Best Bar for Drowning Your Sorrows Before the Weekend

The Red Key Tavern

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Everything about this midweek watering hole screams “throwback Thursday” — that neon sign whose musical notes carry the tune to “How Dry I Am,” the model aircraft suspended from the ceiling, the jukebox, the stories about how your buddy got yelled at by Russ Settle for hanging his coat on your stool and not the rack. Even though Russ has passed, his spirit — and his infamous list of rules — lives on in this nod to a time when every American neighborhood seemed to have a corner bar that served beer, burgers and the occasional shot of bourbon. Settle’s joint, in addition to honoring Russ’s time as a WW II flier, also served as backdrop for Dan Wakefield’s novel Going All the Way. Don’t curse, don’t argue with the barkeep, just take off your hat, order a cold beer and a hamburg or a tenderloin. You won’t be disappointed.

5170 N. College Ave., 283-4601

2nd: The Brass Ring

3rd: Dorman Street Saloon

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