A Jewel on Mt. Meigs: Kru

A good bar doesn’t have to do a lot of things, but to qualify as a “good bar,” it should perform well in a couple of basic categories. Kru (2118 Mt. Meigs Rd.) is a great bar, and even though it has only been open since 2014, it is already a cherished local institution.

The first thing a good bar needs to do is have a decent (but not comprehensive) selection of booze, sold at a reasonable price. Kru has this mastered. The menu covers beer, wine and mixed drinks, sprinkling in craft beers and Alabama brews, along with more exotic mixtures from afar. Or you can just get a simple PBR. Everything is well-priced, and the cocktails are well-mixed.

A good bar will also offer things for folks that don’t drink alcohol. Kru has this locked down too. They have an outstanding espresso machine, which is something that is all too rare in Montgomery.

The next requirement for a good bar is to have a few different kinds of places for people to sit. Not everyone is going to want to pull up to the bar itself. People need a little space to talk, make deals, flirt, scheme, and so forth. Kru has a couple of different kinds of chairs, a really cool-looking bar with coins decoratively embedded in it, and the choice of indoor or outdoor seating, which is also a rarity. A good patio is a luxury, even when it might be too hot to sit outside. A few drinks and some shade can make even the Alabama summer tolerable. When the weather’s nice, it’s ideal.

Finally, the best bars will have something to do besides drink. Many establishments fill this void by turning on a television. We like Kru (and Leroy, over in our neighborhood) because they don’t have TV blaring. Good bar conversations happen when people aren’t zoned into a stupor staring at a screen, whether it’s their phones or the television in a corner. No, Kru has cornhole outside and some board games inside. But the real show stopper for us — the thing that will cause us to drive to Kru on an impulse — is the well-maintained ping-pong table.

A lot of places with a ping-pong table quickly realize the limitations of the technology: paddles get wrecked by drunk people peeling the surfaces off, balls get crushed by idiots who don’t know how to play, the net can be knocked askew. In all the times we have been to Kru, the ping-pong table has never been in anything less than great condition. Word to the wise: Table tennis is incredibly fun.

All in all, Kru is a place where community can be built. It’s a cliche to describe a bar as a place where strangers become friends. Bars can also be a place where genius is cultivated or destroyed. They can be home to all manner of folks. But Kru is one of the very best bars in our city, a place accepting of everyone, and serving quality drinks in a really relaxed environment.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with two cats, a dog, 18 fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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  1. My favorite Kru memory is that of losing my American Express card there during the holiday season 2015. My card was found and returned with narry a charge made to it.
    Great folks!!

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