The Vertigo feels a little weird, like someone’s vanity project; a pub where a guy can say he’s working but actually watches sports on a big screen TV all day.
Oh sure, there’s trivia nights (with the tagline ‘Great Prizes, Good Food, Graphic Nudity’), there’s a dartboard and pinball table with a crappy theme (World Poker Tour), an arcade machine with a collection of 80’s videogames and a jukebox. The booths are very strange; high backs to provide a sense of isolation, no padding on them so patrons are inclined to lean in towards each other, all atmospherically romantic, and the incredibly dim lighting supports this. The décor involves paintings, knick-knacks, tiny guitars, oversized glasses, the neon clichés (Anchor Steam, PBR).
But what there really is, is a gigantic projection screen TV, a tiny TV located behind the bar, and another one above the dartboard, but I don’t know why it’s there or which section of patrons it’s meant to serve, since the pub is small enough that the projection TV is viewable from almost anywhere. The three TVs have sports on, all the time, every time I come in here. There might be different games being played, but when I’ve been here each TV shows the same game.
So I have to ask; does the Vertigo know what it is?
It’s practically empty on a Monday, despite it being the high point of the college Product bowl season, brought to you by Product. I think the other men at the bar-both the bartender and the guy on the rail, work here and it is just the three of us.
And it’s expensive. My pint of Widmer Drop Top cost me $4. During Happy Hour. Oh sure, I could’ve gotten a PBR with a shot of Jager for $6 (which is something else that tells me about the kind of influences on this bar) but…why? The food is similarly expensive; $8 for nachos, or $6 for a salad. (That’s the high and low end for appetizers.) Again; that’s pricey for a happy hour.
Now I don’t want to give an entirely terrible impression of the Vertigo; my beer is good and the bartender served me a tall pint of it. In no way is this unfriendly.
But it doesn’t make a statement either. It’s feels geared for someone else-built to serve all the little bits of interest of one individual. Sports fanatics won’t see all the hero-memories of sports surrounding them. Romance is intruded upon by televisions, the lane for the dartboard is right in front of the bar. The beer selections are easily matched or bested elsewhere. Who comes here? Who calls this bar home?
I don’t know. Maybe that’s why I don’t come here very often.
And this will be the last ApfD post for two weeks. I’m heading out on vacation and have no idea what kind of internet access I will have. If all goes badly, I’ll be trapped like these people were, and have bleary but good stories.