It’s been a good while since I last discussed my de facto favorite topic, bars. I’m now back on the booze train and it’s going places you’d rather not.
We all have our go-to bars. If those are out of the question, we have our fall-back bars. And even below that, we have places that serve as our last resort when all else fails, we need a beer, and we don’t care about the social stigma surrounding Snake’s before 2am.
For today’s lesson on what ales us, I want to go over a few places that are known to be a little sleazy. Not sleazy in the sense that they’re always a terrible choice. These places are good in a lot of ways, bad in some ways, and almost always sleazy in a particular way.
DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying any of these bars are bad bars, just that you may or may not find some of these stereotypes to be true. I don’t want to burn any bridges and I still want to go to these bars on occasion. Red Beans & Life articles are to be taken with a grain of salt…adorning the rim of your margarita.
Masquerading as a southern gem of a bar, all you’ll find here is former frat stars rocking thrift store blazers and looking for blow. It’s a beautiful bar with wooden trim, intimate candlelit tables, and knowledgeable bartenders. What seals the fate of it, though, are the people who go there imitating the classy bar lifestyle and, in the process, ruin it for people actually living it.
Drink back in time with an Old Fashioned and sit on the porch overlooking the streetcar line
Often host to large parties, it can get a little crowded.
You may want to watch your drink.
If anything, Barcadia is a great proof of concept. What are a bunch of late 80s and early 90s kids doing nowadays? Drinking heavily. What did they like back then? Video games. It sounds good on paper, but in practice the place is crawling with douchey 20-somethings letting their inner child out a bit too much. It’s also host to an “Asian themed lounge” in the back, with it’s own lovable douchey qualities. And no, guy in bathroom, I don’t want to tip you for squirting soap in my hands.
They have a ton of beer on tap, great food, and Tron.
The games still cost money. Come on, I don’t carry sacks of quarters anymore.
Cologne, hair gel, and 9-5 jobs.
Lucy’s Retired Surfers Bar
If Beer Bros and video games aren’t your style, head down a block to Lucy’s where they only have Beer Bros. Known for the infamous shot with a scorpion in it, Lucy’s is host to the same crowd as Barcadia, but with less distractions. If you’re not done living out your college glory days, stop by after work and see where the plastic mermaid-adorned drinks can take you.
Great atmosphere and reasonably priced drinks.
You’ll be waiting a few minutes to order that reasonably priced drink.
The Saint is like a teenaged girl in the sense that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. One day she’s wearing thick rimmed glasses and listening to The Cure, the next it’s Brooks Brothers and Wagon Wheel. Flirting on the line of dive bar and DJ club, this place attracts a lot of different crowds looking to get down and dirty on the disco ball lit dance floor. Whoever you are, the door guy will probably yell at you.
It’s genuinely fun, depending on your sobriety and openness.
The bathrooms have seen their fair share of heroin.
It’s the F&M’s for people who hate F&M’s.
I hope I didn’t offend anyone, and if I did, I’m a little bit sorry. Let us know about any of your favorite sleazy bars in the comments.