I've been going to Sawmill Taproom since I moved to Raleigh a decade ago. I usually go for late night food, but it's not a bad afternoon dinner spot either. It's an affordable, low-key place to meet friends for food and drinks til 2am. I never see questionable characters hanging out there, like you may find at some other late night establishments on the weekends. When you walk inside, you can either go to the right to sit near the bar or go left to sit in the dining room (so the dining room is somewhat shut off from the bar area). The dining room has a TV and even a big fireplace that roars to life in cold months. I agree that it does look kind of dated inside the place, but that doesn't bother me at all.
Food is served until it closes at 2am. The menu has a decent selection, running the gamut from sandwiches and wraps to weiners to burgers (the cheesesteak burger is recommended by my husband, he said it's one of the best burgers he's had) to huge entree salads for a great price. It's perfect bar food. The menu offerings have evolved over the years; when I first starting coming here there were these amazing fried mushrooms that are now gone. I feel like the spinach dip & onion rings used to be better. Though they now have sweet potato tots which are good and many other new things, so there are trade-offs. There are more vegetarian friendly food choices than there used to be.
It seems many of the waitresses are high-school age so the service might be a bit amateurish (like somebody mentioned below, they probably won't ask if you want dessert), though they're always friendly, in my experience. So you won't get professional, career-waitresses -- it's more of a casual environment. Our bill is always lower than I expect it to be, the menu has good selection, and the food is tasty and served late, all of which is appreciated and the reason I will keep going back.
Recommended for a casual dining experience, a few drinks at the bar, dinner out on the patio if the weather's nice, sitting around shooting the breeze with a group, and more.