Wednesday, May 04, 2005

A Blast From The Past

Yesterday a guy walked into my shop with a Yakzie's sweatshirt on. We both knew several of the bartenders that still work there to this day. I spent way too much time at this location in the early '90's and way too much money. Looks like it hasn't changed a bit.

When I was a young pup, I would drive from Rockford to Chicago and stay at my friends' apartment in Wrigleyville approximately every other weekend. I usually slept on the floor or a couch. It depended on when you got back to the apartment as it was first come first served for the couch (I wasn't the only one doing this).

Some of my other old haunts in Wrigleyville:

The Metro. I have always loved hard rockin' tunes and there is no finer establishment to witness your favorite band belt them out than this one. If you are old like I am now, bring earplugs. I think by hanging out here I have lost approximately 20% of my hearing. Ah, the joys of being young.

Smart Bar. Note their hours - they open at 10pm and close at 4am! 5am on Saturday! I ended up here often after my other haunts closed. Those damned kids.

Hi-Tops. From looking at the photos not much has changed here either.

Sluggers. Another good bar - still there after all these years.

And there were many, many more. I also hung out a lot in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago. Some of my old haunts from Lincoln Park were:

Bamboo Bernie's: The link says it is closed - what a shame. Every time I was in there it was very rowdy and everyone was blind drunk - women for some reason always danced on the bar. Sharktanks (or was it sharkbowls) were the drink du jour! You would basically get a goldfish bowl full of alcohol and four straws with a plastic shark upsidedown in it - bottoms up!

The Big Nasty: Looks like this place is closed too. Rarely can I say that you really don't want to be in a place unless you are intoxicated, but The Big Nasty was just exactly such a place. Super crowded, everyone spraying silly string everywhere, hot, packed dance floor.

There were many more in Lincoln Park like The Red Lion Pub, Kincade's, Gamekeepers, not to mention all of the music club venues I hung out at to see blues and rock bands.

Do I miss those times? Occasionally. But I wish I had used more of the time I spent in bars pursuing my education or something else constructive - but I wouldn't have met my wonderful wife or had so many good memories. No regrets.

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