I've never been one to hide the fact that I'm a bar loyalist. If I like the way a bar feels, the bartenders, and the specials, I'll frequent a bar over and over(and over again) until they do something to sway me away, or until someone does better. Considering I've written nothing in the past few weeks, about anything, I figured I'd write about where I've been spending my time, why I've been to certain places, or why I've shied away from others. If you're not from Minneapolis, well, you probably couldn't care less about this. If that's the case, perhaps you'd rather spend your time at the Hun.
Bootleggers: This bar is your typical downtown bar--the kind of bar I'm quick to loathe; loud and full of post college-aged drunks looking to 'hook-up', that seems to be all the rage these days with the kiddies. But the managers/owners/whoever "get it" when it comes to drawing people like me in for a drink or ten. Maybe I'm getting crotchety in my old age, but I hate going somewhere where you have to stand shoulder to shoulder with people that smell like cheese, or I only get to drink 1/2 of my beer because people keep bumping into me, but during early happy hours and before 9pm, this place can be downright comfortable.
And a good 241 special, trivia, and gimmicks, well, that doesn't hurt them at all, either. If only they'd add a foot railing and a hook underneath the bar, I'd be able to frequent the place more often. As it is, the barstools hurt my ass.
Mac's Industrial: Quite possibly my favorite bar in all of Minneapolis right now. If I were to explain it to someone that doesn't know Johnny and Jimmy, I'd have to say that it's a "bar for drunks, owned and operated by drunks". Take one look at the "decorations" surrounding the bar and you'll quickly understand.
If I owned my own bar, it would be almost exactly like this, only bigger. But, considering that I spend all my time confined to a stool, who needs it to be bigger? Good specials, comfortable bar(with hooks AND a foot rest to boot!), and a handshake when you enter are all tick marks in the plus column here. The only complaint is that it's in NE, and not mere steps from my apartment.
Bulldog NE: It's tough for me to pinpoint exactly why I like this bar as much as I do, even though I've only been there twice. I don't know anybody that works there, there are no definite specials (as far as the website says), and it's usually packed.
But something about it--perhaps it's the high, airy feel to the main room, or the shufflepuck on the side, I don't know--makes me feel comfortable. They do have an awesome beer selection, even if it tends to be on the expensive side. I like beer, but it's always better when it's cheap, regardless of brand or flavor. I am definitely not a beer snob.
Rock Bottom Brewery: Brewpub with acceptable seasonal beer list that has always been among my favorites, mainly just for the beer. I'd never watch a sporting event there willingly because they have music playing instead of tv sound, which to me is downright asinine. I also think the popularity of people like Dane Cook is downright asinine, too, so take that how you want.
They've had a decent happy hour in the past, but I was in there after work one night and the 22oz mug prices had gone up to $4.75. It was a bargain when the price was hovering around $3, and it's still not that expensive by downtown standards, but it's not as good of a deal as it once was.
The Imperial Room: In our single days (Jeremy and I), this bar used to be among our favorite because it wasn't full of frat boys, and it wasn't overly expensive. Then the owner started charging a $2 cover, stating "it's either that or raising the drink prices", which we begrudgingly accepted.
But then he went and raised the drink prices anyhow and we hadn't really been back since. We decided to hit up their SIN night after work this Wednesday, and though it was a great deal(even though they don't tell you there is a $5 bracelet charge in the City Pages ad, for shame), looking at my bank account today leaves a sour taste in my mouth, mostly for the bartenders that night, but of course it mars the bar, too.
Ha. Mars bar.
Anyhow, I'd settled out my $22(did I really drink that many $1 and $2 drinks? Good lord.) tab without a tip, on purpose. I'd planned on leaving the tip with whatever cash I had left in my pocket, but I had to pee so bad(and I was admittedly drunk and stupid by this time) that I signed the slip quickly(and didn't take my copy) and ran to the bathroom, intending fully to come back and put money on the bar.
Well, that never happened. I forgot to do that when I came out of the bathroom, and we left shortly thereafter, completely oblivious that I so totally didn't tip, and that was my fault. I'm not the guy that doesn't tip. As is customary with those that work in the service industry, (unless there is a huge fuck up or the person serving me is completely inadequate) I tip fairly well.
I looked at my TCF account today and there's a charge from the Imperial Room for $31.50 from that night. The charge is still pending right now, so I'm hoping that it's a mistake and the correct charge will be posted after this one goes through the system, but I don't think it's not going to do that. I'm pretty damn sure that I didn't write anything on the tip line, and if I did(and forgot), I know for a fucking fact that I didn't tip $10 on a $22 tab. Actually, I'd be more likely to tip an even dollar amount, like $10(or $6), than I would tipping that extra .50 cents. That part makes no sense.
So, if the correct charge isn't posted later on today, I'm going to have to go down to the Imperial Room and dispute the charge by telling the manager that one of his bartenders is writing in (large) tips for himself. Does anyone know how long a tab will stay in a bar's system? If it's already gone, I'm going to have a tough time convincing anyone there as to what happened.
So, yeah, sour grapes right there.
On the fence:
The Local: I love the new, gorgeous back room, but would it kill them to have a special every now and then? $1 off a 20oz beer is not a deal. You hear that? Not a deal. I guess that they're not necessarily hurting for business, so they can charge whatever they damn well please. But I'd be more willing to give them more of my money if it weren't for the outrageous expense of their booze. But I'm sure that's just me.
Restaurant Miami: My friends freakin' love this place. As of one visit, I am undecided. It's more fun than I thought it would be, but I hate the location and the size. And the bathroom situation. That they know a bartender doesn't hurt, though.
So, tell me; what are your favorite places? Why?