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HINGE: A Doorway To Quality Beer and Entertainment (Northampton Blog)

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Hinge: A Hip Hangout in Northampton

Four Floors of Quality Beer and Entertainment

Hinge in Northampton, MA. Photo Courtesy of HingeHinge is a fascinating restaurant/bar in Northampton which sports a cozy interior and a friendly staff that makes one feel he/she is at his own home by greeting you as you walk in. The complex arrangement of the restaurant gives the visitor a feeling of being in more than one place. Split between four floors, the levels afford plenty of opportunity for different uses.

The bottom floor is furnished with wooden tables, spread out in the brilliant and yet mellow lighting; it feels as if the reflections of lights hitting the glossed wood are smiling at you as you visit the bar on the left, and choose from a vast selection of microbrews and/or wine.

Make your way up a set of stairs and past the back of the restaurant and you find that you are on a small floor and that at its end is another bar. Make sure to pet the fuzzy wall which is covered with soft gray shag carpeting. Walk up another set of stairs and onto the stage floor where tables and seats face a modest stage, about 10‘ X 10‘. This is where open mics are held. On Tuesday nights they hold a poetry open mic with a slam competition. On Thursday nights they had a comedy open mic but it was cancelled; the awkward space between the stage and the bar floor just below it causes a disruption in the action. A performer can’t see the people on the floor just below him without leaning over a railing, and those enjoying a drink on the floor below are not necessarily there to enjoy the show. This disconnect will probably lead to more problems as customers and performers intentionally or unintentionally vie for control over the airwaves. Either the bar should insist that those who are only there to drink should do so downstairs or they should not expect perfectly orderly open mics.

Behind the audience seating is another set of stairs that leads to a long room equipped with cozy couches, a pool table towards the back, and behind the pool table a large leather couch onto which shines green lights from the ceiling overhead. Hinge is trying to piece together some kind of sheik theme, but the size of the venue makes it a bit unruly. The place is reminiscent of a large ship with its several floors but limited height, and wooden support beams and floors, and a dizzying lack of order. The place has awesome potential. But it is so large and has so many customers that one almost forgets he is in a restaurant and begins to feel he is at a house party.

I ate at Hinge once. I ordered a cheeseburger with french fries. It was served a little bit colder than normal and lacked flavor. The fries were a little bit cold too. Hinge is not the best place to go for meat dishes, but I have heard that the vegetarian fare is decent. Overall, Hinge is definitely worth checking out as it offers a comfortable atmosphere for one to unwind in, and has a charm about it that Karma, the establishment that was there before it lacked. Just be prepared to spend a little extra as their beers average out at about eight dollars per draft, something to consider for us twenty somethings who are trying to save our cheddar.

Ezra Prior is a Contributor to The Free George. Photo Courtesy of Hinge

The Free George is the online magazine and visitors’ guide of Upstate NY, covering things from Albany to Lake Placid, including Saratoga, the Lake George region and the Adirondacks. Check out our City Blogs section for our extended coverage areas as well.

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