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The Mighty Quarter

Well folks, winter is well and truly here, and if it was any other month I’d play it smart, only emerging from my cave to hunt woolly mammoths when supplies ran low. But this February The Barhopper becomes an old, old man of twenty-five, so it’s time to go hoist a few. Dino’s 808 E. Chambers Ambiance: Feels like home. Quality wood paneling all over the dining area, those neat small bar tables on the bar floor, and a neon “Dino’s” sign over the bar. The TVs somehow always manage to have sports on, regardless of the time of year or evening. I’m looking forward to the end of all regular seasons, so I can go watch yak racing. Crowd: Total neighborhood. A hangout for all ages and fashions. On Tap: MGD, Pilsner Urquell, Miller Lite, Bass, Guinness, and Lakefront. Top Shelf: Skyy, Absolut, Bacardi, Johnnie’s Red and Black, and Bombay Sapphire. Jukebox: A firm base of classic rock with a top layer of Nirvana, Marley, and the Talking Heads, plus what looked like some ballads. Huh? Men’s Room: Nice, clean, and a tile pattern that looks like bricks for some reason. Women’s Room: Lovely Assistant gives props to cleanliness, but reports that “the toilet stall is the size of a pay phone booth — including the toilet.” Additional Comments: Dude, fish fry! Klinger’s East 920 E. Locust Ambiance: Let’s go to the bar after work, see the regulars, chat with the bartenders, have a few drinks, and just generally chill and have a good time. The bar is massive, and you can see the kitchen and spice racks behind it. Crowd: Super friendly and nice. They all seem to have been coming here for years and know each other (one woman we spoke to had been going for twenty years), but welcomed us newcomers. Our bartender introduced himself while serving. On Tap: Lakefront, MGD, Pilsner, and Leinie’s Red and Regular. Top Shelf: Tanqueray and Wild Turkey. Jukebox: Lots of newer stuff by classic rock artists, like John Mellencamp’s latest and post-Lowell George Little Feat. Also classic classics and Pearl Jam. Men’s Room: The walls are a shade of blue I remember from Play-Doh, and there’s an ashtray by the urinal. Women’s Room: Lovely Assistant comments that the women’s room was nice and clean, and had plenty of toilet paper. She also wants to shout out props to Bill and Spider, “two of the best bartenders I’ve ever seen . . .no one had to wait for a drink.” Additional Comments: I had a pitcher of Riverwest Stein and woke up with a headache. All right then. When next we meet, perhaps things will have warmed up a bit. Until then, I’ll see ya on the tundra.