Meister's Bar lies in a rather rundown house between west Campus and Grandview. The exterior resembles an old bait shop, and the upstairs could very well be haunted. Lucky for you, the action happens in the lower level.

Meister's Bar lies in a rather rundown house between west Campus and Grandview. The exterior resembles an old bait shop, and the upstairs could very well be haunted. Lucky for you, the action happens in the lower level.

No, scratch that. The action happens in the coolest basement ever. There, you'll find a laid-back, down-home sports bar par exellence - the kind of dude refuge that your beer-drinking, Browns-loving uncle always dreamed of.

"When we saw the place, it had so much potential," said co-owner Matt Meister, who recently bought the former home of Amicons Bar with his cousin, Todd Meister. "It just needed a facelift."

The place would feel just right to someone watching the Watergate scandal unfold. That's part of the charm. The Meisters want a classic neighborhood joint where people can sit down and take a load off.

"My cousin and I had been tending bar for about 15 years," Todd Meister said. "I've been doing it so long for so many other people, so I figured I might as well start doing it for myself."

Floor-to-ceiling wood paneling lines every wall, and it matches both a hardwood floor and dropped ceiling tiles that have been tinged umber. From a series of tables with formica tops to red-leather stools, you kind of feel like you're relaxing inside a giant cigar box.

On those walls are classic Rolling Stone covers and vintage beer memorabilia. Within them is everything you'd want to keep busy during halftime of the big game.

A jukebox and two beautiful new pool tables were added to the main space, and turns on "Strike Masters," an arcade bowling game, cost only 50 cents.

And if darts are your thing, you can head to a small, private room that my Alive colleague Jesse Tigges wisely dubbed "the dart mezzanine." One half-flight of stairs above the bar floor, there's a couch, a board and a view through a quaint wrought-iron railing.

Bottled Up

Normally in a space like this, you'd see a freezer full of Genesee Light or, on holidays, Genny Cream. But co-owner Matt Meister keeps a good smattering of hoppy, hearty bottles on hand. Here are five of the most uncommon.

Bear Republic Hop Rod Rye

New Holland Dragon's Milk Ale

Orval Trappist Ale

Tommyknocker Butt Head Bock

Weyerbacher Blithering Idiot