Sunday, April 29, 2012


There are different sorts of drinking establishments.  If you feel like being glam you might head to the Bengal Lounge or Clive's where you can sip an expertly made cocktail in elegant surroundings.  Nothing wrong with that!  But lets face it; sometimes getting all dolled up is just too much effort.  After a difficult work week I often just want to hoist a pint with die-hard friends and feel the day's tensions melting away. This is when I head to Big Bad Johns.

Walking in to Big Bad John's for the first time is a surreal experience. One reviewer describes it as a combination of deep dive bar, carnival haunted house and an episode of Hee Haw.  I'd say that is pretty apt. All sorts of bric-a-brac adorn the walls from business cards to ticket stubs. Bras and lacy under things dangle from the ceiling.  The whole place is softly lit by strings of multi-coloured Christmas lights. Great music emanates from the stereo - classic country crooners like George Jones and Loretta Lynn.

Take a seat at the burlap-covered stump and you can enjoy a cold draft and munch on the free peanuts. If fellow customers get obnoxious you can lob peanut shells at them. If you are lucky the burly overalled owner will be there and he'll hand you your pint with a sassy remark.  Drinks incidentally are stout and reasonably priced.  BBJ's regulars are an enchanting mix of artists, writers, punk rockers, regular folk, and people who resemble Ozark hillbillies. That's the magic of it.  You won't find pretentious indie hipsters here!  
When I have friends visiting from out of town I always take them to Big Bad Johns.  They invariably love it.  I have many fond memories of passionate conversations in this tiny, lively watering hole.  Like Arnie said, "I'll be back!".  

Big Bad Johns on Urbanspoon

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