“a woman walks into a bar…” at Ye Rustic Inn

on 08/03/11 at 7:18 pm

a woman walks into a bar..., Booze News, BoozeBlog

“a woman walks into a bar…” is a new feature of boozenews.com that will follow the-sure-to-be, rollicking adventures and enthralling experiences that happen when a woman goes to a bar alone.

What’s the big deal you ask? I didn’t think it was either until I started exploring the attitudes of dudes on the internet, about what they thought when they saw a woman alone in a bar. It was enlightening, to say the least. Skank, whore, man bait, alcoholic were some of the less pleasant assumptions. It was generally taken for granted that she was there to meet men, be picked up. Ladies, when you see a guy alone at a bar, do you automatically think he’s there to be picked up, or perhaps that he’s just a loser? Just pointing out the inspiration for this exploration.

So, I’ll be visiting all sorts of bars…locals, hotel bars, bars that open at 6am, cocktail bars, restaurant bars, or any other bar you can think of. And I’ll be visiting at all times of the day or night, dressed to the nines in a dive bar or wearing overalls in Bev Hills. I’ll bring you booze news about my time at bars everywhere and would love to hear your stories too. So, without further ado, here I go!

Ye Rustic Inn

It’s 4:20p and I’m itching to get out of here. Going gaga from working and my bum is numb but I’d rather it be numb from sitting on a barstool. There’s a funky little bar down the street that I know doesn’t wait for hipster hours to open – like 6 or 8. It opens reasonably at 11 morning time so I’ll make this my first foray into going to a bar alone.

One hour in each bar should do it. That should be enough time to get a bead on the place and see how a lone dame will be treated. I’m here to do research, I remind myself. I open the door with false confidence. Of course, it’s dark as night but shots of neon light the way. My eyes adjust and I head for the bar. Super 70′s dive bar interior. Naugahyde booths, flat screen tv’s at every turn. It’s practically empty, one couple cozies in a booth, 2 guys down at the end. The pretty bartender wants my order but I’m having second thoughts. I should have come in later. My timing’s off. What am I doing here? I stay, telling myself you just have to see what happens when you think nothing is going to happen. I order a beer.

The guy I saw smoking outside just came back in to his perch at the corner, not really putting much into reading the newspaper. Finishes his drink and gets another. I can’t remember who started talking to who but we casually pitch questions back and forth til we are in a full blown conversation. He asks what I do and I told him I’m doing research for an article. What’s he do? John Canett – he said to go ahead and use his name – is unemployed, was let go after 16 years as a Penske logistics operations manager, and the job search isn’t going too well. He’s amusing and nice and regales me with funny stories like the one when he and his buddy were at Cheetah’s (strip joint down the street) one New Year’s Eve when they decided they wanted to go to Vegas. So they took a cab. To Vegas. 300 bucks which wasn’t too bad considering the taxi driver drove them around for three days and then dumped them. John said the taxi driver was a maniac.

Hey, in walks Gus, another regular and seats himself next to John. The other pretty bartender, Coco, brings him his drink without a direct order. Nods suffice. Little is said at first but Gus eventually pipes in and I find out he’s a karaoke aficionado, sings here every Tuesday night. John says he sings like an angel. They ask me to come back tomorrow for karaoke night, but I have to extract a promise that they won’t badger me into singing. I say I’d have to be stinking drunk to do it. Gus doesn’t see that as a problem. After a while, he also informs me that he’s divorced and his kids are grown and out of the house, in way to signal me that he doesn’t have any baggage. He’s available.

John gets another drink. Kelly, the first pretty bartender, brings us all a shot on the house. It’s called A Cheap Fuck. Here’s the recipe: whisky, peach schnapps and a splash of cranberry. Smells bad. I give it to John. We toast to John going through a mid-life crisis. I say it should be called a whole life crisis and he agrees. And then he cheekily tells me he has a bar in his apartment. Then when I tell him I’m Canadian, he asks me to marry him. YES! First time out, I get a marriage proposal! Or was that the three vodkas and 2 Cheap Fucks shots? No matter. I was having a great time. I asked these guys how much time they spend at the bar, a day, on average. Gus said about 2 1/2 hours and John, 2 – 5 hours, but sometimes he leaves to do errands and then comes back. It’s clearly their watering hole.

Meanwhile, I nursed one beer and stayed 2 1/2 hours. Way longer than I expected and a fun surprise. This project looks like it might be rather interesting. But time to move on. I’ve never been to karaoke and I’m giving serious thought to going back to hear the angel sing. Will let you know.

UPDATE: PART TWO

Ye Rustic Inn
1831 Hillhurst Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-5757
Open Weekdays 11am-2am; Weekends 9am-2am

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