Last Call: Wednesday, August 01, 2007

As the old saying goes, ďSome drink to remember, some drink to forget.Ē Last week, I found myself doing a lot of the latter after spending three days wrapped up in the new and final Harry Potter book. Sigh. I needed a drink ó I guess Iím like one of those chocoholics, except for booze.
I wasnít sad, mind you. But I wasnít happy either. I guess I was somewhere in between. Rather bittersweet, I should say: a little sad that there will be no more Harry Potter books but happy that there have been seven. So for my return to the land of the muggles, I chose to start, naturally, at a bittersweet place, a part of town where you can be sad and happy at the same time and not generate looks of repulsion or condescension: Magnolia Avenue.
Even though Iíve lived here pretty much my entire life, I still canít figure that area out. Is it too-cool-for-school? Is it family-friendly? Is it gay? Is it old? I donít think I ever accepted that itís a little bit of everything until I hung out there last weekend, my defenses down due to my Potter-induced haze.
My first stop was my regular haunt, The Chat Room, where I imbibed while surfing the internet in the company of a bunch of fun-loviní hipster kids in their vintage jeans, band t-shirts, and í50s cat-eye glasses. If only we were all so cool. When I stopped by a couple of days later, I spied two ó not one, two! ó young ladies reading. Books. At the bar. (Only at the Chat.) And donít you know that one of those books happened to be ó you guessed it ó The Deathly Hallows. Sigh.
The happy hour scene was happeniní (Mon-Fri 4-8pm, $2 wells, $1.75 domestics). Even better, though, was the staff in action. Theyíre always fast and friendly, but last week, they went above and beyond the call of duty. A customer puked, and almost the second that his dinner hit the floor, three Chat staffers were on the scene and in cleaning mode. It was like the whole thing never happened. Kudos to the Chat for its superior bar hygiene.
Cruising the ínet on one of a handful of computers that are available there, I discovered that Lindsay Lohan is an attractive alcoholic, the stock market is in the dumps, and that Iraqi civilians and U.S. soldiers are still dying every day over, essentially, nothing. Suddenly, my Harry Potter blues didnít seem so bad.
Feeling bold and a little less down, I called a friend and told him to meet me in that part of Fort Worth where the bold and the beautiful, or one or the other, lurk: downtown.
First stop was The Pour House, where the staffers rivaled the Chatís for speed, efficiency, and friendliness. The girls and guys flew around the packed house like quidditch brooms, taking orders, smiling brightly, and making you feel as if you were the only person there. As for the vibe, it was perfect for us: not so loud that we had to yell to be heard but not so quiet that everybody could hear us dork out over Harry.
Last stop was Maloneís Pub, where the scene was slow but filling. My friend and I dined on an unwanted Papa Johnís pizza that was sold to us for a fiver by a delivery guy who had appeared out of nowhere. Almost ... magically.

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