Monday, January 28, 2013

The three best places to drink in South City

I figured I'd give you a run down of where to drink if ever you find yourself in South City. While this is in no way a comprehensive list of all the finest establishments one can get blasted at, it does represent a fair number of people I know and their favorite hang outs. At least, that's where I see some of them.

Number three: The Hideaway

Reasons why you should drink here: You'll probably be the youngest person in the bar.

Reasons why you shouldn't: Smoking is allowed, single females are mostly retirees who outlived their husbands.

Situated next to a retirement home, The Hideaway lounge on Arsenal near Hampton was a haunt of mine for a year while I lived in the apartment buildings staggering distance away. At the time, I was in my early twenties and the bartenders were generally busty women in their forties. The owner certainly has a type.

The drinkers were mostly pensioners and retirees from the nearby home. Often you would find yourself inside next to fathers and sons getting slowly drunk, or the old gang meeting together to talk about wars or politics or how Obama is ruining everything and we're all gonna die.

The other great thing about this place is the blind piano player and the occasional karaoke from the owner as he does his best crooner impression with a drink in his hand. This is a bar that longs to transplant itself back to the days of Sinatra and Crosby, and there is no reason not to enjoy that.

Sadly, it seems the place has been discovered in the last few years, and the clientele has gotten a bit younger, but the novelty of the place wore off the people you mostly want to avoid.  It's an occasional hipster hangout, but I haven't noticed too much of a problem with it. There are much trendier places to be better than everyone else in.

Last time I was there, my friends and I were able to get a table, talk at a reasonable level and get table service from the bartender. You won't get that in too many places.

Number two: The Silver Ballroom

Why you should drink here: Pinball, decoupage band flyers bar, great atmosphere, bartenders and owner, everyone you know is probably there tonight, you lame ass.

Why you shouldn't drink here: Smoking allowed (Though well ventilated), can be loud and packed weekend nights.

I can't say this is the opposite of the Hideaway because most of the drinkers at The Silver Ballroom are probably in their late 20s to early 40s. If you've spent time in the city drinking at bars, you probably know a few people here. If you used to drink at the Hi-Pointe, then you already know about this place and can skip to #1

Other great things you may find there: Australian meat pies and bands. Occasionally a band playing a show in St. Louis will come into the Silver Ballroom before or after a gig. You can tell who they are because while they look lie everyone else, they are generally gawking at everything in the bar. I stood in line for the bathroom with the front man of Puddle of Mudd. I imagine they like the place because they look like everyone else at that bar and aren't treated different by the people. He was a cool guy, but my bladder was not liking the decision to have that fifth rum and coke.

And if you are a fan of pinball, this place has you covered. About twenty pinball machines with occasional rotation in and out (depending on how well a machine is doing or if a really cool machine is purchased).

Finally, the music: You're going to hear Ace of Spades and Where Eagles Dare at least five times on any given night. You're welcome.

Number 1: My couch

They get excited because drunk me likes to wrestle dogs
Reasons you should drink here: Mix drinks are always heavy pours, no smoking inside, lots of TV shows or movies to watch, wireless internet, fun dogs.

Why you shouldn't drink here: Because you weren't invited. Seriously, I have a gun.

As great as any bar is, drinking at home will always be the best. The drinks are cheaper, the atmosphere is whatever you want it to be and you don't have to drive anywhere. Some people are worried that drinking at home on a Tuesday with your pets is a sign of alcoholism. Some people have never truly understood a good weekday evening buzz before bed. You get the buzz, you take a shower, you grab your book and you conk out around 10:30 and sleep like a log.

As for the worry about alcoholism, I stopped smoking and don't take any mood or mind altering prescriptions. I feel I can have one vice a few times a week without worrying about the dark path alcohol is leading me down. Like kissing my wife, playing with my pets and reading books with reckless abandon.

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