The Raleigh Times Bar

very good

27 Reviews
The Raleigh Times BarThe Raleigh Times Bar

Type: Bar, Eatery

14 E Hargett St
Raleigh, North Carolina, 27601-1426
United States

(919) 833-0999 | map

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Added by mcjeff on 08-23-2006

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Reviews: 27 | Ratings: 49
Photo of RBowers
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 3 | selection: 3.25 | food: 3.75

Hipsters everywhere. They never seem to have anything great and even some beers that are highly distributed and on the menu, they're out of. They don't like non-hipsters at this place, and will ignore you if there's another hipster that needs service.

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Photo of SteveMi
2.98/5  rDev -24.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3 | service: 2 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

A - It's a cool place -- an old newspaper office turned into a bar. They print their menus on paper as if it was a newspaper.

Serv - I've had good and not so good service here. Bartenders have been pretty good. Knowledgeable and friendly. Waiters have been hit or miss. Some are attentive and nice while others have been more interested in their own drinking. Not fun. As long as you get a good waiter things are smooth.

Sel - Not bad, but not as much as I'd like. While most beers do fall on the craft side (+1) there are just a few available on tap.

F - A bit better than normal bar food but not by a whole lot. If you are wanting a dinner there are better places around the area.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Depending on when you go, this restaurant/bar can have quite a different vibe. During the weekdays and weekend evenings it is mostly a hipster and beer nerd type or crowd while during the day on the weekends you get a lot more of the family crowd. The music playing is usually indie and the waitstaff tend to be 20-something hipsters. The music is generally not that loud and you can carry on a conversation at a comfortable volume. If that is not your scene, you might not enjoy the place.

There is not a ton a seating in the place and it can feel very crowded, I enjoy it best during the spring/summer/fall when you can sit outside and it feels less confining.

The food menu changes up seasonally but most items I have sampled are quite good - I have been to this place numerous times and cannot remember an occasion where the food has disappointed me. One menu item I would recommend, especially if you have never tried them, is the fried pickles - this is the South, everything is available fried.

There is not a huge draft list at the Raleigh Times but the drafts they have are usually solid - the drafts change pretty regularly. They have a decent bottle list that often features a number of saison, sour, and lambic styles of beer. Again, if your expectation is that this is going to be as good as some of the top places in NYC you might be disappointed (remember that NC has only relaxed the ABV regulations in the last couple of years and this is an emerging scene).

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Photo of clayrock81
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

I thought this was something going to be close to, if not the same as, a beer bar like The Blind Tiger in NYC or The Brewer's Art in Balty but no, not at all. To clarify, I mean I thought it would be this place that oozed off, not just "hipster" but a localized setting in a place that permeated a natural, beer drinking vibe. Instead it Saturday and more ma-n-pa families and drinkers (dare I say hipsters) than beer drinkers. And the food was OK, but $9 for a small plate of cheese fries? Beer prices and menu are the same - you're paying A-list prices for a beer menu that is aggravatingly disappointing. At first glance this place has a rather large selection of sour ales/lambics and a diverse listing of beers. Then you realize that it's all B-grade beers (seriously, most of those beers have a solid B (not a B+) grade on BA) but you're paying top notch prices. As for the draft list and rotating list it is a letdown. Don't get me wrong, enjoyed my time here and the server was nice and very attentive, but this is more of a pop in for one beer and a quick bite place than a beer bar you lounge out for a few hours.

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Photo of jophish17
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Stopped by on a recent trip to Raleigh - liked it so much, I came back for lunch the next day!

Raleigh times is a bar in downtown that covers three rooms and had some sidewalk seating as well. Two bars, thankfully all non-smoking now. Lots of brick, very typical old south. I think my perception may be enhanced by a Friday night visit, but the place was hoppin yet I didn't have to wait for a table, the best of both worlds. A couple of tvs at the bar to watch sports, but mostly just a simple, dim-lit bar/dining area mix.

