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Drowning My Sorrows

Yeah, I know, we here at Barhopper are a public service to the good folks in Riverwest. But I’m afraid I have to use my awesome power (that would be my ATM card) to serve my own ends this month. What can I say, it was still winter in spring, I couldn’t get Pixies tickets in Chicago, and as of this writing the new Patti Smith album isn’t out yet to cheer me up. I don’t know about you, but I need a drink. Riverwest Tavern 900 E. Auer Ambiance: A nice wood interior, done up in Miller, Packer, and bowling. Crowd: A group of after-work regulars. On Tap: Leinie’s, Riverwest Stein, and Miller Lite. Ah, the Riverwest trio. Top Shelf: Bacardi, Absolut, 1800 Tequila, and J.D. Juke Box: Almost 100% country and classic rock, plus Dean Martin. And Prince. Is Prince classic rock now? Augh, I’m old, bartender how about another shot. . . Men’s Room: Pleasant and tiled. Nope, really, that’s all there is to say about it. Women’s Room: Apparently home to any number of humorous print-outs on the walls. Lovely Assistant says “Dude, my favorite part is the Hagar the Horrible Cartoon, and there’s a good one with two Easter Eggs on bar stools.” Additional Comments: I’ll let the menu on the wall speak for itself: “Welcome to Riverwest. Avant Pizzas.” Riverhorse 701 E. Center Ambiance: Definitely part of that Riverwest. Funky lights, an animated Delirium Tremens sign, “Don’t Fuck With Wisconsin” and “Just Wear It” stickers on the fridge, and a painted replica of Andy Warhol’s banana from the first Velvet Underground record behind the DJ booth. Oh, and there’s a DJ booth. Crowd: I saw someone from Crime and Judy, and two guys at the bar were talking about Wes Anderson movies. You do the math. On Tap: Bell’s, Blue Moon, Riverwest Stein, Spotted Cow, Point, Delirium Tremens. And then there’s bottles, which would take the rest of this section to list. Top Shelf: Bombay Sapphire and Absolut. Juke Box: That would be the aforementioned DJ booth, manned by the bartender in the absence of actual DJing, and spitting out some kind of abrasive speed-metal punk thing I didn’t like on this particular evening. Men’s Room: Surprisingly normal, with the saving grace of “No sleep till Bayview!” written over the toilet. Women’s Room: “It’s cool,” says Lovely Assistant, “there’s some anti-Bush graffiti, and some that says ‘you’re beautiful’ right at eye level as you open the door.” Additional Comments: The furniture is halfway between retro-hipster faux kitsch and genuine old-school homage. At least I think so; my degree is in beer, not interior design. Well, that about wraps it up for another month. Anyone want to place bets on snow in June? (Berg is an unpublished fiction writer and music nut from back east.)