Annex, The Friday, Jun 22 2007 

6282 Mission, Daly City ~ (650) 755-9286

Prologue: The woman who answered the phone laughed when I inquired if they were open on Sundays. “This is a bar,” she giggled. Well, at least after 10am every day it is, so let’s check it out.

Afterword: It was pretty precious how the heretofore hearty Barflies had pre-conceived reasons not to venture to the wilds of Daly City. Not that I blamed them. It did seem foolhearty. And Paladin was very cranky, on account of giving up cigarettes (again) the day before and also not having had any real drinks (meaning scotch) so far (in retrospect, he really actually deserves a serious commendation). And yet, we bid the Barflies farewell and went bravely on our way.

I’m here to tell you: Daly City is no big deal. It is a little far away, but it’s not at all scary. At least not at The Annex. I mean, you might not ever choose to go there, but if you were driving by and happend to be co-incidentally thirsty, you could do a lot worse.

Especially if you are deaf. The Annex has something Paladin and I will be investigating (once we can hear ourselves think) called an “Internet Jukebox”. We are not sure how it works, but we can attest that it is possible to play at egregiously ear-piercing volumes. I, for one, wondered if they turned up the music to encourage us leave…not that we actually wanted to stay in that deafening din, mind you.

The good news is that The Annex is right next to a Daly City Municipal Parking Lot, so, if you manage to happen upon it — given the entirely unrealistic driving directions with which yellowpages.com provides you — at least you can park.

The bad news is that the nicest part of The Annex is the sidewalk. Not only is the jukebox deafening, the Bar is strangely and quite unpleasantly bright, which is odd and icomprehensible considering that there are no actual lights in the Bar; there are only tv’s, neon bar signs, and a string of Christmas lights — hardly enough illumination to explain the actual lighting situation. The overall effect is disconcerting, to say the least.

With this many strikes against it, The Annex needed to have some serious cocktails to get us on its side. Alas, the watery drinks we had did not exactly endear us to the establishment. It didn’t help matters that “Ick Blick & Yick” was what I was thinking when I saw all the wads of gum where Hooks should have been…

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not unhappy I went to The Annex. A truer test of my mettle could not have been devised. It would have been easy to abdicate the adventure once the Barflies understandably took their leave. It would have been a snap to summarily dismiss The Annex in the first place on the grounds that is not even located in the city and county of San Francisco. But then I wouldn’t be doing this by The Book, now, would I?

Bathroom Biography:
I didn’t even check. But I’m sure it was loud in there, too.

Advertisements

Cigar Bar and Grill Wednesday, Dec 27 2006 

850 Montgomery ~ WEBSITE ~ (415) 398-0850

6:30pm Friday 14 August 2007

Prologue: In all honesty, The Hostess is not in the mood to party at present. Truth be told, she has been feeling rather blue lately, but stumbling around the Mystery Mansion leaving crumpled tissues and empty vodka bottles all over the place is getting old, and maybe drinking in public will do her some good. After all, at least she will have to get dressed…

The Cigar Bar and Grill seems as good a place as any to reluctantly re-enter society. If the place turns out to be as heinous crowd-wise as it well may, at least there are a dizzying variety of specialty cocktails to provide a couple of hours of distraction from, well, from whatever it would be better from which to be distracted.

While Friday seems a bit hasty (and an evening more likely to be heinous crowd-wise than next Tuesday, which I was considering), the above-mentioned gloom must not be permitted to last any longer. Who knows, maybe my new hero — Mr. Paul Addis (aka the only person I have ever heard intelligently discuss a certain subject) — will surprise me and show up and allow me to buy him a drink. Or six.   (UPDATE:OK, so in the time it has taken me to write this, it turns out that Mr. Addis is probably a certified nut-job with an arson habit, but The Hostess has a historic weakness for men whose sanity is questionable at best, as many a Barfly can attest.)

