Walk into most bars and you will see exactly the patrons you’d expect. Certain bars attract certain customers. There is a synergy of energy. The décor matches the costumes. There are exceptions, at least for my expectations, in and around the beloved Kelley Square.
The first is Nick’s. The dark atmosphere screams of wonderfully pretentious denizens ordering absinthe and shouting Poe quotes at people wearing special edition Lovecraft Doc Martens. Instead, it’s a neighborhood bar, with normal neighborhood people. Occasionally a group of night dwellers will wander in, stay for one drink, and leave wondering when The Hotel Vernon will open up again.
YEAH. When will The Hotel Vernon open up again?
The trick here is that I am one of the dark Poe and Lovecraft kind of people, but I look like a neighborhood dive bar kind of guy. I should feel at home here, but I never do. I always feel like someone is lying to me or, or perhaps, I’m lying to someone.
Then there is the other end of the spectrum, Whiskey On Water. Though this place is more of a split personality sort of thing. For all its pretense of being an upscale night club kind of place, it falls short in the guy department, leaving it in the self-loathing, I could have been a contender, dive bar category.
The women get it, and if you want to see a lot of women all dressed up, this appears to be the place. The guys though somehow didn’t get the memo. The average twenty-something attire is a t-shirt and a backwards baseball cap. This place makes me understand why some bars have a dress code. Though, as we know, dress codes almost universally end up racist, sexist and classist, so just ignore me.
In conclusion, don’t take this to be a criticism of these bars. I’ve had fun in both, especially people-watching, which is my main reason for going to bars in the first place. Just don’t overly rely on your expectations.