"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Saturday, October 06, 2007

They Should Serve Beer at Dunn Bros.

The fridge here at Casa Liberales normally contains a small supply of beer, usually an ale of some description. Bell's Oberon and Finnegan's Irish Amber are the current favorites. But you know, sometimes a girl just wants a nice stout. Or perhaps a porter. A lambic, even, on very rare occasions. Rather than laying in a whole six-pack, parts of which might still be cluttering up the beer drawer (What, it's supposed to be for produce? Who knew?) six months later, I usually just stroll on down to the local bar.

Let me tell you, going to a bar alone is strange. Especially on a Friday or Saturday when it's really crowded. I know people do it, but what I don't get is how they can just sit there at the bar without anything to do.

It's likely a side effect of growing up an only child in a house full of books smack in the middle of 50-odd partially tamed acres ideal for playing knights-and-dragons or wizards-and-invading-hordes in, but I require constant intellectual stimulation. I am more than capable of providing said stimulation for myself, but I can't just sit somewhere. I have to be reading or writing or watching (good) TV. Or engaged in conversation, of course.

Then again, I'm not one of these hail-fellow-well-met sorts who can wander into the local watering hole and befriend half the bar in a quarter of an hour or less. Actually, with the exception of those very rare people with whom I feel instantly comfortable, I can barely string together a coherent sentence when talking to strangers. And "people watching" in a bar is only interesting for the first five minutes.

So when I go to the bar on my own, I take a book. Boy, do I get some funny looks. Especially on the weekends. Also, reading by the light of that dinky little candle on the table? Not easy. Once, someone actually stopped by my table and asked, "Why don't you go to a coffeeshop and read?"

I said, "I didn't want coffee. I wanted a beer." And I went back to reading.

But you know, if someone opened a bar with a coffeehouse feel (lights up, free wi-fi, pastries available, etc.) I would LOVE that. The quiet and sense of space and maybe a few puffy couches, now with beer!

I would miss out on the drunken proclamations of the trendy young things at the next table, but you can't have it all.

9 rejoinders:

Anonymous sounded off...

I have found that the combined activities of reading and drinking devolve into just drinking.

-SBG

Andrew sounded off...

I am fully on board with this idea.

-Andrew from SBG

Baseball_Lipgloss sounded off...

Girl, next time you should give me a call. I am always up for a beer and making up stories about other bar patrons.
By the way, have you tried the Chatterbox Pub?

Jim H. sounded off...

Heck of an idea! In our little burg, the closest thing might be the James Gang Hideaway on Division Street. It is in fact a coffeshop with beer (and a pretty good wine list, too). It's brightly lit, wi-fi equipped and WITHOUT television!

Where you get this Oberon ale?

Third Base Line sounded off...

Jen,

No, I've never been there. Is that over in your neighborhood? I usually end up at Bryant-Lake Bowl, as it's close to my place, has a good beer selection, and isn't as sleazy as the CC Club.


Jim,

You're in Northfield?! I went to college there! Though I don't believe the James Gang Hideaway was open at the time.
Oberon is the summer ale from Bell's Brewery (http://www.bellsbeer.com/branddetail.asp?BrandID=7). Any liquor store that sells Bell's should have it, in season. You may or may not still be able to find some this year; I'm not sure when they switch over to their winter brew.

Jim H. sounded off...

TBL:

You live in South Minneapolis? I used to live near Powderhorn and would sometimes eat at the CC Club.

Yeah, the Hideaway is fairly new in Greater Northfield Metropolitan Area. They stopped offering half-price wine on Fridays, so I'm not sure how long they'll be around. But it is indeed a coffee shop with beer.

I'll be in the Cities tomorrow, so maybe stop at Lyn Lake or someplace like that to look for Bell's Oberon Ale.

Baseball_Lipgloss sounded off...

TBL:

Yeah, Chatterbox is not too far from my humble house in the 'hood. I am a bad south/midtown city dweller because I don't go to Bryant-Lake Bowl very often. It is always packed and never peaceful. Ooooh no, not the CC Club! I don't think I have ever been there sober.
Another great place (but a little farther out of the way) is the Longfellow Grill on Lake Street (right before you cross into St. Paul.) I love that place!

Third Base Line sounded off...

Jim,

Yep, I'm in the Greater Uptown Area, contemplating a move to the Wedge. If you find the Oberon, let me know what you think of it!

Jen,

Yeah, BLB is usually a zoo, but the nachos are phenomenal. And, y'know, it's convenient. I'll have to check out the Chatterbox sometime when I'm feeling adventurous, though.

Douglas sounded off...

Try Arcadia Cafe on Franklin and Nicollet - a coffee shop with around 20 quality beers on tap. You'll often have to put up with live music in the adjoining performance room but that's probably far easier to ignore than the dull roar of a mass of weekend bar patrons.