Thirsty Thursdays: 5 Cool Bars in Cortland, New York State, USA

The small city of Cortland in New York State may not immediately jump out at you as a city famous for drinking in, but it is often the smaller under-mined destinations that surprise you in this regard. Cortland, a city in which the NY Jets train during offseason, houses less than 20,000 people. However, when the sun goes down, locals and visitors know how to drink the night away and party in a small niche range of bars to suit all tastes. From a travelling perspective, base yourself in a Cortland Hotel before deciding to head out into the city to explore the night life and cuisine. Once you’re setlled into your accommodation, here are five of the best bars in the city of Cortland to check out.


Photo by Tiffany Allington via

1. Red Jug Pub
The popular Red Jug pub is on Central Avenue and has a Friday night Happy Hour promotion. The bar also has a pool table and darts and shows live sports.

2. Central City Bar and Grill
Also situated in the downtown area of Cortland is the Central City Bar and Grill. This is a cosy and friendly place to eat, drink, and relax. They have a well-maintained food menu and use only fresh meat, never frozen. Their sauces and soups are also homemade. On top of this, the owners are very welcoming and they have around 30 draft beers on tap.

Central City

Photo from Central City Bar and Grill

3. Cortland Beer Company
Cortland Beer Company is the place to be for the beer connoisseurs. They brew their own range of excellent beers, including Naked Lap Lager and Sunrise Coffee Stout. They have live music on Saturday nights and also a retail shop where you can buy Cortland Beer Company T-shirts. Unfortunately, they close on Mondays as of July 2015.

Cortland Beer

Photo from Cortland Beer Company

4. Paddy’s Pub
There was sure to be an Irish pub on this list and Paddy’s Irish Pub is the one that makes it in. Situated on Owego Street, this is the place to get your fix of Irish whiskey, stout, and good old-fashioned “craic” as they say in Ireland. The pub itself is quite small and basic but it’s the atmosphere that makes it what it is.

5. The Stone Lounge
The Stone Lounge is one of the newer bars in Cortland and this one is a tad swanky and belongs to those who are after a slightly more posh experience. Inside the bar there are cosy leather couches, state-of-the-art flat screen TVs, and they have a VIP room. This is the luxury kid on the Cortland block and on its own, it rivals some of the plush bars of Manhattan, at least for decor and atmosphere, if not for their ’round the clock service.

So while Cortland isn’t quite the 24-hour town that New York City is, there are still a good range of bars to keep you entertained in the city at night and it makes a pleasant alternative when travelling to New York State.

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