Anyone who wants to buy me a drink needs to show up early. There’s no telling how long I’ll be able to keep up the complete charade of a happy person. (Alcohol is ultimately a depressant, you know …) Forbidden topics of conversation will be fire, anything that happened in the state of Nevada recently, and anyone’s whereabouts for the last three weeks (of course, Mr. Addis can talk about anything he likes, as long as he lets me sit on his lap). Tell me this doesn’t sound like the recipe for too much fun to possibly miss!!!

Please note: Barflies who have been to, through, near, or around the hamlet of Gerlach, NV  in the last two (2) years are politely requested to refrain from attending this Official Visit. No offense, but The Hostess needs a break from “the community” for a while. An exception will be made for any Barfly (current or potential) who brings Paul Addis to meet me. (The Hostess has nothing against alleged nut-job arsonists, after all.)  Especially if said Barfly proceeds to buy my new friend Paul and I drinks…

Afterword: What can I say? I mean besides: my uncanny ability to foresee certain aspects of the future may or may not have anything to do with the fact that I am a Pisces…

Granted, I was not feeling at all sociable as I arrived at the Cigar Bar and Grill at the appointed hour (see above). But not even my anti-social mood could account for the heinous-beyond-even-my-own-pessimistic-expectations nature of the teeming masses I found there. I was only able to endure being on the premises on account of three factors:

  1. I was feeling smug about being correct in pre-supposing that the crowd was going to be heinous.
  2. Chica Cherry was on her way.
  3. Jonny-Georgia was rumored to be joining us.

I tell you, though, these three mitigating factors notwithstanding, the crowd’s surreal heinousness was more than I could bear directly, so I headed to a secluded vantage point from which to survey it…

As it happens, the Cigar Bar and Grill is located on the ground floor of what is otherwise an office building with a courtyard. The Cigar Bar and Grill has completely taken over this outdoor space, but there are levels of inter-office terraces, at least one of which was accessible on the Official Visit. I found this perch furnished with comfortable outdoor furniture and made myself comfortable, thanking all the gods that I had been sure to B my own B to sustain me until a Barfly arrived to escort me through the throng below.

Because I sure as hell wasn’t going down there alone. It was beyond heinous. It was like a pathetic game of musical chairs, except there was no music, no one who had a chair was leaving it for anything, and too many ridiculous-looking young men were standing around in cliques holding lit cigars (note: I did not say smoking cigars) and stinking up the place. As if that weren’t enough, everyone was apparently screaming at the top of their lungs — the net effect being, of course, that no one could hear a word anyone else was saying and the raucous din was undoubtedly permanently injuring the eardrums of everyone present. (Note to people who speak in public places: if anyone besides the persons you are addressing can hear you, TONE IT DOWN, YOU LOUDMOUTHS!)

Chica Cherry arrived and repositioned me at a table just inside the door, the better to glimpse Jonny-Georgia as immediately as possible if he showed up.  Ever a dear, Chica Cherry even made her way through the three-deep hordes at the bar to procure us proper drinks.  This task proved just too much for me, so if you want to know about the hook situation at Cigar Bar and Grill, maybe ask Chica Cherry if she checked this out.  After drinking and screaming across the table in a largely vain attempt to hear each other, Jonny-Georgia did appear, and I’ll be damned if that boy’s movie-star smile doesn’t immediately ameliorate just about anything, including the din at the Cigar Bar and Grill. 

We had more drinks.  We hollered back and forth.  I heard a band tuning up, and we all decided it was time to go.  Jonny-Georgia had been regaling us with tales of something called “blackberry margaritas” which the Cigar Bar and Grill was lacking, and I was uncharacteristically intrigued by the unlikely-sounding concoction.

It was while Jonny-Georgia was gallantly hailing us a cab that I noticed the preposterousness of the Cigar Bar and Grill’s being one of The Bars That Promote Littering.  Get this: I actually saw persons — as in more than one — walking down the street, tossing cigarettes onto the sidewalk, and then entering the Cigar Bar and Grill, presumably to stand around holding lit cigars. 

