Sort of a well-lived-in feel to this place. Lots of wood, traditional wrap-around bar and then a bunch of restaurant tables. Crowded on a Saturday late night. Not sure about parking, probably just street - I walked the quick 10 minutes from downtown. Staff was friendly, beerlist was OK without anything really surprising. Food was tasty enough pub grub. Decent enough stop.
The building is small and somewhat well-worn, but it’s just the kind of laid-back atmosphere I enjoy. We saw nary a hipster on our couple of visits, so I’m not quite sure if the previous comments in that regard are still applicable or if we just visited at the right times. Not an overwhelming number of taps, but they are dominated by well selected regional crafts. Large number of daily food specials (such as the excellent wild boar sausage we had on one visit) with dishes featuring unique items and local seasonal ingredients is pretty amazing, especially given the nice prices. Beer prices are maybe a bit high, but they do half pours if you need to. Service was great and pretty knowledgable about the beer and the food. Nice mix of background music isn’t too loud, so you can strike up a good conversation.
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 it’s 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.
Strebs (221) 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.
I’ve been to the Fed a bunch of times and figured it was time to finally put in a rating. It’s 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. There’s something different I haven’t tried every time I’m 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 you’re willing to try something that’s a little outside-the-box, you’ll end up with a great meal. One of my favorite cheap dinner spots in Durham.