Continuing my sudden theme of dive bars, I went to Lucky’s tonight because I always wanted to. It’s always seemed foreboding and crusty and what reason could I possibly have to walk in there, right? Fortunately for me, this blog is a great excuse.
I have a choice; ask the man what he’s drinking or the woman with the fuschia drink and a wedge of lime in it. I don’t want to be afraid to ask women what they’re drinking but I know that socially, it’s a little bit more loaded to approach women so I’m a bit more cautious about doing so. Plus; fuschia drink with lime wedge. I’m just not up for it tonight. I ask the man, distracted by three television’s worth of basketball (playing the same game) what he’s having and it’s Widmer’s Drop Top.
Lucky’s is astrange place. There’s a stylized painting on the wall; everything in straight lines and the men and women portrayed in black and white, underneath the caption reads ‘Seating for the Jammin’ Club’. There are no seats there though, just a coatrack. The wall-o-hol is topped with cages for the glasses and bottles inside but those bottles and glasses are empty. There are two wrought iron wine racks mounted on the wall, one of which is topped by a Oakland Raiders baseball helmet.
Yes, I know.
There’s a black man in a herringbone trenchcoat with a more salt than pepper beard talking to a dreadlocked white guy in a baseball cap, insisting that Rasheed Wallace and Ben Wallace dominate the paint.
Neither of those men are playing on TV so…
The bartender is a superhip woman in a hoodie (hood up) with a black dress and pink polka-dots on under that, glasses with big white rims and tattoos. It’s pretty clear that she knows everyone in the joint and at one point disappears for an indeterminate length of time to talk to someone outside. Nobody there seems surprised and it’s not the kind of thing that feels rude. I’m not sure how to explain that so I won’t. Nobody wants to talk to me; they are either watching basketball or playing the Rolling Stones pinball machine or somehow trying to make the most awkwardly placed pool table work for a game. Like the Reel M Inn, I think I’d have to come here multiple times to be accepted in some manner.
I suppose I’ve lost something in my continual travels; even those these joints have an adequate selection, there is still a community here that every so often, I feel I’m missing out on.
As I slide off my chair to leave, the bartender asks if I’m leaving already, as though she’s sorry to see a new face leave so soon. I give her a wan smile and say ‘It’s time’ but I think I’ll stop in again.