It’s entirely possible that The Loon is a time machine. Too many times have I gone “for a drink or two” only to look down at my watch to see that four hours have passed, and now I’m yelling the words to “Don’t Stop Believin’” horrendously off-key.
There’s a reason this place is proud to claim “the strongest drinks in town.” Because The Loon understands that cheap, terrible whiskey is best poured with a splash of Coke.
I won’t pretend to defend the college-bar atmosphere of The Loon to those who refuse to remember what it was like to vacuum barrels of Bud Light and then wake up sans hangover. Those people cannot be helped.
The Loon is the kind of bar where everyone would know your name if they could just stop drinking long enough to remember their own.
But for those who actually like enjoying themselves in Uptown without dropping $60 a night, or being overwhelmed by incredibly tall, all-I-do-is-work-out types (seriously, where are all of these Viking warrior shiny shirts coming from?), The Loon provides a laid-back, get-drunk, tell-some-stories, make-out-with-an-equally-inebriated-newfound-friend kind of atmosphere that is in increasingly small supply these days.
Too many bars want a gimmick — 5,000 taps! Cocktails made the way Civil War veterans drank them! Ice cubes flown in from the Arctic Circle with authentic polar bear hairs in them! — without considering how a smelly, rundown, slightly sticky, signless bar in a decrepit strip mall might be beating them all at the most important thing a bar ought to provide: community.
Don’t get me wrong. I love me some polar bear hair in my bourbon every now and again. But some nights necessitate getting a little grimy.
The Loon is the kind of bar where everyone would know your name if they could just stop drinking long enough to remember their own. I’ve yet to go there without striking up a conversation with complete strangers — an occurrence that’s far less likely at most other Uptown joints, in my experience.
Then again, maybe that’s because I’m a salty curmudgeon.
Perhaps the biggest compliment I can give The Loon is that when someone recommends heading there, you know two things: 1) You’re in for one of those nights that will result in at least one great story, and 2) you’re going to be picking up your car in the morning.
Oh, and Dirk was there last week, but it totally wasn't a big deal to anyone except to my friend Ned, who turned into a 12-year-old girl at a Justin Bieber concert.