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A bar in the middle of Loungeland 

The area immediately around the Biltmore redevelopment has undergone a striking transformation from skanky to absurdly upscale in a few short years. However, T&J's, just down the street from the new urban oasis, stands out as a Midtown bar with absolutely no aspirations to fabulousness. The owners are clearly not trying to do anything more than provide a place to kick back and drink. Sure, there are a few special promotions (karaoke with KJ Johnny Midnight on Tuesdays and Team Trivia on Wednesdays) but for the most part, this is just a simple joint.

Where guys can be guys: Unlike the fashion-conscious warrens nearby, with their heavily designed lighting and decor, T&J's straight-forward single, rectangular room is simply and appropriately well-lit, with a pool table, a few TVs, beer and cigarette ads hanging on the wall and a couple of video games.

This isn't New York, and smokers are clearly welcome here, both inside and out front, where there's a nice wooden deck with plenty of space for hanging out. Further fostering the relaxing, no-frills vibe, we found the laid-back staff to be warm, accommodating and friendly.

We bleed yellow and black: T&J's staff knows their patron base: "We're a Georgia Tech bar," says the bar's manager, stating the obvious with a shrug and a smile. The numerous fraternity T-shirts and GT-encrusted caps had pretty much clued us in already. The clientele on this Tuesday night seemed to reflect Tech's famous gender disparity -- men heavily outnumbered women.

So if you are a young female looking to snare a nice boy working toward an engineering degree, perhaps you should put this place on the target list -- especially if you are into the casual-preppy type.

Fit for a college budget: Drinks are quite reasonably priced, a bonus for any of us watching our pennies. Well liquor drinks are around $4, with most premium liquor going for around $6 a glass. Bottled beer is $3.50 for domestics, $4 for imports. Bud Light on draught is a thrifty 2 bucks. Pitchers, the collegiate staple, are $6 for Bud Light, but a heftier $12-$14 for other brands as available. Listed specials during our visit included $2.95 Red Stripe bottles, $3.50 Pabst Blue Ribbon tallboys (24-ounce cans), and $4 Jägermeister shots.

T&J's does have a kitchen offering the basic bar food accompaniments: wings, burgers, BBQ, chicken fingers, and the like. But really, this is a bar, not a restaurant.

T&J's. Mon.-Sat. 4 p.m.-2 a.m. 889 W. Peachtree St. 404-874-5535.

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