Roger's Place

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a well established bar in west Knoxville that I rarely visit, Roger's Place on Kingston Pike. It's been around longer than I've lived here so I know it has some street cred, and I've been there a few times but not enough to act like I know the scoop. In fact, I was going in for a quick beer prior to a function at Rothchild's and was surprised to see that they are a full service bar with mixed drinks and, I presume, wine. So I opted for a vodka & tonic, then another. I asked the lone bar waitress for my tab and she replied "$4.50" and flitted away in a blur. Just as fast she returned with a printed tab and went over their happy hours, prices, etc. and I was delighted to get out so cheap! Admittedly these were well drink prices but still a damn good bargain. I don't know the well brand they serve and I don't plan on asking. It's just good to know they serve booze if you're in the need for it. This is also a Smoking establishment and, from what I could tell, everybody in the place was a smoker. I don't plan on making this a regular stop but it's worth a quick drink if you're killing time and don't mind smelling like an ashtray when you leave. Cheers!

Some numbers on my visit:

Patrons: 22 men, 2 women
Bar Stools: 10
Bar Staff: 1, efficient and very nice
Happy Hour: $2.25 wells
Smokiness: 4 of 5 cigs

photo via: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/


Sidestreet Tavern Gone Too?

Noooooooo. Say it ain’t so. This weekend I heard a rumor that yet another local bar had to close their doors. Just a couple of weeks after the bigger stories of Regas and S & W Grand ceasing operations (not to mention Arby’s) it appears Sidestreet Tavern is among the list of restaurant/bar casualties. I haven’t called or done any real investigating of course, though I did drive by late Saturday afternoon and no one was there, so that’s almost like research. If it turns out to be true I am going to miss them. It was my 2nd favorite smoky bar in town behind Preservation Pub, making it a favorite place to go with friends who smoke. They also had a decent menu, friendly staff, good happy hour and specials, and weren’t too far from home. Admittedly I did not frequent any of the three aforementioned bars/restaurants enough to be considered a regular, so I’m not going to cry tears in my beer over their loss, though I will miss Sidestreet most. At least they were WYSIWYG vs. PC BS.

If anyone out there has some information about Sidestreet Tavern to share, please feel free to leave a comment.

Sidestreet Tavern Knoxville
(Image from Knoxville520, via Google)


Happy Birthday Downtown Grill & Brewery

Have a party DGB, you deserve it now that you’re 8 years old. That’s eight downtown years and going strong. Let’s face it, the brewery has grown into a hugely successful gathering place and watering hole that accommodates pretty much any damn thing you need: great beer and bar deals, lots of space, patios, gaming, varied menu and yes, shots.
I hear they have live music for the party this Friday and Saturday.

Friday 21st – The Pop Rox

Saturday 22nd – The Dead Ringers


Nama Sushi - Making Progress

New Nama sign by Regal Riviera Cinema 8
Nama is moving closer to opening their new location next to the movie theater on Gay St. and I'm fired up about it. The big sign above has been in place for a few weeks, and the patio roof/cover was being installed today. I haven't checked my inside sources but it's no secret that they're working to open as soon as possible. My guess is that they plan to be open in time for Valentine's Day, but what do I know. They're a group that seems to have their act together so I'm sure there will be a huge ad campaign promoting the hell out of their grand reopening. We'll be hearing a lot more about this place, I'm sure.


Beer at the Movies – Just Like Amsterdam?

And I don’t mean no paper cup, I’m talking about a glass of beer.

Well, I guess we’ll have to see about that. The Bottom Line blog at KNS is reporting that Regal Cinemas is seeking a beer permit for their Downtown West Cinema 8 location in west Knoxville. You may know it as that artsy-fartsy movie theater that shows all the foreign films you never see. I know it as the place where I double-dated in college at the feature of The Big Lebowski. My friend is still married to his college sweetheart and has a lovely family with 3 children. Apparently my date didn’t go so well. Anyway, there is a chance you can order a beer next time you go see that documentary on global cooling, or perhaps the Academy Award nomination for best foreign film. And try not to drown your french fries in mayonnaise either.


Beer Robot

The guys at Kissing Suzy Kolber have provided a web link to a kick-ass beer dispensing "robot" via www.Engadget.com. It utilizes a mini-fridge, catapult and web cam all controlled with an iPhone. I envy people with time and skills to create fun shit like this, but not enough to challenge or compete with them. That would take time away from drinking so I'll leave the MacGyver inspired gadgetry to those folks.



Football, Football, Football and Some Drinks

Here are some figures from the College Football Bowl Season Challenge I recently completed, plus some NFL games for good measure. I am not proud of this achievement.

First Bowl Game – December 18
Final Bowl Game – January 10
Total Bowl Games – 35


FCS Playoffs (formerly Division II) – 3 (2 SF, 1 Championship)

There was some overlap of games that I had to watch at home by switching channels back and forth, and on January 1 we went to a sports bar to take advantage of multiple screens. In addition to quality games with awesome players, trick plays and fantastic finishes, I also endured shitty games by shitty teams, blue and red football fields, and passed out at the end of blowout games several times. It wasn't a perfect feat, it was a drunken feat.


Final 3 weekends of regular season (48 games total, no I didn’t watch them all) includes 1 Thursday game, 2 Monday night games, 1 Saturday/Christmas game and an odd Tuesday night game, the first one since 1946. Obviously it was impossible to watch all the NFL games simultaneously but the NFL Red Zone Channel has made it easier to keep up with what is going on.

