You might be wondering why there wasn't a GOODNIGHT, FUCKERS last night. A friend I haven't seen in maybe two years came to town, and I hung out with him and his brother at the Spring Inn last night, drinking maybe a bit more than I should have. By the time I got home, I wanted nothing more than to fall into bed. I think it was about 1:30, which would explain why I was so hungover at work today.
I really should drink more often at the Spring Inn. I miss that place. Once upon a time, I used to be in there at least once a week. In fact, back in my early to mid-twenties, I drank in a bar every weeknight. Monday's were spent at Doc Ryan's because they had dollar pints. Tuesdays were Elmhurst Public House nights because they had dollar personal pitchers. Wednesdays were random bar nights, which I sometimes went to, but didn't always make it. Thursdays were spent at what used to be called Lucky Strike. I forget what it is now, though. I think it's Fitz's Seven-Ten, or something. And then Friday nights were spent at Spring Inn, at least until closing, at which point we'd all go over to Brauerhouse back when it was in Berkeley, since it stayed open one hour later. Brauerhouse has since burned down, which sucks because it was a fucking great place to get drunk. They moved out to Lombard, but I hear it's just not the same. One day, I'll give it a shot, but I don't know if I want to make new memories at a place that probably can't hold a candle to the memories I made in the old place.
Holy fuck. I drank heavily every night. Those were the good old days. But my favorite was always Spring Inn. It's a neighborhood bar, not a sports bar or a college bar or any of that shit. It's a small place that doesn't serve food. Back in the old days, if you went there, it was almost a certainty that you wouldn't get laid there. If you were drinking there, you were drinking to get fucked the fuck up. That's important to me. Sometimes, you want to have the possibility of sex, but there was a certain freedom in not having that at the front of your brain.
How did things go last night? Perfectly, I think. It's good to know that the Spring Inn is still the cheapest place to get fucked up in Elmhurst. I drank like a fiend, and I had a thirty dollar bill at the end of the night. Anywhere else in the area, and it would have cost me seventy. It's good to know that the same bartender is still there, and that he remembers me. I don't know if he'd be cool with me mentioning his name, so I won't. Every once in a while, he'll supply us with a free drink, and that is the key to being a great bartender. Hell, in my opinion, he's the best. That's why I always tip him more than any sane man would. (Of course, that could be the Italian in my blood, but I don't think so. If he sucked, I wouldn't kick in quite so much.)
It's good to know that it's still a great place for conversation. You can hang out, drink, play darts, etc. But it's mostly a place to talk shit about whatever you enjoy. Whatever you hate. Whatever helps you through the night. It's usually dead on weeknights, but last night it was almost empty. It's kind of disappointing, because more people means the higher probability of adventure. But also at the same time, it's encouraging because it's a more intimate setting where you don't have to shout to be heard.
Most importantly: it's good to know that metal still reigns supreme at the Spring Inn. Near the end of the night, Metallica blasted out to us, which brought me back to my hard-drinking days of yore.
Last call came about. I guzzled one more Wild Turkey 101--because the Spring Inn is the only bar in the area that has WT101, the finest whiskey known to humanity--and we went out into the streets, where I hung out with my friend and his brother for a while longer, while they had one more cigarette. (Because my friend has been abroad, he was surprised to discover that you couldn't smoke in bars around here.) And then, I went home, where I stumbled up to bed.
I can't tell you how many nights I've stumbled up to bed after drinking at the Spring Inn. I haven't been there since the last time my friend was in town. I think. Actually, no. Another friend was passing through, and we went to the Spring Inn for a brief hang before heading out to Elgin for some serious boozing. But for a guy who used to go to the Spring Inn every week? Two times in two years is a terrible rate.
I think I shouldn't neglect my favorite bar anymore.
I've been icing my drinks since my pancreas problem. The bartender didn't know about my health issues, so when I asked for whiskey with ice in it, he looked at me kind of weird.
My reputation precedes me . . .