It was absolutely and positively too much.  I’m quite sure I ranted and raved about this the whole time we were in the cab.  Fortunately, my outrage was no match for the surprisingly refreshing blackberry margarita concoction I subsequently found myself enjoying, Chica Cherry’s mysterious abdication of chaperonage duty notwithstanding…

Bathroom Biography:
You have to wander around and down some hallways to find them, but they are serviceable enough, and certainly a tranquil relief from the noise level in the Bar.

Danny Coyle’s Wednesday, Dec 27 2006 

668 Haight ~ (415) 558-8375

5:30pm Thursday 27 December 2007

Prologue:  I have this crazy theory that if I can get out of the “C” Bars before this crappy year ends, then 2008 will be a better set of 12 months for me.  Perhaps it’ll be downright dandy.  So Nora Charles and I are going to Danny Coyle’s to have our welcome home party from our Oliver’s Twisted Christmas (provided we survive that extravaganza).  I have my doubts that we’ll be up for too much more than propping up the bar by then, but Thursday is the only night Danny Coyle’s doesn’t have some wacky theme night.  Plus, it’s a “college bar” and school’s out, so mabye some grown-ups will venture in from the neighborhood and buy us drinks.  That’s the plan, at least.  We’ll see how it goes…

Delaney’s Bar Wednesday, Dec 27 2006 

2241 Chestnut ~ (415) 931-8529

4:30pm Saturday 26 January 2008

Prologue: ‘Aye, another Irish pub. This town is riddled with them, apparently. Hell, I just celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. day in one (not on our list) with Nora Charles (the pre-cocktail hour cocktails actually being her idea — brilliant Irish lass that she is). Well, let’s see how this one compares, shall we? Come and weigh in on whether or not “The Bars That Are Irish Pubs” ought to be a feature The Hostess tracks for you. Just please try not to fall off your bar stool in shock: I’ve switched to Manhattans for duration of this frosty cold spell … (at least until I can find a bartender who knows how to make a Sazerac without asking me what is in one, although it suddenly occurs to me that Michael might be just such a bartender — and he works not that far from Delaney’s — should their own bartenders fail to satisfy this Sazerac Attack by which I have been quite, if inexplicably, seized recently). And speaking of brown-hued drinks, The Hostess has finally come across a “w—pedia” version she can actually endorse. I’m reserving the right to be skeptical as to the site’s authoritativeness, but I applaud their concept. Enjoy!

Ms Olive Says:
January 25, 2008 at 3:31 am edit

  1. Ugh! I am going to Blackwells to taste wines from the Rhone! Can’t we make it Sunday? Sorry i don’t mean to winnnne but somebody has got to leave some comments.

Unfortunately, no, Ms Olive. The Hostess has to go investigate a new San Francisco live music venue on Sunday with her tragically un-hip, smooth-jazz friends. (Someone has to go along to add some semblance of classiness to this jaunt!) Enjoy your wine-tasting, though, dear. I’ll make sure the Barflies intrepid enough to brave the downpour (& the Marina zip code) on Saturday drink a toast to you…

Afterword:  Wow.  As a fine fellow named Dave who spends a lot of time at Delaney’s Bar pointed out, it’s a very un-Marina Bar that just happens to be located smack dab in the middle of the Marina.  We got ourselves a new Barfly (hi, Malvolio!).  There was much merriment and copious drinking.  There was free popcorn.  And then The Hostess noticed the brass pole inexplicably extending from the floor to the ceiling at a corner opposite the bar.  If you weren’t there, you’ll just have to wait to hear exactly what happened next, but if you are among those who have heard the rumor about The Hostess’ days as a certain kind of dancer in Tucson, you can probably guess what ensued …

Double Dutch Wednesday, Dec 27 2006 

3192 16th ~ (415) 503-1670

6:00pm Wednesday 27 February 2008

Prologue: As part of my continued (and, it must be said, quite valiant) effort to make Bars By The Book accessible to the greatest number of Barflies in the most geographically desirable fashions, the Official Visit to Double Dutch has been scheduled with the next Bar in mind. Please excuse the short notice, but really, if The Hostess can keep up with herself, how difficult can this actually be? Double Dutch is probably not going to a place for lingering, so get there early if you are planning on dropping by, or you risk missing out on whatever other bar(s) to which I may subsequently abscond. Oh, and please make a note of noting Double Dutch’s smoking refuse receptacle status if you do venture there — I’ve been a bit lax about verifying this vital bit of Bar information lately, and you know how I loathe an incomplete database!

