Who was it who said that November was a month for adventure? Probably nobody. Nonetheless, we here at Barhopper central charted a course for the outer extremities of Riverwest, going all the way out to Holton, and, oh, maybe just a smidge over the river, in an effort to diversify the Barhopping experience, and to make it harder to triangulate the position of the Barhopper’s house from his selections. Journey on with us… The Eastsider – 1732 E. North Avenue O.K., so I could’ve been a little less blatant about stretching to the East Side. Ambience: Clean, bright, spacious, well decorated…is this really a bar? Crowd: UWM-O-Rama, and some others of the 20-30 set. On Tap: Some old standards, but also Lakefront, Capital, and, in the never-seen-that-before category, New Glarus. Drink indigenous spotted cows! Wait, that’s not right. Top Shelf: Petron, and too many vodkas and scotches to count. Jukebox: None. The staff has seized control with their slick looking stereo and metric assload of CD binders. Men’s Room: Black painted over white, which gives people the option to scratch, rather than write, their graffiti, which included “Buy. Mini donuts…mmm good.” Who says alcohol affects grammar? Also, there was no toilet paper. Or seat. Women’s Room: Lovely Assistant says: “I don’t have to pee.” Sorry ladies, you’re on your own for this one. Additional Comments: Lights! Somewhere out there is one seriously satisfied lighting designer. Well done ambient light, the bar is well lit, even the vodka and cigarettes get their own lighting. I’ve seen some strange things in my time, but well-lit vodka is a new one on me. Luther’s – 2525 N. Holton Street Ambience: Neighborhood bar all the way. Crowd: Mostly working class, 30s and 40s. On Tap: Nothing. All bottles and cans. Top Shelf: Johnnie Walker Black and Sweden vodka. Jukebox: Tons and tons of soul and R & B, with Little Milton bringing in a bit of blues. Men’s Room: No graffiti, but it does feature the biggest frickin’ urinal I’ve ever seen. Women’s Room: Lovely Assistant was too busy making voodoo dolls of the Florida Marlins to accompany, so we’re 0 for 2. Additional Comments: Entertainment includes a pool table, video slots, and a clear view of the closed-circuit TV behind the bar, which is a classic horseshoe style. And signs on the bathrooms say “Absolutely no drugs allowed, no more than 2 people in the bathroom at once.” There goes my night. That about takes care of that. Happy Thanksgiving, and we’ll be seeing you, maybe two of you, in December. Do you have a favorite — or not so favorite — bar you’d like us to review? Or perhaps a place you haven’t dared to go and want us to investigate? E-mail your suggestions to barhopper@riverwestcurrents.org.
by Jeremy Berg