The choices of beer was a bit of a let-down - yes, the choices are largely quality, and there are some pretty ridiculous bottles on the menu. However, for a state filled with dozens of craft breweries, I was let down by the local selection. Only one of the taps was a NC product, though I guess that's still almost 17% ;-) Heavy on the Belgians and Germans, which I can always appreciate. So, heavy on quality, even if no thte widest of selections

Our service on both trips was good, even on the busy Friday night - which was perfect, as I had just been explaining to someone what I think differentiates the good beer bars: service. Any bar who serves as a team and doesn't *just* serve their tables gets high regards from me.

Food was a bit above average - had 2 different sandwiches, both were good enough for me. Value wise, I found the place to be pretty reasonable. Dinner plates in the $8-10 range and acceptable quality at that price point. Sure, the Shaerbeekse Kriek may be $40, but its gonna run at least $30 in stores.. overall, a solid beer bar, and I imagine it's one of the best in Raleigh

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Photo of jsprain1
3.33/5  rDev -16.1%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5

A- The bar eminates what they call hipsterdom, both in the other clinetele and workers. Indie music on the radio. Not my cup of tea but maybe it's yours.
Q- Beers were served properly and my IPA seemed somewhat fresh.
Ser- Both of the times I've been here, it's been hard to get service at the outdoor seating. Maybe indoors is better, but I have not a particularly good service experience here.
Sel- Lots of bottles, but their tap selection was a bit underwhelming.
A bit more pricy than some other places in the area where one can get a better selection of taps and service.

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Photo of Onibubba
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Arrived on a weekend, just after 8pm. Crowded and just got more so. Crowd seems to consist of some beer geeks, but I saw an awful lot of non-beer drinkers here (lots of mixed drinks). Thankfully, that did not slow service down too much.

Barstaff was very attentive and knew their stuff. Tap selection was small, but good. Bottle list was very nice. Being primarily a fan of sours and Belgians, I was quite happy. The bad news is, most of the bottles are way too over-priced. About one and a half to twice what you would pay at the package store. While it is nice to see Cantillon on the menu, I won't be paying 32.00 for it. There were better values to be found. I paid 14.00 for a Drie Fontainen Kriek. That's acceptable.

After a couple of hours, the crowd was unbearable. Might be a good place to visit on a weeknight for a bottle or two, but definately not a weekend hangout

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Photo of beer2day
3.63/5  rDev -8.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I admit I'm a draft beer guy, so my scores here are going to be on the low side.

Very quirky atmosphere. Folks here from all walks of life. Given the location, I was a bit surprised at the diversity. Several different "rooms" with vastly different feels. Bar area is nice, other parts not so much. A few sidewalk tables for outside seating.

Service was pretty good, considering the crowd and the number of servers working.

Draft selection was underwhelming. Bottle selection is exceptional, especially Belgians and other EU beers. Food was also top notch, not your average bar food.

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Photo of silver0rlead
4.13/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

This place is somewhat polarizing amongst Raleighites, but I'm definitely in the love it camp. There is usually indie rock playing, and the staff is largely comprised of hipsters so if either of those is a deal breaker then this place probably won't be your cup of tea. The service is typically pretty good, but can be spotty when it's slammed (and it is slammed quite often). The tap selection is small (there are only 6 taps) but well chosen and there is always something worth trying, the bottle selection is extensive but I almost never order bottled beer at a bar. They also have some really tasty (and expensive) original cocktails, such as one with hop infused vodka and spicy ginger ale that can be a nice change of pace from beer. The food is a highlight, and is better quality and more inventive than typical pub grub.

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Photo of Ahoney67
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great place to hangout or have dinner. They have great food. Nachos being one of the best. They have pork or chicken. I would go for the pork. The beer selection is fantastic. Though they can be a bit pricey. They do have beers you can't find anywhere else. They converted the old Raleigh times newspaper office into a wonderful place for folks to eat and talk. They offer outdoor seating right on the street. Get there early because they fill up fast. I would recommend you go during a weeknight and I would recommend you go often!