Afterword: Pardon the to wait for the full review, but I had to at least try to do the place justice. Allow me to say, unequivocally and for the record, that Double Dutch may very well be my new favorite Bar. In fact, I am seriously considering spending every Sunday evening there from now on, as soon as I get a chance. (Brian and Darin — see you soon & xo!)

Have you ever walked into a bar and thought to yourself that this was where you were supposed to be all along? Well, this has happened to The Hostess a couple of times, although I’ve always wound up let down in the end — by a change of ownership, a rise in drink prices and infestation of the insufferable, etc. My delight upon walking into Double Dutch, then, can only be characterized as the triumph of hope over experience. Yes, like a third marriage. But I don’t care. The fact that I can still get a thrill like I did when I walked into Double Dutch means I am not as jaded a cynic as I purport to be. That is, apparently, perhaps.

Double Dutch is also the perfect example of what is wrong with that stupid yelp-y website (and no, I am NOT going to link to it, for crissakes!). If you were to waste your time and read the yelping about Double Dutch, you would think that the place is a total dive with a disgusting bathroom. Ergo, you would be tragically misinformed. Double Dutch is, in point of fact, completely darling and there is nothing whatsoever wrong with the bathrooms.

There are really only three things wrong with Double Dutch:

  1. Parking is a bi-atch (hardly Double Dutch’s fault).
  2. The Bar is currently one That Promotes Littering (but Brian, the bartender, is commendably irked by this and Darin, the owner, has promised to look into the kinds of retro-tastic smoking refuse receptacles recently seen — and appreciated — at Deco Lounge and Deluxe Club).
  3. While agreeably open seven days a week, the Double Dutch doors are locked until 5:00pm each and every one of those days, which means this Bar is actually only open at night, and completely precludes my whiling away Sunday afternoons here, which should be against the law, if you ask me.

Now, let me tell you about all the things at Double Dutch that are right…to begin with, there are hooks, and they are nicely illuminated. Speaking of lighting, there are divinely funky neon chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. You can also bring a dog with you (at least, you can if you are the owner). There’s a long, inviting bar running down the left of the space, and banquette seating along the right side that is vaguely reminiscent of a bygone era (or two). How else to explain my being struck by the following notion out of nowhere: you know how those crazy kids on “Beverly Hills, 90210” cobbled a bar they called “After Dark” onto their Peach Pit Diner high school hangout when they got to be old enough to drink legally? Well, Double Dutch seems like the sort of bar that Arthur “Herbert” Fonzarelli might have tacked on to Arnold’s Drive-In Restaurant after he got his G.E.D. Or maybe I was just in a giddy mood because I had found a parking space, but I don’t think so…

For one thing, the rumored re-appearance of Marquise Marie on the Barfly radar rapidly proved to have been a ruse. The Hostess, then, was at a Bar by herself, again. Sigerson evinced zero interest in gallantly gallivanting a few blocks to rescue me from sipping solitarily (although, to be fair, he had already done just that a mere six days ago). All other usual suspects had been so put off by the yelp-ing drones that the possibility of their dropping by Double Dutch never even existed. Well, thank goodness for my own resolve to see this quest through — and for the friendly demeanor of a bartender named Brian (hi, Brian!) — or no one would ever know the extent of the simple pleasures to be had at this Bar.

