Raleigh, N.C. — Tucked behind an alley off of Fayetteville Street, The Haymaker is a little off the beaten path.
When you stumble upon this hidden gem, you will find a perfect combination of downtown frenzy mixed with neighborhood watering hole vibes.
Haymaker is a boxing term, meaning “a powerful hit,” but the environment isn’t as rigid as the name. A huge floral wall is the first place you look upon entering. It’s gorgeous, it's inviting and it’s different.
Vintage boxing gloves cover another wall as an ode to the Haymaker name. It's the perfect mixture of classic yet modern, with 90’s hip hop playing in the background.
“Craft cocktails in a comfortable environment.” That’s what Echelon Experiences Creative Director Dustin Slemp was going for when he pitched the idea.
This is not that typical Raleigh bar that you wouldn’t be caught dead in before 11 p.m. on a Saturday night. I’m here at 4:30 on a Wednesday afternoon, and it feels right. It feels adult.
Bar managers Alex Flynn and Josh Gagne craft classic cocktails and Haymaker originals. Also champagne on tap. That's right. Champagne on tap.
These classy shareable punch bowls filled with specialty cocktails make for the perfect place to gather with friends.
This is a place to hang out and drink. Get your dinner elsewhere and come back for a night cap.
But if you do get a little hungry, they have the snack that smiles back. THEY HAVE GOLDFISH...in a cocktail glass. YES PLEASE!
Classified as a "private club," your ticket into a champagne on tap paradise is a yearly, one dollar membership fee.
I visit downtown Raleigh to have a meal.
But now I've discovered the adult solution to a late-afternoon drink with friends. Haymaker is a place where I can go to enjoy a cocktail that comes IN A TEA CUP without watching college kids spill their drinks all over each other while trying to dance.
The Haymaker is a knockout.