Remember that one time I went to Tulsa and wrote three days worth of what I called list blogs? I do. And as the folks in Tulsa would say–I’m fixin’ to do that again.

I’ll be gone tomorrow afternoon through Sunday, traipsing around north central Iowa. It’s actually going to be a lot more fun than it probably sounds like to some of you. The highlights are going to consist of, but aren’t limited to:  a casino, a water park, old high school friends, a beer garden, a dance, pancakes, fireworks, a bonfire, and a parade. Now you want to go, don’t you? That’s what I thought.

Anyhow. In honor of my fun-filled mini-trip and the fact that I’m assuming a fair amount of drinking is going to be done–I’m going to divulge five of my favorite drinking establishments EVER. I have a disclaimer real quick though. My hometown bar will always be at the top of the list–but due to the fact I don’t want crazies knowing where my hometown is–I’m opting to only include bars from bigger cities. And remember, these are just a few of my favorites, and are in no particular order.

The Beale Street Tap Room (Memphis, TN)
Those of you who knew me in Memphis, or knew me while I was in Memphis had to assume this was going to be on the list. I’m a small town girl from smack dab in the middle of Iowa, and this bar is a small town bar smack dab in the middle of Beale Street. It has all your staples–a nice bar, pool tables, and a good selection. But it ALSO has a walk-up window and the ability to order Cajun food from the place next door. Once I started dating the bartender, things just got better. Best memory at this bar? Having my best friend come down to Memphis from Iowa and being belly up to the bar all night long with a book of shots. And then paying about 75% less than we would have anywhere else.

Tropical Isle (New Orleans, LA)
You’ve all heard about New Orleans’ most potent drink–the hand grenade. Well. The Tropical Isle is where you’ll find them. It’s a bar that I’m not entirely sure I would have gone into had I not been told the hand grenades were there. Not because it’s shady or anything, there’s just a lot of neon–and neon’s not my thing. It ends up though that hand grenades are EVERYONE’S thing. If you don’t have one of those in ‘Nawlins, you may as well consider it a wasted trip. Best memory at this bar? Um. Well. I was on Bourbon Street. With a hand grenade. I have no memories.

McNellie’s (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
Have you ever seen a movie or read anything about Prohibition? And how bars were all secret places and you weren’t really supposed to be drinking? That’s the feeling I got at McNellie’s. It’s located in downtown Tulsa and when you first walk in, it pretty much looks like a normal bar–almost looks like it may be a little bit on the upscale side. Then you see the stairs. You walk up them and you come to a door. A door that looks like if you knock on it someone’s going to open it and ask what the code word is–and once you answer correctly the door will open to unveil flappers, smoke, and moonshine. Granted, that didn’t happen when I was there–but there was a kick ass band whose lead singer bore a strong resemblance to Ray LaMontagne. Best memory at this bar? Sitting and talking with one of the band member’s dad and grandpa and having them tell me they’d never missed a Thursday night show. Awwwww.

McFadden’s (Kansas City, Missouri)
Do you love sports? Do you love beer? Then go to McFadden’s. It’s in the Power & Light District in Kansas City which is a pretty awesome little section itself. McFadden’s is just the ultimate sports bar. Huge televisions, great prices, and while I was there no one fan picked a fight with another fan–although I’d assume it happens. It also backs out on to a patio with several other bars and if it’s warm out and I’m in Kansas City–you better believe that’s where you’ll find me. Best memory at this bar? Watching some drunk girl fall down. It’s always a good day/night when someone falls down before you.

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar (Las Vegas, Nevada)
It’s in Harrah’s right on the strip and to my knowledge is the only place in Las Vegas you can drink out of a mason jar. Best part of it is the drinks are strong and compared to most drinks in Vegas (unless you’re gambling and getting them free) were pretty cheap. Bartenders get on the bar every time I Love This Bar gets played and walk around with some shot mixture which is exactly what you need if you have a mason jar in front of you. The atmosphere is great though and what was supposed to be a big night for us in terms of going out turned into us being at this bar for about 6 hours. Best memory at this bar? Totally calling a guy named Andy out who was in Vegas by way of L.A. for his bachelor party on trying to convince us he had a suite at the Bellagio. Ends up he really did have a suite at the Bellagio. Oops.

So there you have it. Five of my favorites. I may not be able to do it like I used to anymore, but I still enjoy going out from time to time and these are bars that I would frequent more often if I could. Once upon a time I was probably TOO frequent of a visitor to the Tap Room, but that’s neither here nor there. So if you guys ever find yourself in Tulsa, Kansas City, Memphis, Las Vegas, or New Orleans…look up these places. I’m telling you right now though, I take NO responsibility for any trouble you get yourself into. I’m not notorious. Anymore.

  1. wmarsau says:

    OK, here is my top 5:

    5. Harpos (Kansa City)
    4. Fergs (Grand Junction, IA)
    3. Peoples (formerly of Ames, IA)
    2. Federal Pub (Hudson, IA)
    1. Lost and Found Lounge (Ames, IA)

    2 of them are no longer there. That shows my age. lol

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