Jukebox Skipping

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Murphy's, Salt Lake City -- REVIEW

Salk Lake City "Irish" Bar

60 South Main Street  
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 359-7271

Binge-Drinking Ben Reporting:

Pet Peeve...
Total Population of Ireland: 6,380,661
Number of “Irish” Pubs in U.S.:  7,372,853

Great beer specials with a wide selection. Clean and the people seemed nice enough.  They sell Kamel Red Lights in a machine in the bar!  I had never seen that before.

In certain pockets of the bar, the douchy pretension level seemed to be a bit high I must say. Nothing to do really. No pool table, no darts, no games If you’re in to that kind of thing.  Too many posters of John Stockton wearing his Utah Jazz ooobabies.  Stop it already

Any mormons in here?
I’ve heard many stories and had many preconceived notions about Salt Lake City and it’s social atmosphere.  Well, no need to sugarcoat it for my realistic HTD readers, I was wondering whether or not I’d be able to find a place to get hammered after work.  And where there's a will there's a way!  I found a cool enough bar.

Hmmm.  Now I’m no mathematician (actually I am) but I’d say there is a significant number of “Irish”bar and pub owners out there that are full ‘O’ Sh*t, eh Seamus?  Well whatever, it’s a bar, I’m in a very strange town in a galaxy far far away, and I’m thirsty…I’m going in!

Beer and smokes
It was a pleasant Monday evening in Downtown Salt Lake City.  The work of the day was complete,dinner with my boss was over and it was time to see what lies beneath the surface in the most religiously conservative metropolitan area in the U. S. of A.   As I walked down the street from my hotel, I couldn’t help but notice how clean this city was. 

For the first time in my life I actually felt a little guilt about flicking my ciggy to the curb (Just that first one).  The flicking of the next seventeen cigs went off without a hitch.   Unfortunately,much more symptomatic of every other big city downtown, there was no shortage of vagabonds wandering aimlessly about, asking for money and smokes…and for once it wasn’t me. Now that feels much more like home!

First Impressions:  I walked in to Murphy’s Bar and Grill just as the sun was setting over the SLC skyline and friends, it was an amazing sight.  But than something even more beautiful caught my eye.  The sign on the chalkboard read:  Monday Night - 25oz PBR Draws $3.00.  Is there anything better than a big ass beer?  Why yes, a slightly cheaper big ass beer! 

The Bar
: I sat down and was promptly and politely carded, order taken, and served. This was starting out well. Although I think my out-of-towner vibe was coming on pretty strong,everybody in the place seemed pleasant and inviting.  The interior of this joint was well…unorganized and a little tacky I guess.  You could tell at one point they were trying to stick to the Irish theme but then some boneheaded bartender started bringing in his Utah Jazz and UofU memorabilia from his junior high bedroom (which, if my theory is correct, he undoubtedly still lives in) and started hanging that useless crap on the walls of the bar. 

New beer ONLY after you finish
The Crowd:  However dumb-looking it was, it was much cleaner than your average eastern Nebraska dive bar but did still fit the classification for our reviewing due to its low volume, mellow mood, and the amount of total friggin’ wierdos lining the bar. There was a hipster drinking scotch and dicking around on his iPad, there was a dude who thought he was at CBGB’s in New York with his three ft. radius, magenta mohawk, some young tough-guys with the flat bills cocked to the side (white dudes, mormo-thugs?), the after-work business crowd, and then me in the corner,snapping photos, staring at people, and leaving everyone wondering what the hell my deal is.

Service:  Bartenders will not even ask you about another drink until your current drink is bone dry.  They were not that busy and I noticed all the bartenders doing this with all the customers so I really don’t think it was a case of bad service.  Prompt and friendly, but as previously noted, you have to fully dominate your current beer to get another helping. .  I tried one beer called Provo Girl and it was pretty good.  I mostly drank PBR but if you are an adventurous beer drinker than you’re in good hands here. 

Food:  Although I didn’t eat there, I scanned the menu which boasted a pretty solid lineup of apps and bar sandwiches and there were some amazing smells coming out of that kitchen.  Maybe next time.

Not too shabby
Restrooms:   Clean and bright…too bright actually, in-contrast to the bar.  Every time you have to take a leak, you risk burning your retinas.

How Far Did My $20 Get Me?  If I recall correctly, I had four of those 25oz Pabst's and a pint of Provo Girl.  With a generous tip I laid down $20.00even.  Not bad at all because I walked out of there with a FAT buzz.

