The PR surprise | Dish | Indy Week
Pin It

The PR surprise 

Five years ago, when Richard "Gus" Gusler bought Raleigh's oldest tavern, The Players' Retreat—fondly called the PR—beer and white zinfandel filled the sports bar menu, but not for long.

"I went in and threw out all of the white zinfandel," Gusler says, "and we still don't have it."

What he does have, however, is almost everything else, so much, in fact, that Wine Spectator recently awarded The Players' Retreat an Award of Excellence for its lengthy wine list. The bar boasts more than 100 different wine varieties, ranging from Mumm Split Champagne ($7) to Chateau-Lynch Bages Bordeaux ($210), and 65 (24 white, 41 red) by-the-glass options.

"It surprises a lot of people," Gusler says about the wine, but the surprise doesn't end there. Gusler, who refers to himself a "scotch fanatic," has extended the spirits menu, too. With 66 varieties of scotch, The PR now contains the largest collection of single malt scotch in the state.

The menu may seem random. Across from the oldest part of N.C. State's campus, The Players' Retreat took its name nearly 60 years ago from the actors it drew from State's Thompson Theatre, not Wolfpack athletes. Today it has a reputation for burgers, beer and sports. For Gusler, however, the bar is the culmination of many of his passions. His connection to the PR extends to 1971, when, as a senior at State, he worked in the restaurant's kitchen.

For fellow wine or scotch fans, Gusler provides ample ways to taste the bar's offerings. A membership to the PR's Scotch Club, which costs $250, entitles you to half-shots of 48 of the 66 scotches in stock. And there are three options for Wine Club memberships: $200 for a half glass of all 45 available wines; $150 for half glasses of the reds; and $75 for half glasses of the white wines, minus, of course, white zinfandel.

Related Locations

More by Emily Wallace

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Dish



Twitter Activity

Comments

Fun story but not quite accurate.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/history-southern-food-pimento-cheese.html …

by Lane McColl on A brief history of pimento cheese (Dish)

Waraji, yes....I can't believe Sushi Blues and Cow Fish made the list. Harris Teeter has better sushi that these both …

by Michael Anderson on The best sushi in the Triangle (Dish)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

Fun story but not quite accurate.

http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/09/history-southern-food-pimento-cheese.html …

by Lane McColl on A brief history of pimento cheese (Dish)

Waraji, yes....I can't believe Sushi Blues and Cow Fish made the list. Harris Teeter has better sushi that these both …

by Michael Anderson on The best sushi in the Triangle (Dish)

La Piazza Pizza is second to none the best

7277 N Carolina 42, Raleigh, NC 27603

A Pure …

by goodfood85 on Pizza! On the hunt for the Triangle's best pies (Dish)

Does anyone know if the raspados truck is still there? I tried stopping by the other day but did not …

by ncsu_grad on Raspados: shaved ice, syrup and a spoon (Dish)

https://www.facebook.com/BryantFamilyFarm102?notif_t=page_new_likes

Please Visit, Like, and Share The Tree Row on Facebook. The family farm restart project. Its all about …

by Mark Bryant on Walking Fish community-supported program brings sustainable seafood to the Triangle (Dish)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation