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barfly: everybody should know your name

When you walk in you want to be recognized. You want to have someone call out your name. Preferably it will be your real name and not "Stinky" or "Pear-shaped Loser." Ideally your appearance at the bar should be like when Norm walked into "Cheers." What you want is a neighborhood bar and you just can't get any more neighborly than The Corner Café at Cleveland and West Franklin in the Museum District. After enjoying many a pint in this watering hole, I can guarantee this bar meets every one of my requirements. Just check out the results of my rigorous research and I'm sure you'll agree with my findings.

The Bartender: Harold is the Zen Master of Richmond bartenders. Maybe it's the dreadlocks, maybe it's the calming demeanor, but there's something about this guy that will always pick you up when you're feeling down. Or maybe it's the fact that he's a nice enough guy that he'll actually pick you up when you've fallen down. Whatever. The point is you can't have a good bar without a cool guy pouring the suds. Harold's your man.

The Mechanical Bull: Actually, what I originally thought was a mechanical bull was in reality just a barstool. Still, you can fall off those things if you're not careful.

The Happiest Hour: The Corner has a gregarious happy hour that includes both their good food (not the typical pub grub) as well as the more enticing drink specials. If you're sick of waiting in line for Millie's brunch on Sundays, the Corner has a no-frills brunch with a number of tempting drink specials. What's really cool is that if you are lucky enough to have a neighborly zip code (23221) you can get 10 percent off your meal on Tuesdays.

Even cooler are the drink specials. On Wednesdays the Corner offers $1 off rail drinks and on Thursdays it's $1 off drafts and appetizers. The happy hour for both days stretches all the way from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Thursdays and Fridays it's a $1 off all drinks from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. If you aren't familiar with drinking time, I can assure you from my years of experience that that's really a whole lot of time to tilt 'em back. I mean don't you have a job? Maybe I'll tell Harold to call you "Norm" after all.

— Francis Decker

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