I told Brian what I was up to. I gave him a card. It is a true measure of how much I enjoyed Double Dutch on its own merits that I wasn’t put off when free drinks didn’t ensue. Instead, I learned that their Happy Hour is from 5 – 7 each evening, when beers are $1 cheaper and liquor is doubly discounted. Every night there are dj’s starting at 10:00pm, except on Tuesdays, when there is a painter-in-residence whose paintings you can purchase on the spot — as soon as the paint has dried — if the mood strikes you. As if all this weren’t enough for such a pretty small Bar to have going on, on Sundays, all Hangar One drinks are only $5.00!!! That’s right: Hangar One and anything-you-can-fit-in-a-glass for five bucks! (You can see, now, of course, why I am so dejected that they don’t open until 5:00pm…)

As I was getting the scoop on Double Dutch, Darin (the aforementioned proprietor) sidled over and Brian introduced us. We both wondered out loud why we looked so familiar to each other. Well, it turns out that Darin used to work at Hangar One, of all places, and we deduced that he must have been there the afternoon I spent visiting that delightful distillery in Alameda. This bit of Darin’s resume also explains Double Dutch’s great vodka selection (and its being Hangar One heaven on Sundays). After convincing Darin to seriously consider correcting the Promotion of Littering outside of the premises, I was thoroughly smitten with the place (and that was before I noticed the Lite Brite sign behind the bar — various varieties of vodkas and happy childhood toy memories, too? — straight up Bar bliss!)

I felt so comfortable and relaxed in the friendly environs that I really didn’t want to tear myself away. Alas, the absconding I alluded to above was imminent, and time was of the essence if Brian was going to have any sunlight left to illuminate the Official Photo. The Hostess can’t wait to get back to Double Dutch, with or without you…

Bathroom Biography:
There are two, both unisex, which should cut down nicely on lines for the ladies. The one I used was pristine. The walls are painted black, and then intentionally and artfully completely graffitied with day-glo paint. So much so that if a vandal wanted to add to the melange, it wouldn’t be worth the effort because nothing would stand out on the kaleidoscopic walls. The sink is small, but elegantly situated in the corner, leaving more room to maneuver in the small space. The hand dryer is an absolute modern engineering marvel — it literally blows the water off your hands (hold onto your rings!). Bottom line: go for it & yelp-schmelp.

 

Eight Lounge Wednesday, Dec 27 2006 

1151 Folsom ~ WEBSITE ~ (415) 431-1151

Saturday 31 January 2009

Tentatively: whenever they open Saturday 17 May 2008

Prologue:  Look, I’ve been trying to get the lowdown on this place all week.  I’ve sent 2 e-mails.  I’m calling them Friday night to see what the deal is on Saturday.  I may need to actually swing by and get the details.  There’s something called “Mandonna” which I think is either a Madonna drag show — which would be fabulous — or a few hours of nothing but Madonna songs — which would also not suck.  I just need to find out when it starts and if there’s a cover, so I can let you know.  Check back on Saturday (afternoon, please, I’m going to need to sleep in after singlehandely saving the Sazerac, I’m sure you understand).

I was there, I swear.  Totally according to plan.  And the — get this — the doorman talked me out of it.  He said there was a $12.00 cover that there was no way around, and that if I came back the next weekend, I could get in for free and he would buy me my first drink.  Just then, I got word that “The Wizard of Oz” was playing in Dolores Park, from a guy offering to take me there on a motorcycle.  Honestly, can you blame me for postponing the Official Visit to Eight Lounge under those kind of irresistible circumstances?

Third time’s a charm, and this time, nothing is going to stop me.  (Stop smirking!)

Afterword: It all started when I got an e-mail from Big Easy, inquiring as to the status of this project.  I admitted to having gotten derailed by an unimpressive stretch of the alphabet, and resolved to rectify the situation in short order.   In a post titled “E = Enough Already”, I — somewhat unenthusiastically — alerted anyone interested to “save the date”:

As in: enough procrastinating on this project.

To be fair, E is a lousy letter for Bars in The Book.  So I’m just going to get it over with on Saturday 31 January 2009.

