The Top is the Chuck Norris of Gainesville bars: it can do anything. Really—if you want a great Manhattan, a PBR tall boy, a full meal, an elusive Magic Hat No.9, a healthy and tasty snack, or you just want to gaze upon a painting of young JFK, The Top is the place to be. The food is diverse and enjoyable, but I’ll leave that review up to Gainesville’s restaurant examiner.
Upon entering, the restaurant is on the right side, so thirsty visitors should make a left and head into the bar area. The bar is quite relaxed in the afternoon: the crowd is light and the bartenders are always up for casual conversation at the bar while you’re waiting for your food or drink. During the evening, the hipsters come out of the woodwork to fill the crevices between barstools and corner high-top tables, but balancing out the crowd is a great mix if young professionals, grad student-types, professors, and surprisingly normal looking people. So, if you’ve never been to The Top before, don’t be deterred by the herd of fixies and beards congregated out front.
To take full advantage of the bartenders’ skill and the bar’s offerings, I provide below a triage (if you will) of drink suggestions (because you can get Jagerbombers and Bud Light anywhere):
1. Mojito (fresh mint muddled right in front of your eyes) or Mantattan (if you’re up for this kind of thing)
2. Hendrix and tonic (best Gin on earth)
3. Something that looks tasty from the specials board
1. Magic Hat No.9 (you’ve got to do it at least once)
2. Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA
3. Belle’s Two Hearted Ale