Federal | Durham, North Carolina
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Federal
Exceptional based on 16 ratings
Type: Restaurant

914 West Main Street
Durham, North Carolina United States 27701 [ print map ]
919 680 8611

thefederal.net

Hours: 11:30am-2am Mon-Sat :: 8am-2am Sun


Mayor: TURDFERGUSON (4) | Taps: 25 | Bottles: 10


Federal

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Beer Available At Federal (arranged by most recent)
Bells Two Hearted Ale 100, Brooklyn Ridgy-Didge 73, Bells Cherry Stout 91, Bells Black Note Stout 100, New Belgium Lips of Faith - Billyís Beer 73, Founders Nitro Oatmeal Stout 95, Founders Backstage Series #7: Mango Magnifico con Calor 94, Bells Quinannan Falls Special Lager 97, Green Flash Hop Odyssey Citra Session Ale 95
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16 reviews for Federal
 Ambiance  79%
 Service  74%
 Selection  72%
 Food  78%
 Value  70%
 Overall  79%
 Rating  84%
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Rating Distribution


80
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 9/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 16/20
maxwelldeux  (122) Everett, Washington | July 29, 2012
I quite like this place. Itís got a dive-bar feel to it without having the creepy factor. Decent selection of some interesting and local beer. Service was much better than I expected.
76
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD 10/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 15/20
DiarmaidBHK  (732) Pennsylvania | September 27, 2011
This may seem like some to be a dive bar but they would be wrong. Located mere minutes from the Duke campus it is in fact an homage to a dive bar. Old school breweriana lines the walls and the tap handles are off beers gone by. (Just try and guess which tap goes with which beer.) The crowd looks like itís comprised of mainly Duke students and young professionals. I appreciated the music being played a level that still made conversation possible. The food is made with great care and fresh ingredient. I thought my cheeseburger was fantastic and I love the garlic fries. They had about 20 taps and with exception of the ironic Miller High Life they were local and national craft. Would definitely come back if I were in the area.
82
  AMBIANCE 5/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD 9/10   VALUE 9/10   OVERALL 17/20
Strebs  (167) St. Louis, Missouri | September 25, 2011| Updated March 7, 2012
The Federal is a very comfortable, out of the way joint ( and I use joint in a very genial sense). The food was good and cheap, and the beer selection, even though not large, was none the less interesting. I really enjoyed the laid back vibe.
80
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE 8/10   OVERALL 16/20
TURDFERGUSON  (153) Durham, North Carolina | August 15, 2011| Updated November 17, 2013
Been here multiple times in the past couple years. Cozy little bar with a pretty good selection and pretty decent food. Better than milltown but more hipster-ish.
58
  AMBIANCE 2/5   SERVICE 4/10   SELECTION 9/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE 4/10   OVERALL 14/20
jtd6628  (8) North Carolina | July 9, 2011
This bar is a welcoming place to start off you Durham bar crawl. Food here is great they charge you for it but is worth every Penney seriously good food
80
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 12/15   FOOD 9/10   VALUE 9/10   OVERALL 17/20
DukeBrewDevil  (41) Chapel Hill, North Carolina | January 26, 2011
Iíve been to the Fed a bunch of times and figured it was time to finally put in a rating. Itís a smallish, but open feeling pub style place with a rustic bar vibe. They have maybe 15 beers on tap with a rotating list that hits on a great mix of locals, American seasonals, and craft beer standards. Thereís something different I havenít tried every time Iím in there. The surprising part is the food. The menu looks like standard pub fare, and the quality of the standards is above average. The real gem, though, is the ever rotating specials menu. Those items are always made fresh and are a really eclectic collection of "foodie" items, so if youíre willing to try something thatís a little outside-the-box, youíll end up with a great meal. One of my favorite cheap dinner spots in Durham.
76
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 11/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE 7/10   OVERALL 15/20
phaleslu  (398) Cincinnati, Ohio | December 13, 2010
The Federal is a cool place on Main Street in Durham with low-lighting, big booths, and some nice vintage touches. It seems to have a hipster reputation but we didnít get a pretentious or stuffy vibe at all- just a good mix of Duke people and visitors on a basketball weekend. The selection isnít huge, but it has some great local seasonal taps (TDR Paulís Christmas Vacation (!), Foothills, French Broad, Highland, etc.) along with some other nice ones (Founders, Brooklyn, etc.). The food was very good and inexpensive. The staff was friendly and service good, especially given the crowd that night. Along with Tylerís and Fullsteam, we hit three excellent places in Durham in one day before hitting the college bars at night.
74
  AMBIANCE 5/5   SERVICE 8/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD 7/10   VALUE 6/10   OVERALL 14/20
OldGrowth  (171) North Carolina | January 23, 2010
wife and stopped while running some errands, better dive bar type look, still smells smokey, but now none smoking per state law. dozen seats at bar, backward s shape. table and booths between front and back, bathrroms and kitchen divide the two. Lots of beer and cigarette memorabilia on wall. Two TVís. Service was good, but should of been as it wasnít crowded. Solid beer selection. Bells two hearted, mad river IIPA, Foothills torch pils and eclipse stout. Highland gaelic, Allagash White, Lagunitas Brown sugga, Sweetwate 420, Duck Rabbit porter, Frenchbroad ESB & Wee heavy-er. SN Celebration. Had a soup and sandwhich, though not remebering what off the top of my head. Fun place, worth a stop if you want a taste of older Durham....
68
  AMBIANCE 4/5   SERVICE 6/10   SELECTION 10/15   FOOD 4/10   VALUE 5/10   OVERALL 14/20
Drake  (474) Free Union, Virginia | October 5, 2008
Visited here the night before the World Beer Festival. Small place, but with a good amount of tables inside, a decent sized bar and outside seating. Lots of retro beer decor on the walls a couple of tvs and lots of wood set the decor. Customer service is efficient. I heard other people say the food was good but my nachos were average at best. 15 or so tap selections, all but two dedicated to craft beer. I had Foothills Oktoberfest and Founders Dirty Bastard. Extensive bottle list as well, but is more macro oriented. Definitely draft was the way to go while we were there.
68
  AMBIANCE 3/5   SERVICE 7/10   SELECTION 8/15   FOOD 8/10   VALUE N/A   OVERALL 16/20
gueuzeisgod  (3) Graham, North Carolina | April 28, 2008
Went for the first time a few days ago with friends. I guess I had expected it to be more of a restaurant but it was a small (500 square feet?) bar-type place with some table seating inside and a half dozen tables outside. The draft selection was not large, but the offerings were all pretty good- Duck Rabbit porter, Hennepin. Ate one of the specials for dinner- grilled rabbit with wild cherry bbq sauce, yams and summer squash. It was very good and well prepared. Service was prompt but not exceptionally warm, maybe because my friends were being borderline belligerent and cussing a bit. I will return sometime with my wife to chill and try some other dishes.

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