Cliff Claven would adore the Willimantic Brewing Company (967 Main St., Willimantic, 860/423-6777, www.willibrew.com , 11:30 a.m.–1 a.m. Tue.–Thu.; 11:30 a.m.–2 a.m. Fri.–Sat.; 11:30 a.m.–1 a.m. Sunday, $7–17); the brew house sits in a revitalized, beautified postal building. Patrons down beers and simple but flavorful dishes like chili and pizza beneath the pub’s huge mural.
Wing nuts shouldn’t pass up a stop at Blarneys Cafe (49 High St., Willimantic, 860/423-9496, 4 p.m.–1 a.m. Sun.–Thu.; 4 p.m.–2 a.m. Fri–Sat., $4–6). An otherwise nondescript Irish pub/sports bar, its kitchen makes its mark with a sub-menu (in its list of bar food) of buckets of inexpensive chicken wings with unusual flavors such as creamy garlic, sweet and sour, and rum and coconut.