NFL Playoffs – Wildcard weekend, 4 games

If my calculations are correct that is 90 games in 24 days. In other words: a fucking insane amount of football in a short time period. The NFL schedule inflates the total number, but I was able to take in about 50 of these games, an average of 2 per day, not too shabby.

THE BOOZE (estimated, shared amongst fiends):

Beer, Woodruff IPA – 1 keg
Vodka, bargain brands – 2 half gallons
Bourbon, Maker’s Mark, Johnny Drum & TJD – 3 fifths
Gin, Brokers – 1 fifth
Wine, various grapes – probably around ½ a case
Plus various bar tabs throughout downtown and the Cumberland strip

I will not attempt this next year, or ever again for that matter.


Meet the New Boss


Well, it was coming eventually. Also the stability of the family enterprise lends to a smooth (see what I did there?) transition. Good luck to Rob.

With Whisky Season approaching the home stretch, maybe its time to reassure MM that we're not going anywhere either. Time to a run to the package store.


Nine millimeters of Luger

Let me just say I don't care for these electronic cigarettes. Not because I think those who use the insipid things are trying to skirt the smoking laws, rather I have found every single person who is using them in a bar setting to be a screaming douche.

I'm no smoking prude. In fact, among non-smokers you will find me the most pro-cancer stick. I lament the passing of smoking sections on planes and trains, and you will still see me frequent 21 and over bars that still allow smoking. This is America, and you should be able to kill your body however you please.

So last night I am downtown, and this older fellow was indulging in this tripe. He finagled his way to the center of his table, overpowering conversation and gesturing like a madman with his stupid damn stick. It lacks the couth and class of a pipe, sir. Worse, when your friends attempted to get your attention you would quickly pull your tiny Freudian cockstitute to your mouth and exhale a small amount of vapor into said friend's face. Feh. They really need to kick your ass.

Look, if the droat-wearing girls can stand outside in scarves and hideous boots to smoke during the cold January nights then you can too. I recognize that everyone probably doesn't engage in this low-level visual cocktardery when they activate their e cigarette. I beseech someone to step up and lead these misguided souls.


Product Review: Death's Door Gin

I'll admit, early on I had my questions about this gin. Would the relative youth of the company be evident in some crass manner? Overpowering or too little juniper? If it is tasty does that still make this some sort of gin nouveau riche?

Calm the fuck down there LVL. Turns out this is a very fine and suitable clear liquor that easily bridges the middle ground between the current heavy hitter gins: (my beloved) Hendricks, Tanq, and Bombay.

Gin is usually distinct and stark, and DD is no exception. It has a slight citrus twinge that I find difficult to explain. These days many gins have a slight infusion of flavor, but this begs you to drink more to investigate. Insidious.

The bottle is probably its coolest feature. It shows the pride of the Wisconsin community that it calls home. Ingredients are purported to be local and organic, and the general opinion is this is a 'greener' hooch if you find that a feature rather than a bug. You will find something new with each new pour...dates, maps, local lore. It's pretty cool in a day when most bottle labels are either askew or sport a torn paper label.

Suffice to say, that picture was taken pretty early-and I have since prosecuted the bottle with relentless gusto. I heartily recommend you check it out the next time you aren't in the mood for brown booze or vodka.


Busted Flat in Knoxville

OK, we're back for another year of this mess. Things have been pretty quite for the past month as we've drank our way through the holidays. Now that we're through the bulk of them (sorry Presidents/MLK) the drudgery of work and winter return to the forefront. Shit, not cool. Though I am thankful to be employed since it helps with booze vouchers.

Here are a couple of notes tying up some loose ends from 2010 and looking ahead to a drunken, great year in 2011.

I have put myself through the wringer this bowl season, undertaking one of the greatest self-imposed challenges ever - watching every damn one of the 35 bowl games. It started back on 12/18 innocently enough when I had very little to do and watched the first 3 games. I was fired up (and impaired) and decided to make a go of this boast. Now 28 games later - including a brutal stretch of 3, 3, 4 and 6 games played on four consecutive days - I am over the hump to the other side. Watching the final seven games in 8 days will be like drinking a 6-pack of ponies on a hot day - almost too easy, yet satisfying nonetheless.

New Year's Day games were the most difficult to coordinate, forcing an early trip to a sports bar with multiple TV screens to take in the simulcast bowls. That was a rough 1-2 hour patch as we started 2011 staring at full beers after a night of heavy boozing for NYE. So rough that two hours into our day, the bar stool of our most accomplished lady-boozer just gave the fuck out and collapsed. We were surprised as QT slowly sank, then fell out of sight and landed flat on her ass for all to see. We were almost too baffled to laugh, but we did anyway. She was fine and got some free drinks out of the deal so all worked out in the end.

Our recent trip to Gatlinburg had an inside joke that is too lurid to share here, so I'll just say these three letters to annoy our drunkard reader MC: VPA. Eh, eh there? Did we ever get an answer? Please keep me posted.

Local recognition! The Metro Pulse did an article on local blogs you may not have read before and we were very surprised to be included. Call it a slow news cycle or year-end fodder, it was a nice little piece about some pretty cool sites that you can check out via the above link. Thanks MP!

That will do for now, I've got football to watch and beer to drink!