6233 Mechanicsville Turnpike
Second Place: Marty's Grill, Mechanicsville
Third Place: Club Midway, Mechanicsville
Bartender Chelsea Buzzard slips into the kitchen to throw a burger on the grill. She's a cook, bartender, server? "All of the above," she says. So maybe a Tuesday night at 7 isn't the most crowded you'll find Cullen's Cove (though poker night later will be drawing them in). But forget the shiny new T.G.I. Friday's down the street. This Mechanicsville favorite holds its own. The place dates to the '40s, says Bill Hazelwood, father of the owner, Rob. He points to the lake out the window, which is more like a mud hole these days, connecting to Bell Creek. This building was known to locals as Westhaven Lake, then Haymarket Dinner Theater, for years. Now there are line-dancing lessons and karaoke, lots of live music on the weekends, benefits, a laid-back vibe — and regulars, lots of regulars. Because after all, T.G.I. Friday's can only hold your attention for so long. Marty's Grill and Club Midway also help keep the East End hopping.