Over the years I've been what you might call a heavy drinker. It began sometime in high school, progressing to extreme binge drinking in college, digressing to moderate binge drinking after college and regressing to my current state of cataclysmic train-wreck consumption. I'm not proud of it, but it's been a major part of my life and it will probably remain that way until around 2021 when my existence is brought to an end via liver cancer or telephone pole. Morbid thoughts aside, I'm not alone in my crippling yet immensely enjoying addiction. The bar is a home to many of us. So I wanted to share some of the Richmond bars that I frequent and love.
Editors' note: Jack did not solicit free booze for inclusion on this list.
New York Deli: A long wooden bar, solid tap selection, friendly staff, eclectic patrons and even more eclectic music make this a great place to get drunk with friends, by yourself or with a complete stranger. Look for the big Russian guy. Tell him I sent you.
City Dogs — Fan: City Dogs downtown is a little slice of heaven, and its new location in the Fan is no exception. Sure, it has hot dogs, but what it really specializes in is keeping patrons properly hydrated with a variety of tap beers and shots. It should be noted that I sleep with one of the bartenders here, but trust me, after she wises up and dumps my ass, you'll still find me teetering on the edge of my stool at City's. It's Richmond's version of Cheers.
Bandito's Burrito Lounge: There used to be a time when I would go for its dance party Thursdays. Thankfully that time has passed. Now I just go for Otto, booze and tacos. It's a powerful trifecta that never lets me down.
Bailey's Pub & Grill - South Side: I said that these are the bars where I like to get drunk, not necessarily where upstanding citizens would frequent. Abysmal crowd aside, you have to respect a bar that tolerates the idiocy of my friends and me when we get falling-down drunk. Does this make Bailey's a great bar? No. But it's fun anyways.
McCormack's Irish Pub: Mac pours his drinks heavy on purpose and he doesn't cater to assholes. He also has the largest liquor selection in the city. It's sort of like Moe's Tavern for Richmonders. I'm Barney, you can be Carl or Lenny.
3 Monkeys Bar & Grill: When you can find a place to sit or stand comfortably, the Monkey can be very enjoyable. There was a time that I liked picking up anonymous women at bars and I've always had a high success rate here. I'm just kidding, I was never that guy, I swear, babymuffins! Can you keep a secret? I wasn't kidding.
There are more bars but it's almost 5 p.m. and I'm thirsty. To all the bars I've loved before: I will not accept free shots of Rumple Minze for this column. I love you for what you are, not for what you give me. Can you keep another secret? I will absolutely accept free shots of Rumple Minze.
Richmond bartender Jack Lauterback consumes and slings drinks at a number of local establishments. He also writes a surly blog at jackgoesforth.blogspot.com. Find him on Twitter @jackgoesforth and on e-mail: email@example.com.