Final Impressions:  Not bad Murphy’s of Salt Lake City.  You have impressed me.  Another pretty generic Irish bar but hey, you offer beer at fair prices, poured by friendly people.  That’s a step in the right direction. Thanks for the cheapbuzz Murphy’s, I would stop by here again when I’m in town. Uh oh…How the f#ckdo I get back to my hotel?

5 out of 10

It will do when you need a beer or 5 in SLC

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Wet Lounge -- IDENITY CRISIS

First off, a big thanks to the dude who stuck this flyer in my door today royally pissing off my dog….there's a special place in hell for you.

But, be that as it may, the Wet Lounge holds a certain place in the heart of HitThatDive because it was the first place to ever be reviewed by our site. Read-It-Here.

As the piece of paper that was stuck in my door states, among many other things, West Omaha’s Wet Lounge is a place to “Slip away from the normal and come treat yourself to a relaxing cocktail at Wet Lounge”. They even follow good marketing practices by adding their website, www.wetomaha.com (yuck) at the bottom of their a-little-too-wordy literature.

So, I check out the website and here’s what it says… “West Omaha's best Nightspot with bass thumping this club gets jumping. Dress to impress, the nightlife is live. Great sound and lighing (sic) system plus tons of seating even for large groups.Top 40 straigh (sic) and remixed along with hip hop and upbeat dance tracks will have you dancing the night away.” That is relaxing how??

That has ALWAYS been my beef with this place…are you relaxing lounge or are you an annoying club? Pick one and stick with it! Please. For those that want a relaxing lounge…we don’t want the “bass thumping”. And we NEVER “dress to impress”. And for those like a place where the “club gets jumping”, I don’t think they want a “comfortable and welcoming lounge…” where they can play “Jenga” and “ping pong”.

Please, pick a target audience and stick with it. When I walk into Hooter’s I don’t want to flip a coin to determine if the chicks are going to be in tacky orange shorts or if they are going to be wearing Laura Ashley tweed skirts. So, why do I have to do that with the persona of your bar?  Mind you, this is all advice of the take-it-or-leave-it variety.

Now…stop pissing off my dog.

A "bass thumping" place to "relax'?  Go it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

HitThatDive Monthly All-Staff Meeting

Minutes from today's HitThatDive all-staff meeting:

As a for-profit organization existing primarily to generate a profit, that is, to take in more money than we spend...HitThatDive can decide to keep all the profit ourselves, or we can spend some or all of it on the business itself. But since no one remembered to bring an agenda, we decided to spend all of our profits on shots and pitchers.  Meeting adjourned!

Want to join the crack staff at HitThatDive...send your resume to this rarely checked inbox...HITTHATDIVE

Binge-Drinking Ben, Tristed Tea and some dude
whose name I forget at the monthly HitThatDive
Staff Meeting.  

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Live it up ladies, let your deadbeat husbands or sons drive for once.  And will you please stop cleaning up around the house today...that mess will still be there tomorrow! 

A Bloody Mary is the perfect way to start day.

Friday, May 4, 2012

HitThatDive -- IN THE NEWS!

A big thanks to Cara Pesek of the Omaha World-Herald for tagging along/putting up with the "Stumblers" during last week's second annual Spring Stumble.  And more importantly, thanks for not writing anything incriminating!

 "The stumblers were a blend of blog readers, the owners of one of Steve's favorite bars, the Brass Monkey, some Brass Monkey regulars and the other anonymous Hit This Dive reviewer, a tattooed accountant who reviews under the name Binge-Drinking Ben."
You can read the rest of the article here...Spring Stumble rolls into Millard "dive" bars.  Keep checking this site for information regarding the first-ever SUMMER Stumble!

Some of the "Stumblers".

Brass Knocker, Omaha -- REVIEW

Nice knocker
3012 North 102nd Street  
Omaha, NE 68134
(402) 572-9400

Reported by: Binge-Drinking Ben
After a long week of doing stuff for people (employer, friends, family), I was exhausted and in need of self-medication in the form of a Friday after work belly-up.  Planning ahead, I had the HTD CEO, Scuba Steve on standby and my trusty sidekick, "Tristed Tea", by my side.  The only thing left was to find this hidden relic of West Omaha’s past….THE BRASS KNOCKER!!! 

