February 16th, 2002

JOY

Chinese and Irish make for weird dreams

Mick and I, full well knowing we were going to be drinking at least three Silly Drunk Mai Tais over dinner, took the Metro into DC for the evening last night. As we walked into Chinatown Garden, a group of Coed Christian Fraternity members, ATO, if I’m not mistaken, arrived and took a table for nine. We overheard them ordering the drink of the week and watched and waited for the quick head jerk reactions. Our man was behind the bar that night and the drinks were top dollar—you could see right through them.

After too much food and too many Mai Tais, we headed off looking for another bar. Refusing to go to the $6 per drink Irish Bar, Fado, we lapped the MCI Center and remembered The Rock, a sports bar in the height of the sports bar sense that is situated in the shadow of the arena. The Rock, however, has got to be some millionaire’s pet project, as they open and close the bar at will: if nothing’s going on at MCI, it’ll probably be closed, but if a Devil’s game is on TV it might be open, but sometimes during Caps games it’s closed...who knows. Last night was an off night and we thought we were defeated. About half a block later, I notice a sign at the foot of the Red Roof Inn advertising their bar, The Irish Channel. What could we lose, right?

As it turns out, nothing. The Irish Channel was stocked with the standard Irish Bar paraphernalia, an FOB bartender, and I even recognized the tie-wearing managerial type as one of the managers at Ireland’s Four Courts where I used to work. It looks less like James Joyce’s study than Fado and more like a bar bar, but the bonus here was that drinks were inexpensive, taps were plentiful, the guitar strummer happily took requests and there were less than thirty people in the place (one of which was a boat saleswoman on her way to Finland next week to meet with a supplier).

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