Food & Drink » Bar Review

Jake's is king of the roadhouse

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Fly your freak flag high, man. Put on some comfortable shoes, let down those dreads, pull on your favorite jeans, T-shirt and beat-up cap, and head for Jake's Roadhouse. This friendly bar, about a mile-and-a-half inside the Perimeter on Lawrenceville Highway, recently snatched the jam band headquarters rights from the Brandyhouse when the Dunhams moved their live Sunday night show there. The club is also a venue member of the Home Grown Musical Network, bringing the whole family of groove-oriented bands through its doors -- from bluegrass to blues, funk to folk, world beat to happy feet, usually all in one band. You don't have to be stoned to have a good time, though. Watching ecstatic noodle-dancers is more fun than watching preening snobs, and the conversation is refreshingly free from excessive dude-speak.

Jake's is not much different in appearance from your typical roadside tavern. A bar with seating all the way around is located between two large rooms -- a dark one for the music and a well-lit one for five pool tables, air hockey and assorted video games. There's live music nearly every night, but the music is not so loud that you can't hang out in the bar area or pool room and socialize. Or sit at one of the booths with your date and people watch. Pints of fancy beer (Sweetwater's 420 and Exodus Porter, Newcastle, Bass) are $3.50, and of course there's Bud. A call brand drink in a plastic cup is mixed satisfyingly strong and will set you back $4.25. Joe and Smack behind the bar will keep it real.

The menu includes the usual bar food ($5.75 for a basic burger with fries, rings or tater tots; $6 for a basket of chicken fingers or BBQ), along with blue-plate specials like meatloaf ($7.50), country-fried steak ($8), or a ribeye steak ($10) served with two sides (mashed potatoes, greens, mac 'n' cheese and the like). Southern hippie food? Right on, y'all. Peace.

Jake's Roadhouse, 2272 Lawrenceville Highway. Open when they want to, close when they have to. 404-633-4111. www.jakesroadhouse.net.

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