You ever let a little thing get to you and then just obsess over it all night? Well, that's what happened to 1/2 of Team Scenic last night at New Haven's Elm Bar. You remember the Elm Bar - the Rudy's imposter that opened up at the site of the old Rudy's? In spite of our general impression of sleaze over the building owners' maneuvering out of "Rudy" only to reopen the joint in its exact image, we were prepared to accept another venue where we could see cheap gigs by awesome local bands like Treebeard and Kimono Draggin. But we are not prepared to accept six dollars for a Guinness at a place that is essentially a dive and a dump - and on a weekend where bars throughout the state are running Guinness specials for Fitzscenic's favorite holiday no less! In fairness, we found that some of their other drinks were a pretty decent deal (monster liquor drinks for $6.50 or $4 for a Sea Hag). But we couldn't get over this Guinness thing!
This joint is hella classy!
Elm Bar, you are not a fancy bar/restaurant. You do not have comfortable seating, great acoustics, nice bathrooms, or anything else going for you other than the reputation of your predecessor. We're aware that the bands are being paid off the door. Your clientele are fans of stoner rock, punk and metal, 30-somethings that are still dressing like rebellious teenagers. Price accordingly. We know that when we're out at a bar there is an intricate calculus at work in our heads at all times, weighing the desire to catch a buzz against concerns about calories and budgets (concerns which tend to wane with the onset of a cheap buzz), so that we're actually more likely to buy 4 or 5 cheap drinks than 1 or 2 expensive drinks, because what's the point of stopping at 2, amiright? If that math isn't clear enough, we're saying we're likely to pay $20 or more on cheap drinks but unlikely to spend any dollars on pricey beverage.
graffiti on the tables makes it feel like old times?
Additionally, we attempted to cash in a drink ticket from the band labeled as good for "1 domestic beer or 1 well drink," but were informed that it would only cover a lousy domestic beer - the Brooklyn Lager and other moderately less revolting selections were off limits. Try some truth in advertising ("1 el cheapo beer or hangover inducing liquor drink"), or better yet, spring for a "fancy" beer (like Guinness!) for the bands that put in substantial time and effort to play for meager money.