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Photo of Singularbinary
4.74/5  rDev +19.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5

One of my favorite bars downtown, though it is always packed full of people whenever I go there. The variety of beer that they have in bottles is amazing and though the prices for bottled beer are a bit high, the draft beer is a pretty good deal, more than the average bar charges but its in a 20oz. rather than a 16oz. glass. They usually have seasonals from some of my favorite local breweries on tap and even if theres not something on draft I like then there is a large selection of bottled beer, which they will serve in style specific glassware.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
3.64/5  rDev -8.3%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I stopped in here after briefly skimming some of the other reviews of the place. Unfortunately, I missed the part about the lack of draft beers. The only reason to have a beer at a bar is to get a draft beer. I can get bottled beer at home or anywhere in the world; draft beer is served only where drafts are located: bars. So, I was very sad when I walked in and only saw 6 drafts on hand. My hopes shot up temporarily when I saw the other room on the left hand side of the establishment. However, the same six drafts were there as well. I hate bars that dont have decent drafts :(

The bottle selection was enormous with the focus being on Belgians. But, again, I can get a bottle for half the price and enjoy in the comfort of my house. Why would I spend $6 for a bottle of Two Hearted when I can get three for that price at the local packy?

I guess this place is pretty cool but I wont be back.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.13/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 3.5

Visited on 8.26.2009:

Upon walking up to the establishment, I immediately noticed all of the people sitting outside in the sidewalk seating area and got a good feeling about what I was walking into. Upon sitting down at the bar, I was immediately greeted and given a beer menu, which is always a good thing. While pondering the menu, I noted that the place had an excellent vibe to it, a very nice crowd, it appeared to be mostly 20s and 30s, which I am sure is due in part to NC State being not too far away. There was some good music playing, more alt and reggae then anything, I could not really identify any of the bands, but it helped with the vibe and the tunes were coming right off of one of the bartender's iPods and at his discretion. The beer menu was pretty extensive, but tended to focus more on bottles than on draft. Maybe 10 taps, but numerous bottles, mainly focusing on Belgian beers. I tried a few that night, all seemed to be fresh and served in appropriate glassware. I only tried the BBQ Pork Nachos, but they were good. The service was good, quick and had some knowledge of the qualities of the beer styles on tap.

Overall, this is the must stop if you are in Raleigh. Not a destination by any means, but it is certainly one of the best if not the best in town.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.47/5  rDev +12.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I have been to Raleigh times upon multiple ocassions. They typically have a rare beers on tap (typically seasonal and Belgian along with a local tap which is typically Big Boss). The bottle selection is plenty of Belgians which are a bit pricey, but understandable for what you get. Everything is served in proper glassware. You can order drafts in 10 or 20 oz or pitchers. The prices are typically 3.50-4.5 for a 10 oz. and 6.50-7 for the 20. PBR is always on for $2 a 20 oz. The food is great and the barbecue is from a local restaurant that is unbeatable as far as NC barbecue. Vinegar based with plenty of pepper spice. The fried pickles are unique in that they are one pickle cut lengthwise breaded and fried: not much to share, but good for an appetizer for two. Gaffel Kolsch is also a regular on tap. Rare cask nights are done pretty regularly. For Raleigh, NC this is a must stop for good beer. Plus, Obama made a stop and has his beer glass under glass behind the bar. There is a side bar for smoking....until January '10. The taps there are always the same as the regular bar.

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Photo of FloppyDog
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped in for a cask night where four local North Carolina breweries brought specialty casks for consumption. This place has some really unique atmosphere. It is an old newspaper headquarters (as is evident by the name of the bar/restaurant), and it has that old school vibe to it with the original ceilings and walls left to age in the original fashion that they were when the newspaper was still running.

They have a nice selection of belgian beers that you can't really find around Raleigh, but you do have to pay a pretty penny for some of them.

Overall, a cool place with a lot of history, and a nice selection of quality beer.

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Photo of jimmyjames8
3.4/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 2 | food: 4

Update from summer 09. Went a few times, once or twice for special beer night which they insist on serving gravity fed/cask conditioned. Last couple of times the "music" was so loud, the bartenders could not hear my alto/baritone voice and screwed up my order. They have been having some very good drafts lately especially IPA's. Yeah! Place is always crowded and loud and they never get our bill right (to my benefit). To me the onlly reason I go there is my wife likes to go for some reason which allows me to drink draft beer and the BBQ pork nachos are to die for.

