Why Downtowners hang out where we do (short version)

Last night I got in an interesting conversation with Mikey at the bar, and wanted to post thoughts… he told me that people from other parts of town ask him, “Why do you always hang out the places you do?  You’re always at Calhoun’s, Bardog, the Saucer… it seems like you’re in a rut.  Why don’t you ever hang out at Hooters?  At Alfred’s?  At Silky’s?”  It’s a valid question – with so many choices down here, why do we go to the same bars day after day after day?

I thought about it, and while I can’t (and don’t claim to) speak for all Downtowners, there are 4 main reasons this Downtowner goes the places he does:

1) My friends hang out there.  I like places where I can walk in and just about be guaranteed to find someone I know.

2) At least one value drinking option.  Examples: PBR at Calhoun’s and Bardog; the Fire Sale at the Saucer; pretty much everything at Big Foot.

3) Circulation.  A feeling of “you never know who you may see there.”  Not the same people day in and day out, every day.

4) The sense that the people who work there are like us.  Meaning, if they weren’t on the other side of the bar serving us, they’re the kind of people we’d like to have on our side of the bar having a beer with us.

I’m going to come back and go into detail on each of these points (with examples) sometime next week.  For now, though, here’s my latest version of my “favorite places to hang out” list.  Where you see a series of dots below, think of them as an asteroid belt indicating major separation.

1. (Tie) Bardog Tavern

1. (Tie) Flying Saucer


3. Calhoun’s


4. Big Foot Lodge

5. Red Rooster

6. Earnestine & Hazel’s

7. Automatic Slim’s

8. Jillian’s

Notes on this list:  This is “places I hang out,” not “places I go to eat.”  I don’t really hang out at the Majestic (other than Sunday brunch) or Circa much these days, but if I were going somewhere for a good meal, they’d be at the very top of the list.  Also, Raiford’s is such an unusual place that I find it impossible to rank against my other hangouts.  It’s a permanent honorary #1 in my book.

Quick recap of Thursday and Friday to come, then I gotta head to the flip cup tournament at the Rooster.