Earlier this week, I partook in a perilous act: I read the commentary on a news story from another local news website. I found one regarding a change of ownership at Southtown Pub
, neighbor of Black Derby Saloon
and high on my list of potential dives to investigate. In addition to claiming an improved clientele, the comment touted Southtown's high-quality sausage pizza from a little company called TJ's.
Because I'm smart enough not to partake in comment battles, I didn't point out that TJ's Pizza
is cooked in toaster ovens at questionable establishments all over town.
On my way to Southtown Pub, I stopped at a nearby QuikTrip for a fill-up. While I huddled against the frigid wind as my tank filled, two men walked by.
"Hey, girl!" yelled one. "You looking good!"
I ignored him. Does this pickup technique ever work?
(OK, so there was one time. I was buying a birthday card for my grandma, and let's just say I was much younger, more single and dumber than I am now and leave it at that.)
When I parked down the block from the pub and bounded onto the sidewalk, who should I find a foot away from me but my new gas-pump paramour. He lacked teeth.
"Hey, girl! Do you need a nice boyfriend?"
"No! I already have a nice husband." I jerked the pub's door open.
Pithy comebacks lose some of their bite when you're trying to enter a locked auxiliary door into a bar. My toothless boyfriend wannabe and his friend laughed as I stomped past them to the unlocked door.
As for the bar, it's nice but seems to be evolving into a hipster-kid hangout. Which is fine, but it's not a dive. Dives don't offer Board Game Night.
They do serve TJ's Pizza. The sign puts "fresh baked" in quotation marks. I don't know if that's a grammar problem or irony.
If Southtown Pub is evolving with a gentrifying neighborhood, good for them. Even though it's clean and pretty, rest assured that there's plenty of skeev available just outside the doors. Robin Wheeler writes the blog Poppy Mom and is a regular contributor to Gut Check. She also has a strange attraction to drinking establishments with jars of pickled -- or possibly fossilized -- eggs. She reports on these dives every Thursday.