More details to follow, but anyone who knows how this ridiculous blog works will be able to ascertain pretty well that getting the E’s over with at last shows little promise in the actual merriment department.  But The Hostess knew this fool’s errand wasn’t going to be all fun and games when she started, and so the prospect of an unenchanting evening is no reason to quit now.

Worst case scenario: I drink 3 shots of tequila in 3 Bars by myself.  Worse Worst case scenario: I drink 2 shots of tequila in 2 Bars by myself and am murdered by a drunken bunch of migrant workers when I walk in the door of the third Bar.  (Which will really suck, because if I don’t get to drink there, it won’t even count as an Official Visit.)

I’m not going to beg you to come (unless you are a burly, gay Mexican who wants to make some extra cash being my bodyguard/driver/photographer), but think how sad (guilty) you’ll feel when you hear about my grisly demise through the grapevine if you don’t.

By the next day, I had all the dealt with the details, and the schedule for that Saturday’s “Spree Through the E’s” was posted under “E is for Expectations”:

One thing The Hostess has learned about expectations — from going to the first 39 Bars in The Book (and from having a chauffeur) — is that the lower one’s expectations are, the better are one’s expectations of being pleasantly surprised. (If you think this sounds like some kind of Zen Buddhist koan mumbo-jumbo, then you’re right. Remember, this year’s motto is “More Divine in ’09”.)

With this in mind, on 31 Saturday January 2009, Saturday’s “Spree Through the E’s” (as it will henceforth be ever-known) will proceed as follows:

9:30pm: Eight Lounge — I am pleased to report that I have (semi-)secured a suitable escort to this establishment (Rocks before Cocks” — whew!) There is some sort of live music show starting at either 10:00 (according to the performer’s web site) or 10:30 (according to the club’s web site), but I don’t really care, because, while I don’t mind paying the nominal $5 cover for my Elegant Escort and I, it would truly surprise me if I were to remain here for more than an hour. I will be sipping a shot of tequila, whilst I survey the premises for your edification, before proceeding to…

Now, I had reason to believe that Big Easy and Dottie P. were going to join me at some point in the proceedings.  (I wasn’t even ruling out an appearance of the famously reclusive Dr. Black.)  And I had the lean and luscious Kevin Banks to get me in and out of Eight. But you cannot imagine my surprise when, as Kevin Banks and I set out to stroll down the block, we had a positive passel of new Barflies with us.  Somehow, while waiting for the appointed hour, the redoubtable Jessica Rabbit had enlisted the lovely Holly-Anne, the best-Barfly-named-to-date Hooker Bait, and the seriously Salawesome to eagerly experience the Spree Through the E’s with Kevin Banks and I…

I”m not sure what Big Easy thought when he saw me saunter into Eight surrounded by such a crowd, but I will not soon forget the thrill I got when he whispered “Grenadine” in my ear.  I knew then and there that E was going to be for Epic, and that the great social experiment that is Bars By The Book was not going to disappoint.

As for Eight…it’s a lot smaller than I thought it would be. There’s three distinct spaces on the ground floor (rooftop patio was not open for our inspection, alas).  Front bar (with hooks), middle space (with makeshift stage and a lot of mirrors), and back bar (with a couple of booths and those crazy laser-projected dots on the ceiling).  It’s very dark, on account of there being no windows and the entire premises being painted black. They have $9.00 tequila and $4.00 tequila (of which The Hostess recommends the former).  Big Easy had the following issue with his $9.00 margarita:

Eight: The bartender made my margarita with Rose’s Lime Juice – WTF? The smoking patio pretty much made up for it, though – a narrow passageway between two buildings, with stylized palm trees!

…and he is completely correct about the smoking patio, which is, as far as The Hostess is concerned, Eight’s best feature. (Although, crammed full of smokers, it could definitely totally suck).

Then again, I have not experienced the rooftop garden at Eight, which, for all I know, could really redeem the place. There are, however, more than one other rooftops in the immediate vicinity, should you find yourself in the environs with a rooftop jones. But if you are gay and Asian, by all means give Eight a chance.

