McCray’s Tavern is on the corner of downtown Lawrenceville, on the square that surrounds the courthouse. It’s a popular restaurant, and it’s an exceptionally good looking tavern, with beautiful older brick and a lot of wood inside. The array of beer and liquor at the bar is impressive. There are perhaps 39 beers on tap and dozens of bottles of liquor, all with metal pour spouts, ready to be served. In McCray’s, it’s about the drinks, first and foremost.
I came on an evening and it wasn’t all that easy to get in. People were waiting outside, people were waiting inside. I suspect some of that were parties just waiting for everyone to show, as there was seating once I made it to the receptionist. I ended up sitting at the bar. Often the service is better there in a relatively crowded place.
I ordered beer, a hot pastrami sandwich and some roasted new potatoes. The beer was good and cold, the bartender seemed to know what she was doing. Staff is dressed casually, in t-shirts and jeans. The crowd is a mix of young and middle aged, male and female. Music is playing, people are talking, and it’s clearly a noisy, friendly bar experience when you’re in there.
The food came relatively quickly. There was a salad with my sandwich but the salad was just okay. The potatoes were good, quartered new potatoes with a brown crust. They were tasty with and without ketchup. The best part of the meal was the sandwich itself, which, without the Texas toast on both ends, was still about 2 inches thick. I poked at the sandwich layers, trying to figure it out. Best as I can determine, there was about an inch or more of thinly sliced meat, a layer of tomatoes, followed by a layer of slaw. The bread was good and toasted, a little surprising given the casual nature of the place.
I haven’t entirely figured out parking at McCray’s. There is some parking in the square, but not nearly enough. Behind the bar and on the other side of the block, there is parking that is marked for the courthouse. I suspect that’s where people park after the courthouse hours, but I’m not 100% certain. If a reader can confirm that, I’d be much appreciative.
Verdict: Great looking place, a pretty place to watch customers, chat, and have a drink. The food I had was good as well. Recommended.
McCray’s Tavern at the Square
100 North Perry Street
Lawrenceville, GA 30045