Thirsty? Here are the best places in downtown Topeka to grab a drink after work

A small selection of the tap beers available at HHB BBQ, 906 S. Kansas Ave. At any given time HHB has about a dozen different beers available for enjoying. (Chris Neal/The Capital-Journal)

At HHB BBQ, nothing goes better with its slow-cooked homemade BBQ than a cold beer. With about a dozen rotating options on tap, you can try anything from the local brews of Happy Bassett Brewing Co. or Blind Tiger Brewery, to the nationally acclaimed brews of Leinenkugel Brewing Co., Boulevard Brewing Co. and the classic Anheuesuer-Busch.

 

Walking into the sleek space that makes up HHB, the room is divided: an open seating space for dinner guests, and to the right, some high-top tables and a beautiful bar top that runs the length of the room. The restaurant is decorated in a country-meets-industrial-style decor, with tin sheets lining the counters and old country farm doors suspended from the ceiling.

HHB opened in 2012, became quickly known for its delicious BBQ, and after a fire in 2015 moved to its current location in the heart of downtown Topeka at 906 S. Kansas Ave.

Hanging out downtown after 5 p.m., it’s commonly known that there’s not a lot open for after-work social hours, but HHB is one of the growing number of restaurants working to change that. Open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, it offers the perfect spot to bring co-workers after work, chill with a cold brew and enjoy some delicious smoked BBQ.

However, HHB isn’t the only place downtown to get a cold beer after 5 p.m. We took the time to give you a few other options to get the full spectrum of what downtown Topeka has to offer.

The best view

For the best view to enjoy your beer after a long work day, nothing beats the view at the Top of the Tower Club, 534 S. Kansas Ave. The club is on the top floor of the Bank of America building in the heart of downtown Topeka. On Thursday nights, the club is open until 8 p.m. It’s open Fridays and Saturdays until 9 p.m. With visibility of up to 40 miles on a clear day, the Top of the Tower Club boasts of having the most breathtaking views in Kansas.

More than caffeine

At the Classic Bean Downtown, owner Juli Earl wants to be known as more than a coffee house. In the past year, the restaurant has extended its hours and now offers a variety of drinks at its full-service bar. While the Bean promotes more than coffee, a few of its specialty coffee concoctions are Classic Irish Coffee; Calypso Coffee, made with rum, creme de cacao, coffee and whipped cream; Italian Coffee, with amaretto and coffee liquor; and Espresso Chocolate Martini, sky vodka with Irish cream, dark creme de cacoa and espresso. The Classic Bean Downtown is at 722 S. Kansas Ave.

Feeling the blues?

Going to Uncle Bo’s Blues Bar after the work week is done is the perfect way to unwind. On a Friday or Saturday night, grab dinner at Madison Street Diner in the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, 420 S.E. 6th Ave., then make your way over to Uncle Bo’s for some of its premiere entertainment. And the best part? They’re all in the same place, with easy access to some comfy beds to sleep it off if you’ve had too much fun.

Mexican cuisine

For Mexican specialties, you’ve got your options within a few blocks of the Kansas Capitol. There are Arturo’s Mexican Restaurant, 105 S.E. 10th Ave.; El Centenario, 1306 S. Kansas Ave., or Lupita’s Mexican Restaurant, a few blocks south at 732 S. Kansas Ave. They all offer amazing margaritas or one of their specialty dishes to help unwind.

Irish fare

For the traditional Irish pub experience, go no further than The Celtic Fox, across the street from the Capitol at 118 S.W. 8th St. The owners are friendly, the waitresses attentive, and they’re true to their word that the bar encompasses that “Cheers” vibe, where everybody knows your name. While the Guinness is always a popular option, the pub offers a variety of beverages for the after-5 p.m. crowd.

North of traditional downtown

When asking “Where’s the best place to get a drink in Topeka?” one of the most overwhelming responses was The Wheel Barrel. With its gourmet grilled cheeses and the delicious soft-baked pretzels, The Wheel Barrel’s extensive alcohol options complement their dishes perfectly. Bartenders create the concoctions themselves, often by recalling a popular drink they had out with friends or re-creating it to make it better. A few summer favorite are Strawberry Mountie, Kansas Sunset and, if you’re feeling really adventurous, C&B Fizz. The Wheel Barrel is at 925 N. Kansas Ave.

 

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