Date of Last Visit: Friday, 18 January
The Victims: Gerry, Ben
The Damage: £10 or so?
The Background: In Chicago, one of my favorite bars in the entire world was Delilah’s on Lincoln, just south of Diversey. Great music. Mixed crowd. Excellent beers. (Who doesn’t love $2 PBR’s???) So when Gerry and Ben were talking about Big Red and the music and the crowd and the bar, I got pretty excited about the prospect of visiting because it sounded a lot like Delilah’s. Now, going to a bar when you’re taking a break from the sauce is an interesting thing…but out of all the people I’ve encountered this month thus far, the folks at Big Red gave me the least amount of hassle. Tap water? Fine. Diet Coke? Coming right up. Cranberry and soda? Done. Gotta give ’em credit for not blinking. I get the sense they’ve seen it all before.
The Entrance: Big Red is dark, and I’m very grateful for the smoking ban. The crowd early in the evening is gentrifying. Later in the evening, it’s punk and goth and a little metal thrown in. Plus some dear old regulars, who I have to wonder about. Do they like totally dig Metallica? Because the juke box is playing Metallica. And Muddy Waters. And Talking Heads. And at £1 for three songs, I’m a sucker.
The Food: I go for the burger and fries; Gerry and Ben opt for fajitas, which look much better than they taste, apparently. My burger is serviceable but they forgot to toast the bun, which is unforgiveable. That’s a lazy man’s burger.
The Decor: The neon promises Coronas and Coors Light, neither of which are to be had. TVs blare "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" It all feels so random, yet so right.
The Loos: Need a power washing. But I’ve seen worse.
The Verdict: I’ll go back for the crowd and the juke box. But first I need some tatoos.
P.S. Added a new post code. N7. Now that hasn’t happened in a while.