What I have always liked about drinking in Clifton is the lack of pomp and circumstance that goes along with it. Sure, there are spots in the neighborhood that make you feel extra old after you round the “30-years-old” mark and keep hurtling towards death. But while it can produce a certain sense of envy regarding the naivety of college student drinkers, in my opinion being around them beats the hell out of going to places with names like “Handy’s,” “Rubby’s Martini Lounge” and “Awesome Club 3000.” I’d rather get drunk around people who don’t yet know that after they graduate they’ll either not find jobs, or find ones at places where supervisors call pictures “pitchers.”
Clifton is full of bars where people don’t loudly name-drop in attempt to impress the patrons near them. It beats the smarminess of the neighborhoods where all the bros go to talk about Ohio State and how “cash” their lives are in general. Be it at Mac’s, Christy’s, Fries or Arlin’s, you’re likely to find a bar full of dedicated drinkers who go to the bar to tie one on and not to act more mature than they are. Add in that Mac’s probably has the best food in a bar in the 513, and I’m sold.
If a choice in social setting while binge drinking is available, I choose to err on the side of immaturity, rather than end up at a piano bar, or some place where the bartenders wear kilts. Having graduated from college, I miss the good old days of getting drunk for fun rather than doing so while talking about work. Whiskey-fueled bar adventures are about acting like Ric Flair after beating the guy who brings his own cue with him in pool.
I’d rather get cheap drinks made so strongly that the first sip makes you close your eyes than go to some place and surround myself with the very ilk of people I went out to get drunk and forget I spend 40 hours a week with in the first place.
Add in the greater likelihood of being able to comfortably watch sporting events, or stumble to them after leaving the bar and going to the bar in Clifton is primarily about drinking and enjoying the company of those you’re with.
What To Do:
• Trivia on Tuesdays at Christy’s Rathskeller & Biergarten, 151 W. McMillan St.
• Live salsa dancing Mondays and weekend live music at The Mad Frog, 1 E. McMillan St.
• German student weekly meetings on Thursdays at Mecklenburg Gardens, 302 E. University Ave.
• Open mic Wednesdays and karaoke Thursdays at Uncle Woody’s Pub, 339 Calhoun St.
What To Drink:
• Amy’s Bachi-Blue shot at Arlin’s, 307 Ludlow Ave.
• Blueberry beer at Holy Grail Tavern & Grille, 13 W. Charlton St.
• Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Whiskey at Murphy’s Pub, 2329 W. Clifton Ave.
• Alcohol-fueled coffee drinks at Sitwell’s, 324 Ludlow Ave.
What To Eat:
• Pub food and daily specials at Arlin’s, 307 Ludlow Ave.
• Lenhardt’s German restaurant at Christy’s Rathskeller & Biergarten, 151 W. McMillan St.
• Wings, burgers and other bar fare at Holy Grail Tavern & Grille, 13 W. Charlton St.
• Pizza (including vegan options, burgers and sandwiches at Mac’s Pizza Pub, 205 W. McMillan St.