Friday, February 8, 2008

Watering Hole

Last night I met up with some friends at my favorite bar in the city, which happily for me is just 6 blocks from the house. The place is a study in contradictions. It's been covered by Chicago Magazine, Time Out Chicago, and the New York Times, but it's also near the epicenter of Spanish Cobras territory. It has a working vintage photo booth and a gorgeous old shuffleboard table, but until very recently, the alley out back was an open-air drug market, and more than once gunshots have resounded over the lounge music, followed by the wail of sirens.

The only real public transportation is a westbound bus with a limited schedule, so it's local neighborhood folks that've worked to put this place on the map. That said, the non-indigenous still seem to make it to our hinterlands on occasion. And they only foster that sense of dichotomy I was talking about earlier. One night we met a cop who used to be a woodworker, a former punk musician who found Jesus and is now trying to launch a gospel career, and a 50-something gay porn star (We looked him up and he checks out. Word to the wise: don't enter 'gay porn' into a search engine unless you're prepared for what you're going to get. Of course some of you make that a daily regimen--you know who you are--and I grant you full rights to call me a prude).

At any rate, Alex, the bar-keep (that's him in the white shirt and suspenders) reads old vintage cocktail guides. He makes a mean claret sour, which I highly recommend.

1 comment:

Stove said...

Thanks for introducing me to this place. It truly is a diamond in the rough. Oh, and thanks for waiting for me too. BTW, 'gay porn' is too general search criteria. Try something like...oh nevermind.