This Uptown bar is inviting but not desperate; trendy without trying too hard; relaxed but not lazy — a rec room with the metaphorical volume turned up to eleven (the actual volume, by the way, is nicely not too loud — except on weekends). The cocktail list, which was masterminded by Caroline Pagel of Sea Salt, manages to be both decently priced ($6 during happy hour, which runs 4-6 p.m. weekdays, or $8 regularly), and, by and large, unfussy and delicious (try the garden gimlet.) Big bonus: bocce ball!

Make Westing has an industrial Brooklyn aesthetic and a bocce court in the corner, two ingredients that help make it one of the darlings in Uptown’s renaissance. Cocktails are a bit cheaper than at neighbors like Flora and Dogwood, though not quite as fancy. In a tiny micro-space behind the bar, chef Melinda Vaca (formerly of Sea Salt) cranks out remarkably tasty pub fare. Try to be forgiving if the food’s not 100 percent on-point: Vaca sometimes works quadruple duty as prep cook, chef, server, and dishwasher.

— Jesse Hirsch

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