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Hours & Info

hours

  • Monday-Friday 2:00pm-2:00am
  • Saturday & Sunday 12:00pm-2:00am

Monday – Friday

2:00pm – 2:00am

Saturday & Sunday

12:00pm – 2:00am

Located in the heart of downtown Wilmington, Varnish Ale & Spirits combines historic charm with delicious craft cocktails and locally brewed beer.

We are called Varnish Ale & Spirits for a reason. On the “ale” side, Varnish loves beer and the Port City, which explains why 18 of its 24 beers on tap are always from local breweries. On the “spirits” side, our bartenders love to get creative. Whether it’s a simple gin & tonic or a muddled, stirred, strained or shaken craft concoction, guests are always pleased.

Hungry? Food is prepared by Bar Local and served to your seat or table. Ask your bartender for a food menu.

Five TVs allow you to cheer on your team from any seat. If your team’s not playing, shoot some pool or play some video games in our mini-arcade.

Feel like dancing? Varnish has a 2nd floor. DJ Brewtal plays your favorites in the upstairs club every Friday and Saturday night. Two upstairs bars make sure your thirst stays quenched.

location

Varnish Ale & Spirits is located at 23 Market ST in Downtown Wilmington. 

We’re conveniently located across the street from the legendary Kilwin’s Ice Cream and next to two restaurants: Bar Local and Port City Burgers & Brews. 

Why The Name Varnish?

Prior to 23 Market St. becoming home to Varnish Ale & Spirits, its origin was quite different.

Rebuilt in 1840 after a fire, the four-story brick building housed a paint and varnish store for more than 50 years before Morrison Wenceslaus Divine took over the company from his father, John F. Divine, who served as a captain in the Civil War.

M. W. Divine and Company opened in 1897 . The 22-by-92 foot store’s well-stocked inventory included paints, varnishes, brushes and oils along with a variety of builder supplies. Known as the largest paint depot in North Carolina, the company was the regional distributor for Sherwin Williams Paint.

Morrison Divine was a popular and well respected civic leader in Wilmington. The former civil engineer lived at 409 Orange St., served on a number of local bank boards and was on the board of directors with the Atlantic Coast Railroad. He died at age 80 and is buried in Wilmington’s historic Oakdale Cemetery.

Varnish Ale & Spirits respects the rich history associated with this building and is committed to making its own history . . . one glass at a time.

Beer

Draft Beer

Wilmington is lucky enough to have many great local breweries. We always have 18 local beers on 24 of our taps. 

These change regularly.

Bill’s Brewing Co

Wilmington, NC

  • Goodyear ESB 6.5%
  • Citra Pale Ale 6.0%

Broomtail Craft Brewery

Wilmington, NC

  • Galloping Gose | Seasonal 5.0%
  • BAM! Sour | Seasonal 5.0%
  • Mosaic Bluff | IPA 6.2%

Edward Teach Brewery

Wilmington, NC

  • Teaches Peaches | Peach Wheat 5.0%
  • Scallywag | Session IPA 4.9%
  • Black Spot | Black Lager 5.3%

Flying Machine Brewery

Wilmington, NC

  • Mozi's Kite Juice | IPA 6.1%
  • Governable Parachutes | IPL 4.8%

Front Street Brewery

Wilmington, NC

  • Port City IPA 6.9%

Waterline Brewing Co.

Wilmington, NC

  • Hefeweizen 5.5%
  • Kolsch 5.3%

Wilmington Brewing Co.

Wilmington, NC

  • Tropical Lightning | IPA 5.5%

Wrightsville Beach Brewing Co.

Wilmington, NC

  • Airlie Amber Ale 5.2%
  • Orange Krush | Kolsch 4.8%
  • La Brewchacha | Mexican Style Lager 5.0%

Non-Local Draft

  • Yuengling | Traditional Lager 4.4%
  • Red Oak | Bavarian Amber Lager 5.0%
  • Shock Top | Belgian Wheat 5.2%
  • Guinness | Irish Stout 4.3%
  • Angry Orchard | Cider 5.0%

Bottles & Cans

Some great beer comes in cans and bottles. Here’s what’s in stock now:

  • Elevator Lady | Sour 5.7%
  • Mural | Agua Fresca Cerveza 4.0%
  • Hi-Wire Rose | Fruit Ale 4.6%
  • White Claw Black Cherry | Hard Seltzer 5.0%
  • White Claw Mango | Hard Seltzer 5.0%
  • Truly Lime | Hard Seltzer 5.0%
  • Truly Rose | Hard Seltzer 5.0%
  • Raspise | Raspberry Mint Berliner Weisse 5.3%
  • Carlsberg | Pilsner 5.0%
  • 2.62 Brew | Electrolyte Ale 4.0%
  • Newcastle | Brown Ale 4.7%
  • Heineken | Dutch Lager 5.0%
  • Blue Moon | Belgian White 5.4%
  • Red Stripe | Jamaican Lager 4.7%
  • Sam Adams | Seasonal 5.3%
  • Rolling Rock 4.5%
  • Michelob Ultra 4.2%
  • Corona Extra 4.5%
  • Miller Lite 4.2%
  • Budweiser 5.0%
  • Bud Light 4.2%
  • Bud Light Lime 4.2%
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon 4.6%

Cocktails

Wine & More

Wine

Check out our extensive selection of Wine:

  • Bolla | Prosecco 11.0%
  • Cristalino | Brut Cava 11.5%
  • Roscato | Sparkling Moscato 9.0%
  • Caposaldo | Pino Grigio 2017 12.5%
  • ViNO | Rose 2017 12.0%
  • Rodney Strong | Chardonnay 2017 14.5%
  • Hob Nob | Pinot Noir 2016 13.0%
  • Maggio | Cabernet Sauvignon 2016 13.0%
  • Columbia Crest 2016 13.5%

Events & Specials

Check out our Daily Specials and Events!

There are different drink specials and events every day of the week. 

Select a day below for that day’s current specials and events.

SUNDAY FUNDAYS!

Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Coffee Shots, Whiskey, and Beer on special!

MARGARITA & MOVIE MONDAYS

4 Select Margaritas, Mexican Beer, and Tequila Shots on special!

Classic Movies start at 9:00pm.

IRISH TUESDAYS

Irish Mules, Car Bombs, Breakfast Shots, Trash Cans, Whiskey, and Guinness on special! 

WINE WEDNESDAYS w/ KARAOKE @ 9:00pm

Come sing and enjoy half-priced Wine!

Strawberry Rum Lemonades and Shots on special!

HOMEGROWN THURSDAYS w/ TRIVIA @ 7:30pm

SUPPORT LOCAL!

All Local Draft Beer and NC Liquor on special!

Bring your smarts, play Trivia, and win prizes!

FRIDAYS w/ DANCE FLOOR & DJ UPSTAIRS

$4 Well Drinks and $2 off all 24 Draft Beers!

CHAMPAGNE SATURDAYS w/ DANCE FLOOR & DJ UPSTAIRS

$3 Domestic Bottles | $4 Select Shots | Half-Priced Champagne!

SUNDAY FUNDAYS!

Mimosas, Bloody Marys, Coffee Shots, Whiskey, and Beer on special!

MARGARITA & MOVIE MONDAYS

4 Select Margaritas, Mexican Beer, and Tequila Shots on special!

Classic Movies start at 9:00pm.

IRISH TUESDAYS

Irish Mules, Car Bombs, Breakfast Shots, Trash Cans, Whiskey, and Guinness on special! 

WINE WEDNESDAYS w/ KARAOKE @ 9:00pm

Come sing and enjoy half-priced Wine!

Strawberry Rum Lemonades and Shots on special!

HOMEGROWN THURSDAYS w/ TRIVIA @ 7:30pm

SUPPORT LOCAL!

All Local Draft Beer and NC Liquor on special!

Bring your smarts, play Trivia, and win prizes!

FRIDAYS w/ DANCE FLOOR & DJ UPSTAIRS

$4 Well Drinks and $2 off all 24 Draft Beers!

CHAMPAGNE SATURDAYS w/ DANCE FLOOR & DJ UPSTAIRS

$3 Domestic Bottles | $4 Select Shots | Half-Priced Champagne!

We also participate in local bar crawls & other special events! 

To view all upcoming special events, please visit us on Facebook below.

Private Events

Both floors of varnish are open for private bookings!

 Whether you’re aiming for a Sit-Down Company Gathering or a Private Wedding Reception, we have the facilities to accommodate any needs you and your guests may have! 

Downstairs

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Upstairs

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For more information, please inquire by tapping the button and filling out the form below.

(Please note: all sections of the form are required for submission)

Find Us

Need more info?

Give us a call at (910) 399-6011 or Select “Contact Us” below.

We’ll be in touch as soon as possible!

Private event inquiry

Please fill out our form below to inquire about hosting your private event at Varnish!

(Please note: all sections of the form are required for submission)

Contact us

Please fill out our form below to inquire about hosting your private event at Varnish!

(Please note: all sections of the form are required for submission)