Bar Belle: Shiny, happy people chugging beer

Nothing rouses Louisville from hibernation more than basketball and green beer — and both were plentiful on Saturday. I’m not sure how you spent St. Patrick’s Day, but if you had a chance to get out for a bit, did you notice all the smiles? A general sense of happiness spread throughout the city like herpes in a handbasket. I was situated in the Highlands, probably Happy Central if you weren’t headed downtown for the games. But whether you were dressed in head-to-toe green or sporting Kentucky blue, there was unmistaken magic in the air that appears as soon as temperatures exceed 60, dogwoods bloom and Final Four dreams are tangible.

My friends and I were so ready to partake in the festivities that we started a pub crawl — the Shamrock Shuffle — so we could stay on task and survey each Highlands establishment that wasn’t charging a cover. I had spent the day (and my next three paychecks) at Flanagan’s a week ago, so it was time to chew up some new scenery. We started at Baxter’s around 3, and there were two drunken leprechauns out front to greet us. I had forgotten how much I like Baxter’s more than anything that’s been there — and the cool bartender even gave me an enormous Jameson hat that I proudly displayed all day. That gift was the first of many — doled out for no other reason than the infectious happy magic I talked about earlier. I’m telling you that everyone was so giving, I thought I would actually get lucky in Kentucky. (Unfortunately, the giving spirit ended at midnight with me passed out nose deep in a bean burrito. But I digress.)

Next stop was Outlook Inn, where we enjoyed $1 Jell-O shots and a potty break. We then headed due south to Wick’s, where we found some of the best draft beer deals of the day — 24-ounce pours for $3.50. As we chiseled out space in the back bar, I suddenly found myself face to face with a cupcake. “For you!” said the mighty maker, who then told me it was made with stout in the cake, Baileys in the frosting and lovin’ all over the muffin. I quickly scarfed it down before I was asked to share.

The next few stops were a blur as we got caught in a brief downpour called “spring.” Cahoots, Highland Liquors and the Tap Room were happy to take us in and give us a roof over our heads, even if it was spinning. I bought some fuel at McDonald’s and consumed it at the Tap Room. This time, I did share. As I was hand-feeding Zanne the crispy hot fries, she proclaimed (while holding onto the wall), “This is one of the best things I’ve ever put in my mouth!”

The Back Door was the final pit stop on this amazing race. I broke every rule I set for myself and ordered a gin and tonic, proving that Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down. We managed to secure some space over by the fireplace and pretended to know who was playing basketball. We were soon joined by Southern Comfort girls, who were passing out shots and T-shirts. If you’ve ever been to my house, you might notice I have far more swag than swagger, but this SoCo hat I needed! So I shimmied up to the bar, and that’s when I met hipster Jesus. He was in line and, as the heavens parted and angels sang, whispered, “What are you having, my child?” “Southern Comfort chilled, yo! What-what,” I slurred. And before I knew it, he broke bread with me in the form of a shot. We did a cheers to life, and he disappeared as quickly as my 20s.

Bar of the Week
I do leave the 40204 ZIP code from time to time, and last week I stopped in at Heads Up Pub on Preston Highway. Located in a shabby stripmall, Heads Up is your average beer-drinking, pool-playing pub. The best thing about it: the buckets! During basketball games, their buckets run $10. “That’s nothing exceptional!” you say? What if I told you they come with six beers instead of the typical five? Boo-ya! I never know what to do with that extra beer in a set of five, so I usually try to chug the fastest to beat my partner to it. But in the six-beer scenario, the numbers are even. No hurry. No rush. Just sit back and relax. Your liver isn’t going anywhere. (Heads Up Pub is at 3308 Preston Hwy.)

Drunk Texts of the Week
• Im not as drunk as you think you r
• Golden showers bring May flowers
• Green beer gave me gonorrhea!
• His unibrow is so 70s bush

Send your drunk texts to [email protected]. My blog is at Word.