Some people say sequels are never better than the originals. Ted Lawson is not one of them. The co-owner of Hampton's on King, successor of the defunct B. Hampton's Bar and Grill, believes the pub's new location on the edge of Campus is bigger, bolder and more broadly appealing than the original.
"The big patio -- this is what we needed," he said.
Leafy trees and plentiful patio furniture may be the first things you notice when approaching the bar, but it's Hampton's cozy, eclectic interior that leaves a lasting impression. Owners Lawson and Cathy Capuano chose rich purple and crimson as the backdrop for star-shaped mirrors, flowery Christmas lights and French vintage posters.
The low-lit bar's couches and tall tables welcome private chatter. Many of the twentysomething loungers choose sip-worthy beers to pass the time, and Hampton's selection of 85 or so bottled brews is unrivaled on Campus. Check out Rogue's Mocha Porter, Victory's HopDevil or Bluegrass Brewing's Bourbon Barrel Stout ($4.50) for starters.
Don't let the craft beers and Wes Anderson-style decor fool you, though -- Hampton's still has a dab of Campus flavor. Following the bar's scarlet-and-gray tiled floor downstairs leads to a homey basement with couches, two pool tables and a black-lit dance floor.
"We're definitely a lot more unique than your average bar," Lawson said.
Hampton's hosts DJs on Friday nights, and that's when the dance floor really gets bumping. Lawson hopes to bring live music and karaoke to the space in the future, but he doesn't foresee ever charging a cover.
The bar has been open for just over a month, but it's already drawing crowds. B. Hampton's was known for its ultra-cheap happy hour, and the new bar largely carries on the tradition. In a nod to the building's former tenant Estrada, Hampton's on King also features daily specials like $1 tacos and $8 margarita pitchers on Tuesdays.
A long wooden bar with mystical graphics serves reasonably priced suds all day and night, like 24-ounce Coronas ($4), domestic drafts ($3) and imports ($4.50) such as Strongbow and Goose Island's 312 Urban Wheat. Fruit-juice-driven cocktails like the Raztini and grape-flavored Ecstasy Martini ($7) also stir some interest.
Hampton's grill stays open till 1 a.m. to alleviate late-night hunger pains. The light menu consists mostly of typical bar fare and snackables, like cheese-filled Potato Munchers ($5). Standouts include the BBQ Chicken Pizza ($13) and the hot ham-topped "Bert" Hampton Salad ($8).
4-8 p.m. Monday-Friday: $1.50 domestic drafts, $2 domestic bottles, $2 well drinks and $1 off everything else4 p.m.-2:30 a.m. daily
Hampton's on King234 King Ave., Campus 614-299-2099