Pros:  No nonsense.  And if you get there before 7 or 8, you will have the place to yourself. 

Easy to find a place to sit
Cons:  Nothing about the bar jumps out at you and screams “Come back!”.  No specials, no clever house drink concoction, no crazy regulars in sight.  Chair. Bar. Beer.

First Impressions:  Is this place open? The sign on the building has been removed and not replaced so don’t expect to just run into this joint…no-no my friends, you have to be looking for it.  In fact, I actually phoned Scuba to tell him that the place was defunct, minutes before he showed up and took a closer look (persistent and thorough that Steve) and discovered that in fact it was still open for business.  Well…..kind of.

The Bar: A very dark and quiet bar, this is the epitome of West O dives.  Plenty of room around this horseshoe shaped oasis of simplicity, especially when you’re the only ones there.  The patchwork memorabilia on the walls captures decades of music and sports memories and the mix ‘n’ match seating includes everything from bingo-hall chairs to lifted 70’s bar stools to modern office furniture.  If you can’t get comfortable here than you’re sh$t out of luck pal!  Wait a sec...is that a twelve inch diameter disco ball hanging there for no particular reason?  You bet your dying ass it is. 

Karaoke goes on here
The Crowd:  Our posse of three instantly doubled the number of people in the place…one of which turned out to our bartender.  Well, she was our bartender AFTER she was done eating her Jimmy John’s.  The three of us walking in there was somewhat like an old west movie, with tumbleweed in the background (it was a windy evening), the new drunks in town walk in on the change-averse bartender and what appeared to be her son...plus the one other patron whom I’m guessing was the bartenders’ "besty".  Either way, it was a tight-knit bunch who did not seem prepared for AN ENTIRE ENTOURAGE consisting of me, Scoobs, and T. 

Service:  A bit standoffish at first, it was dinner time as well, but not too awful considering we were throwing off the “vibe” in the empty room.  After awhile, we were able to forge some conversation with the bartender and her right-hand gal (Whatup Rhonda!!!).  They are a fun bunch after you earn their trust (buy them shots).  They even shared some fun facts about the Brass Knocker.  Built in the late 70’s, karaoke hot spot, etc. 

Price:  Pretty standard.  $7 a pitcher. Couple bucks a shot.  Not expensive but no can’t-miss deals either.  Here’s a tip…buy the pitcher…a regular old pint sets you back $2.50.

Looks like a bar
Food:  None…other than the bartender's #4 from Jimmy John’s

Entertainment:  It turns out the Brass Knocker is a staple of the Near-West Omaha Karaoke Circuit…which they seem to have nearly every night of the week. (Although not witnessed or sponsored by Hit That Dive or any of our affiliates).  Other than that, your run-of-the-mill dart boards and Internet jukebox.  A few small TV’s were scattered around the bar, which gave us the perfect spot to watch a rerun of “How I Met Your Mother”.

Bartender Chat: Before her Jimmy John's and the purchasing of her to take a shot:  N/A

When you gotta go...
After her Jimmy John's and the purchasing of her to take a shot:  Fun, kind lady.  My type of person.  She told me how when she’s meltin’ faces on the karaoke mic, it throws people off because she sounds so much like a dude.  And that’s crazy because her speaking voice was very sweet and feminine.  And for the record, she did buy us a shot in return.  Did I mention she is also the owner?  Great lady.  And Rhonda, her sidekick is the bee’s knees too.

Restroom: Small and a bit dingy.  Worst ever?  Not even close.

How Far Did My $20 Go?  Stick with the pitchers and you can get two and have a few bucks leftover for a shot or two.  Buy one for the bartender first, she’s more fun after that.

Final Impressions:  This is a West O dive.  Bottom line - good times, laid back, great way to end a strenuous week and begin another glorious weekend. This is the kind of dive I was raised and still live in.  Also, if after a few spirits you feel the need to get your girl/boyfriend’s name tattooed in cursive on your neck, pop in some gum and walk next door to Dr. Jacks.  Let’s be honest, if you’ve got nothing better to do then go ahead ‘n’….HIT THIS DIVE!



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lone Cone Saloon, Norwood, CO -- PREVIEW

One of the best times you can ever have in a bar is at the Lone Cone in Norwood, Colorado.  Sure it's a great place to have a few drinks...but the bartenders, especially LeeAnn, make this a place you need to go out of your way to visit.  Details once I'm back in Central Time again.

One of the top three bartenders in all the land.