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You can get as serious as these self-described Wine Guys, and they'll help you plan your own wine cellar. Or take a class in wine/food pairing, offered at the wine bar by an instructor at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. They'll even arrange a private tasting for you and a group of friends, and tailor the selection to fit your desires. Brickey and Davis better watch out: At this rate, you'll get so into wine you'll want to toss your day job like these two did and open up your own wine bar. We're betting they're up to the competition.
But during the day, this old, allegedly haunted house is literally a living room for an assortment of characters (some who actually work there and, perhaps, some who work or have worked for this fine paper) who make the yahoos on Cheers seem like a bunch of strangers.
If retirees Sherman and Stormy don't show up, the bartenders are prone to calling to make sure they're still capable of walking. The joke goes, "Of course, Casey Moore's is haunted Sherman and Stormy have been dead for 10 years."
But those two are the least of it. The place is home to a plethora of neighborhooders like Cigar Bob, Don across the street, local artist Rodgell, musician-about-town P.C., and more, who know one another and make like a virtual family despite an age range that spans at least 50 years. Come summer, when the students are mostly away, these are the folks who give the bar its character, and many of them spend more time at the bar than they do at home.
We open the door to crinkled, old, sodden carpet, and through the doorway we spot two mangy pool tables to the left, and to the right a shuffleboard table and a brass-plated bar the whole thing is this old, pounded brass plate, like gold-colored tin all over the bar. Awesome.
Dee the bartender is seasoned and just hired from the defunct Thunderbird Lounge up the road; she's from Ohio and brings some personality and warmth to the place.
We settle in and order a beer, which shows up quickly in a subzero frosty mug. We notice the centerpiece of the bar, a nice fish tank with a half a dozen or so of the little guys looking out at us. We ask Dee if she names them and she says, "Nah, but the big one on the bottom is the prettiest." The big guy next to us chimes in loudly, "Yeah, the shit-sucker!" Dee laughs and the big guy says, "Why is it that the prettiest one in there is the one that just sits around and eats shit all day... I don't get it."
Well, as we look around at these folks and the drunken grins and swaggers in this place, we get it loud and clear: This is the prettiest place we've found ourselves, in a long time.
But, perhaps, not for long. You'd better get over to The Fox Hole soon word is the place has new owners, and they already made the men's room "nice," and we guess they're looking to add new carpet soon... Giddy up before they ruin the charm up in the joint.
The bartenders at Kay's are sweet but sadistic. They fire up everything from chicken pot pies to corndogs, and even pretzels with gooey cheese. The real kicker at Kay's is the food that's soaked in our favorite pickling ingredient: alcohol. Everclear isn't just good for blacking out teenage girls anymore! We had to try the Olive Bomb, which is a big batch of jumbo olives passed out in a pool of Everclear joy. It's close to eating a flaming goat testicle and probably accounts for the clogged toilet we've seen in this joint . . . But no need to worry, you can wash it down with the Everclear-soaked Cherry Bomb to really cleanse the palate!
The Crane Game at Westside is chock-full of stuffed animals, but most have a thong tied to them, or at least a titty keychain. If you're childless, don't despair! For you, there's an adult DVD called Be Cumming a Teenager, or, since you forgot the Fixodent, you can win a cock nose and glasses that lights up and blinks for Grandma.
Seriously, if you think bringing a cheesy gift to your wife, girlfriend, or kid is going to make them forgive you for being an alcoholic . . . Well, then you are one! Better off getting drunk and not going home fuck it all! Are you really happy there, anyway?
So where's the best place to go? If you're really stuck, we suggest just letting it rip in the pants it's warm and feels great for the first couple of minutes until it starts to get cold and sticky. Otherwise, make your way pronto to the Playa off Bethany Home and 16th Street to saddle up to their 4-foot-long piss trough. It's complete with a screen from someone's window that fits in the bottom to serve as a cover, so no one will steal the precious urinal cakes, and to serve as a sieve for who knows what might end up in there.
At the Playa, the "trough" is just the topper to this stark, stinky-ass loo. There's a little ledge near the ceiling that has count 'em seven air fresheners . . . they must all be broken or used up. There is a lone commode; it even has a door on it! And when you go to wash up, there's a bottle of dish detergent, and the broken soap dispenser and old paper towel holder are tied down with hose clamps and nailed to the wall so they can't be stolen, like the missing door knob on the entrance that now shows off a 3-inch square for peepers who want to catch a glimpse of the pig getting out of the barn door.
We have found a dive bar that has a women's bathroom so clean and beautiful, your cheeks will be happy to rest on the sparkling porcelain. Not only does the Swizzle Inn take pride in their restroom hygiene, but they make the experience all the more luxurious with two whole stalls made from attractive stained wood with decorative locks that actually work.
To add to the lavishness, the sink has both soap and hand lotion. And you won't have to fight for mirror space with any biker hos to redo your lipstick because this place has a full-on vanity with stools. Take your sweet time to muster up your limited motor skills for a mascara touchup. But the very best part is the beautiful basket of free tampons overflowing with varying absorbencies unbelievably decadent.