My wife loves this place for some reason so we go there every time we are downtown on Fayetteville St. Very mixed crowd hangs out here depending on what night it is. Lot's of 20 somethings with tattoos and piercings. Lot's of lawyers and law makers.

Menu is strange and limited but the food is good to very good. They currently serve barbecue (pork) from Ed Mitchell's The Pit restaurant a couple of different ways. One is on their nachos which are out of this world.

Now to the beer. They stock a lot of import bottled beer. I don't like import bottled beer especially at $6 a bottle. They have $2, 20oz (supposedly) PBR on draft which is not half bad. They feature a couple other drafts which are $6 to $8 for 20oz glass.

Was there about 2 weeks ago for Cask Conditioned Ale night. They had about 5 or 6 NC brewers bring cask conditioned beer in kegs which they put on the bar horizontally in cradles and let gravity be the force to get the beer out of the kegs. These were $7 for (again supposedly) 20oz pours. These beers were specials or one off's from some of NC's best brewers. There were a couple different IPA's that I tried that were merely OK to good. Frankly I thought both tasted a little flat. Not enough bubbles or natural carbonation.

This joint currently has a smoking bar and a non smoking bar. That is nice but will change January 2010 when NC goes non smoking. Hooray and that is from a cigar smoker. None of these dumps will put in decent air filters or single pass HVAC systems with 100% outside air so the state is freshening the air another way. Cheers!

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Photo of atsprings
4.13/5  rDev +4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4

I've stopped in here numerous times over the past year and for some reason, I had not yet posted a review. The atmosphere is is great as long as the place is not too overcrowded, which tends to happen, especially if they have a cask night. The draft beer I've had is always fresh, and they tend to keep a decent selection of recent seasonals, including some I don't see at retail stores in Raleigh. The staff seems to be fairly knowledgeable, but it is can be somewhat hit or miss. Katrina, the long-haired brunette bartender is a Flying Saucer transplant who really knows her stuff! While they only have six beers on tap at a time, including PBR, they tend to keep good stuff on the other five, including the Brooklyn Brewmaster's Reserve series, which no one else in Raleigh has. The food is very good, standard bar-fare, but some of the best you can get at a bar, my only problem is fries are not included with the burgers, which cost the same as most other places. They do tend to put out decent free food on cask nights, which is nice if the food is something you like. While many of the bottle selection, especially bombers can be quite pricey, the draft beer is fairly priced, and the 10oz portions they offer is a great way to try new stuff. While I don't visit here quite as often as other places in Raleigh, its certainly worth a once-a-month visit, as the seasonals change.

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Photo of BernardusHo
4.14/5  rDev +4.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This place has 2 rooms with 2 separate bars. We went to the smaller room off to the side and sat down. Immediately noted Gouden Carolus tripel on tap and knew I would be in good hands. Bartender was quick and efficient, and beer was served in it's own special glass - several times. Value was exceptional on this visit as I drank a good Belgian for less than 5 bucks a pop.

After I settled in, I began to notice the dilapidated condition of the walls lending to the great atmosphere of many of the renovated buildings in the downtown area. If I worked downtown this would be a regular stopping point on my way home. Definitely deserves a visit.

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Photo of GJ40
3.73/5  rDev -6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

I hadn't made an effort to get to the Raleigh Times because they have so few beers on tap but I finally decided to give it a try.

I liked the atmosphere a lot. The main room is narrow but quite deep with a long bar. The ceilings are very high and covered with tiles. The walls are exposed concrete and brick giving it a very worn and comfortable feel. We went on election night so there was quite a buzz as the numbers started to roll in.

They had six beers on tap with one being PBR. The others were decent but there wasn't anything particularly compelling to me. They had a lot of bottled beers including quite a few Belgians but my feeling is that if I want beer in a bottle, I can have it at home for a lot less money. The bartender was nice and outgoing but didn't seem to know a lot about beer.

