Chicago has more bars than gas stations, but it’s not always easy to determine which type of bar is right for your particular evening. That’s where I come in. I’m here to tell you about a few different types of bars, when you should go there and what you should order. Sound good? Okay. Let’s begin.
Oh jeez! My baby is a grumpy little shit these days, and that’s probably contributing to my desire to write about (or sneak away to) bars. Unfortunately, I just don’t have it in me to ‘run out for a pack of smokes’ anymore, so you’ll have to be my vicarious selves, out there, making dicks of yourselves and sleeping under the ice machines.
Everyone knows the sports bar, right? Lots of TV’s, good looking waitresses dressed a little sluttily, probably some chick standing over a trough of Miller Lites, someone else walking around with shots (or ‘shooters’ if you’re Canadian) in test tubes…This is a good place to go if you want greasy food (wings, nachos, jalapeno poppers [which deserve their own blog entry]) and you like sports and you want to hang out with your guy friends and ogle girls who will never, ever talk to you outside of the establishment you’re in. It’s pretty much a slightly more/slightly less caveman-ish strip club, depending on your criteria. Beer is usually overpriced, and you can definitely expect a big crowd and loud assholes screaming about something stupid. Some of the really, really great sports bars have wall to wall Astroturf. Cool.
At the sports bar, drink a ‘bucket of bud light’ or whatever the dumb special is that day.
Uh, full of gay guys. Like the sports bar in terms of it being crowded, full of dudes in tank tops yelling and making spectacles of themselves, almost no women except for those desperately trying to get attention from the uninterested guys in the place, and a general sense that shit could fly off the handle at any minute. These bars also tend to have the ‘bucket of beer’ specials and a good amount of TV’s. One of my favorite features in a gay bar is the ubiquitous sign on the men’s room door that says “ONLY ONE PERSON PER STALL! VIOLATORS WILL BE EJECTED!” Poor violators! What about the violate-ees? Heh. Okay, seriously though, the gay bar is a great place to go if you are gay (duh) or you’re a girl and sick of all the assholes at regular bars trying to pick you up, or if you’re a poor guy who needs someone to buy you drinks, but your friends all already know what a cheap asshole you are. If you’re really feeling saucy, head to the gay bar dressed kind of stylish (read: gay) and try to pick up girls. It’s a little underhanded, but it tends to be easier than you’d think. The chicks that hang out at gay bars (uh…are the kids still saying ‘fag hags’?) tend to really like gay dudes (again, duh), and if they sense any interest from one (you, undercover) they will most likely build you up in their minds as some super fine gay specimen, simply because, as far as they know, you’re gay, and therefore unattainable. Once you let the curtain fall, (much later…give her time to think “oh man, all the good ones are gay”) she’ll be on you faster than you can say “ONE PERSON PER STALL.” I know, it’s a little fucked up, I’m just saying, that’s all.
At the gay bar drink whatever that lecherous, old creepy dude on the next stool is buying for you. After all, you’re him at straight bars! Treat yourself!
Former Dive Bar-
This is the place that was once really quiet, but the kids found out that they had two dollar well drinks, and now it’s full of hipsters and ‘actors.’ The old regulars still hang out, but they’re pissed off. This is where you go to be seen and hang out with the band, because this is where whoever is taking the band around is taking them. Fairly reasonable drinks and a decent male-female ratio make this a good stand by when you want to be social.
At the former dive bar you’re pretty safe with any simple mixed drink or bottled beer. Stay away from the taps; they’ve never been cleaned.
Faux Dive Bar- This is the bar opened by hipster turds that attempts to replicate the dive bar feel, but from an inauthentic, “I just got back from art school” perspective. Douchey paintings (irony laden), a bar that serves all cans (or some kitschy shit like that), lots of affected 70’s and 80’s esque touches, total shits behind the bar (usually slightly diseased looking dudes who resemble that thing that sat on Jabba the Hut’s shoulder if he rode a cool bicycle or tubby chicks with a million tattoos). Maybe a band is playing!!! Yay! This is where you go if you want to score coke, gonorrhea, or just check out what the absolute coolest dudes around are doing with their hair. Sheesh. Oh, and the DJ is terrible.
At the Faux Dive Bar drink whiskey, and lots of it. It’s the quickest way out.
Dive Bar- This bar is not full, but everyone in here is probably old, and probably keeping to themselves. Unironic modern country music peppers the jukebox, which probably also has some unironic Bob Seger and Eagles. Like the Former Dive Bar, but without…well, us, basically. Usually, at some point, a drunk couple in their forties will slow dance to um…Desperado, maybe? I don’t know. This is where you go when you just want to drink, and maybe hang out with one friend. Be careful, because good dive bars are like glaciers, or secret little towns in Mexico that are awesome. The more you go there, and tell people about them, the quicker they get overrun and ruined.
At the dive bar drink mixed drinks, that old lady behind the bar pours ‘em super strong.
Regular bar for hip or successful young people- There’s dance music, a dance floor, some shiny shirts, hot, drunk sluts with tits flailing everywhere, dago-types, a martini list, big black guys, tons of cologne, uh…I don’t know, probably some dumb theme, like lava lamps, or old movies, or prohibition, or lasers, or aquariums. This is where you go meet that person for a first date right before you realize that they weren’t really the person for you. This place has a hip-hop night. Also, they probably serve food that is disgusting.
In this place drink water. Everything else is so fucking expensive it’s ridiculous.
Okay, my baby is acting up and I have to get brunch. Keep your eyes on the prizes everyone, and happy bar hopping!