I'm a big fan of Irish Pub on Thurs, Fri, or Sat nights. The fact my friends live only a few blocks away doesn't hurt, but there are plenty of other bars in the area and we often choose to go to Irish. It's what you'd expect from an Irish pub - plenty of beer, Irish-looking decor, bar food, and young professionals. But Irish seems friendlier than most somehow. They often have good specials ($2 drafts), and the "chicken thumbs" are in fact more meaty than their finger-shaped compatriots. There are multiple areas for whether you want to dine, chat with a few friends, or hang out at the bar. While they sometimes charge a $2 cover, you really can't complain about such a measley fee for entrance to such a fun place.
Pros: friendly atmosphere, good drink specials