Best Neighborhood Bar/North (1999)

Bamboo Inn

It's almost a cliché but nonetheless true that a worth-its-salt neighborhood tavern should feel like a second home. For most people that means slightly messy, a bit worn, with items reflecting the dweller's personality affixed to the walls. The Bamboo Inn has been around for about 60 years and it has all of the above in spades. The walls are cluttered with platitudes along the lines of the one proclaiming, "Beer, so much more than just a breakfast drink." Off in the corner sits a battered piano, relegated to service as a shelf for a row of paperback romance novels. A pool table (of course there's a pool table) is the centerpiece of the room. Some of the aged bar's regulars double as an informal country band that performs when the mood strikes. If the mood doesn't strike, turn to the Bamboo Inn's stellar jukebox, which, at ten cents per play, evokes a grand sense of nostalgia regardless of the music selected. A rarely used spare room completes the picture of a gathering place that feels like home.


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