My own favorite part about Eight was after we left and Holly-Anne showed her true colors as a fantastic photographer.  She realized that if we clambered (a word that does not get used enough, frankly) into the back of the  pickup parked in front of Eight, that she could get the Bar’s sign in the shot.  I seem to recall her actually sitting in the street to accomplish this photographic feat.  The rest of the evening proceeded to get hazy, but I do distinctly remember thinking, as Big Easy helped me gracefully out of whoever’s pickup truck that was,  that Holly-Anne was my kind of girl.

Maggie McGarry’s Tuesday, Dec 26 2006 

1353 Grant Ave ~ WEBSITE ~ (415) 399-9020

Prologue: OK, so maybe it’s not Maggie McGarry’s fault that her patrons are disgusting pigs who throw their cigarette butts on the sidewalk and street in front of the establishment. Except that it is. Their (her?) fault, I mean. Because Ms McGarry et al do not provide any sort of receptacle for this toxic waste. And this is just plain wrong. As I write this, I am still in the “B’s”, so Maggie has plenty of time to rectify this situation. In the meantime, I am adding another category, a Category of Shame: “The Bars That Promote Littering”.  And Maggie McGarry’s is going to be the first ignominiously categorized Bar.  Now, I do routinely pass by Maggie McGarry’s, so if and when steps are taken to alleviate this egregious situation, I will let you know.  And let this be fair warning to upcoming Bars: I’m not kidding around here.

And so it began, when I posted the following:

Watch this category! “The Bars That Promote Littering” — the Category of Shame, if you will. Read all about it courtesy of the environmentally-incorrect Maggie McGarry’s (where, as of 3 June 2007, when I created this Category, there was no receptacle for smoking refuse…)

Being nothing if not scrupulous in my documentation of San Francisco drinking conditions, I corrected that information two months later accordingly:

however by 4 August 2007, this sanitation situation had been satisfactorily addressed, ahem.

I was so impressed, I went on rather uncharacteristically effusively enthusiastic elsewhere on this ridiculous blog:

For now, the most immediate news is that Maggie McGarry’s has put an ashtray outside it’s front door!!! Is that awesome, or what?!? Now, I won’t go ahead and actually take credit for bringing this sanitation miracle about, but it has not escaped my notice that the Maggie McGarry’s post here has gotten a lot of traffic. Kudos to Maggie McGarry’s for cleaning up their (her?) act. (And hooray that I can patronize the place again — it’s a cool Bar…)

Alas, the above, and the following, had to be striken:

UPDATE: The most recent cursory cruise-by Maggie McGarry’s on 4 August 2007 was stopped dead in its tracks by the sight of an ashtray right outside the door. I was so thrilled, I took pictures! Is this Bars By The Book’s doing? Who cares? As long as the smokers have someplace to discard their cigarette refuse, it’s all good. Plus, this means I can resume bellying up to Maggie McGarry’s bars, which is even better. The Hostess missed you Maggie, welcome back into my good graces!!!

…and this sad state of affairs was reported instead:

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE:  Incredibly, the ashtray was Missing In Action and otherwise Absent Without Leave on Monday 10 September 2007,  so Maggie’s has been re-categorized as a Bar That Promotes Littering and The Hostess has to recommend that you drink elsewhere until this situation has been satisfactorily resolved on a more permanent basis…

Right about then, things started to get a bit heated, as you can see by the comments below.  Rest assured that the presence or absence of an ashtray outside these premises will be closely monitored from here on and the status of said smoking refuse receptacle will be commented on, as the situation warrants.   Bars By The Book is committed to providing the drinking public with the greatest level of detail on establishments where they are considering spending their cocktail cash and will not be dissuaded by would-be critics. After all, according to the House of Representatives, The Hostess is a journalist and is protected by a magical “media shield”, so I’m not likely to back off of anything anytime soon.