We finally got around to actually doing the Mission Twitical Pub Crawl on Saturday. Because of the locale I rode my bike over. I completely misjudged how long it would take to ride my bike one hour so I showed up to Lucky Brewgrille really early. Note to Mission, if you want your town to be pedestrian friendly put a couple of bike racks around. I rode all around the Mission Mart and couldn't find anywhere to lock up my bike. I had to lock it to a metal staircase.
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So I got to Lucky Brewgrille about 20 minutes early. I was glad to have the time to catch my breath and take in just how desolate Lucky Brewgrille is early on a Saturday (about 11:40). Chimpo showed up shortly after as I was about a quarter of the way through my $4 Boulevard Pale Ale Pint. DLC arrived and we had a nice discussion of Chimpo's “I don't s*** like this” t-shirt that was inspired by the DLC's comment on Hot Blog on a Stick. A couple of other Twitter people showed up along with Wes Port and Average Jane. Owen from Fat City also rode his bike over, though his ride was a much longer distance. He had an interesting solution to the no bike rack problem, he just brought his bike into the bar, slammed it against the wall and said to the host “I work for the Pitch, I do what I want!” (only part of that is true).
Much of our early discussion centered on a Twitter hot topic, the movie “Watchmen”. Every 3rd tweet we see when any comic book movie comes out is about said comic book movie. Comic book movies nearly make Twitter unusable. It was a shame that all of these people went to see a movie on a day as nice as Saturday when they could have just as easily gone on a pub crawl with us. Chimpo shared with us a bar strategy that I had never heard of, take Immodium AD before a day/evening spent in a bar. As Chimpo astutely pointed out, no one wants to drop a deuce in a strip club (that is the first time the words Chimpo and astute appear in the same sentence).
Once everyone got at least one beer in, we moved on across the street to JJ's Other Place. We had a group of around 14, once we got to JJ's they had a crowd of about 16. I think the bartender thought we were there to rob the place. That probably wouldn't have been a great strategy since we'd only walk away with about $2 each. I made a mistake and ordered a Guinness. Guinness isn't a mistake, but paying $5.50 for a bad pour in a dive bar is. C'est la vie. JJ's is surprisingly small and is more of a game bar than anything. At the front of the bar was 4 or 5 dart boards, along the side walls were a couple of video games and a digital jukebox. They also had a back room type area with a pool table. The back room did have a feature that can not be found in most bars, leaves. If you like having leaves crunch at your feet while you play pool, JJ's is your place. In their defense, it was such a nice day and JJ's had their doors open so the leaves flew in.
We settled in around the bar and jukebox (where @sjwaters chose perhaps the worst song ever and then Piano Man). Chimpo, his friend and I were keeping an eye on the Dominican Republic – Netherlands World Baseball Classic game. When The Netherlands sealed the deal, Chimpo yelled across the bar Dutch! Dutch! Dutch!. I yelled back ICH BIEN DER NEDERLANDER! JJ's regulars contemplated their decisions up to that point in their life. I had a second beer, I think it was a Miller Lite and it was only $2.25 I think. A couple of other people joined us, we listened to some Metallica, finished up our beers and left (presumably to never come back).
After a stop at the Werner's sausage cart and all the sausage jokes that could be told, we moved down to RJ's Bob-Be-Cue. I was the first to arrive, I seem to be a fast walker, and told the hostess there was about 15 of us. She looked at me and said “you're joking right?”. Luckily, a member of the RJ's staff, Dave, knew of our pub crawl and he guided us to sit on the little deck that RJ's has added. We had it all to ourselves and Dave went inside to prepare us 16 hillbilly margaritas (when only 15 were needed). What's a hillbilly margarita, you ask? Well it's a margarita made with Mountain Dew. Sounds gross right? Well, it is the best margarita made with Mountain Dew I've ever had and I think it will be the last margarita made with Mountain Dew I'll ever have. I believe there's a reason Mountain Dew has never been in any margarita recipe I've ever seen. Dave was a bit embarrassed that he miscounted and made an extra margarita innocently stating that he must have counted someone twice. I said he probably counted Chimpo twice (because he's the size of 2 people).
After choking down the hillbilly juice, we worked our way back up Johnson Dr. to the Keyhole Tavern. Where is everyone in Mission on a Saturday afternoon? Well they're at the Keyhole Tavern. Keyhole and Tavern both imply small, which certainly is a word that should be used to describe the Keyhole. I didn't think all of us would fit. Someone found a back patio (porch? Deck?) that was able to fit us in. Keyhole is also one of those places that doesn't take credit cards. Wes and I were stuck with $1 between us so we had to have sponsors buy us a beer until we got to the next bar when we could pay them back. We got some $2 PBR (everyday special, the house wine is the Macaroni Grill Chianti for $3 which is another good deal) draws in nice Houlihan's pint glasses and headed out to the deck. We had to be careful to not knock over the hot crock pots. Apparently the Keyhole is one of those neighborhood places that lets users serve themselves from crock pots. Makes me wish I lived in the neighorhood.
Once settled in on the deck, the group began making friends. And this is what I like about the Keyhole. Their patrons really worked on selling us on the bar and they were just friendly. They appreciated having us come in and actively engaged us in conversation. One guy came back to the deck and told us that he had read that Ashton Kutcher (though he called him Demi Moore's husband) uses Twitter. This guy also pointed out the owner of the Keyhole and listed off the owner's movie credits (he was Huck Finn AND young Clark Kent). Our second round of beers was served in red Solo cups. I don't know how the 2 bartenders could possibly have had time to keep any glassware clean. At least 40 people were in the bar when we were there and that is a lot to handle with only 2 or 3 people working. Sadly, our time at the Keyhole had to come to an end. We staggered out of the Keyhole like a bunch of drunks and made our way over to the Clarette Club.
We had to make our own fun at the Clarette Club. They did have $2.50 PBR bottles (which I poured in a glass). Talk earlier in the day centered around a reuben eggroll on the Clarette Club's menu. Chimpo, DLC, Owen and @cgiffin went in to get an order of this disgusting sounding food. They looked like little reuben rolls (like pizza rolls) with a tortilla wrapper. DLC nearly had to go home after receiving third degree burns in his mouth from the hot cheese. I don't know that anyone enjoyed them, though I think Wes Port had 2 (he gets hungry after drinking all day). It was nice to wind down a little at the Clarette before we crossed over to the Mission Bowl.
Once again I was the first over to the Mission Bowl where I bought a pitcher of Miller Lite for about $8. Chimpotle made some joke about wanting sausage and the guy at the counter was quite ready to trade sausage jokes. I believe Chimpo did get something else to eat amazingly. Stella joined our group, making us about 16 or 17 at this point. We had picked up several people along the way while a couple of people dropped out along the way. We got some bowling shoes, 3 lanes and bowled. I have no idea who did well and who did poorly, I rolled a 90.
On the whole it was a fun day. I think we had fun at every bar no matter what. It was great to meet those that showed up and I think I talked to everyone somewhere along the way. I've heard much talk of making this an annual event and that might be fun, but let's try out this thought “Merriam Pub Crawl”. How does that strike you?
If this sounded like fun there is another Mission Pub Crawl on March 28(not affiliated with the KC Beer Blog) that benefits the Kansas City Chapter of the Dream Factory. Buy your tickets and go.
Update: There are many more pictures up at the DLC's Flickr site.