So the Times ended up being exactly what I expected it to be. It's a great place but they just don't offer enough on tap. I'm glad I went but I won't rush back.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.38/5  rDev +10.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Wow, great place. Best thing is the atmosphere. Inside the old newspaper office in an historic building.

Beer selection- simply amazing belgian beer selection. They also had a decent micor brew selection as well.

Food- was good, but over priced for what it was. I had the steak frites and it was tiny.

Value-great for beer, average for food.

Service- an amibable, artisty staff that is rather slow and not knowledgable about the beer, but they are atleast average.

Overall, I really liked the place and I would highly recommend a younger crowd to go there.

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Photo of jimbotrost
4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

This is a fun place in the downtown area. I visited the day after the World Beer Festival in Durham. The place is old and wraps you in character from the time you walk in. The beer list is extensive, crafts, imports, many Belgians and others. THe wallet was thin on the visit so I opted for the $2 pints of PBR, which worked well for my strained tastebuds. MAny of the bottles seemed quite pricy as well as the drafts. The service was great, samples of other beers were freely and cordially offered. A nice map of the downtown area was available at no charge to continue my beer trek in the area. Great place, great feel, just too pricey.

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Photo of smerkinb
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 4

Hit this place up at lunchtime while a festival was going on nearby. Love the atmosphere--exposed brick and plaster, tall ceilings, small tables, long bar. I had some apprehension about checking it out after readin bad reviews of the service. I had no such problems. I can see how my grandmother might be offended at the casual service but I found it refreshing. Our server was friendly, helpful and funny. She didn't have a problem looking up from the bar (10 ft away) and asking loudly if we needed anything. I didn't notice any glaring neon signs with BMC.
The food was pretty good. Really reasonable prices--better than a lot of chain stores with much less tasty fare. Our server even said the meat for the burgers was ground fresh...don't know if it was true but they were good.

Now what you are really looking for--THE BEER.
Holy shit. They have a beer menu that is 2 pages, offering a great variety of styles, breweries, regions. Local tastings available, which always pleases me. They have bombers, imports, vintage, lambics, really made my day just to sit and look at the beer list while I ate.

Absolutely hit this place up, if you are near. It was impressive and very enjoyable. Make sure you see the online menu and beer list before going so you can strategize...if I had tried everything that looked good I would still be there!

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Photo of drperm
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I do miss this place -- if you love Belgian beer and good sandwiches (or pub food!) then this is the place to go. Groovy atmosphere (an old newspaper) and fun servers. The Belgian bottle menu is truly something to behold. I remember a feeling of shock (in a good way) the first time I beheld it. Always fun draughts as well, if somewhat limited in scope.

A bit pricey, but that's in keeping with Raleigh in general -- way too overpriced on all counts. Too many young lawyer-types with too much money to spend does not a reasonable city make.

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Photo of hops4life
4/5  rDev +0.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Very good selection of Belgian styles by the bottle, which does a lot to overcome the weak tap selection. The local Big Boss Double Wit might just save their tapline on its own. I'd like to see more stateside Belgian styles as opposed to very pricey Belgians in 750's. Their micro and craft selection by the bottle was also full of front runners. The food is very good, and against my experiences at the half-dozen places that I sampled over a week in downtown Raleigh, this place is the cream of the crop. The bistro-style menu shows some real pop, and compliments the beer selection well. Steak Frites were very good, and maybe asking for real Belgian frites in Raleigh is too much, but in time I wouldn't be surprised. A nice selection of single malts and bourbons makes for a good pairing as a nightcap. I may be upgrading this place simply because Raleigh is not offering too much, but don't hold it against the folks at Raleigh Times.

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Photo of wagenvolks
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Great atmosphere, felt a bit too trendy at first but once we were inside for a while, it was very comfortable. Good decor, with the feel of the original buliding still intact.

A decent selection of bottled belgians, but i'd have liked to have seen more on tap. Same deal with domestic microbrews. Prices were a bit high. The bartender was quite knowledgable and picked out a tasty belgian. Overall, it's a good place to start off a night of drinking, or if you're just in the mood for one or two beers.

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The Raleigh Times Bar in Raleigh, NC
3.97 out of 5 based on 49 ratings.
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