Drinking Diaries

My borderline unhealthy relationship with Idle Rich Pub

My borderline unhealthy relationship with Idle Rich Pub

Idle Rich Pub in Dallas
Idle Rich Pub is part of the Irish triangle on McKinney Avenue, with Blackfriar and Renfield's.  Idle Rich Pub/Facebook
Idle Rich Pub
The interior of Idle Rich is all wood and Irish imagery. Courtesy of The Idle Rich Pub
Idle Rich Pub Patio
The patio offers a respite from the crowds on the weekends.  Idle Rich Pub/Facebook
Idle Rich Pub in Dallas
Idle Rich Pub
Idle Rich Pub Patio

Is it strange to think you have a relationship with a bar? The idea that there’s an ebb and flow to your feelings about a particular spot, and it’s filled with occasions of ecstasy and frustration and boredom and maybe even jealousy as you try to figure out whether this is a place where you want to continue spending money.

After all, there are so many other bars in the sea, and you’re young and you deserve to see what’s out there. Who knows? Maybe it turns out you’re really into saké, but you just didn’t know it.

You have your first love, like the Time Out Tavern, or your current squeeze, the Loon. There is also the trashy one you sneak to on the side, Velvet Elvis.

 If the Tot was my first love, then Idle Rich Pub was the one that turned me into a man (or a slightly larger, more out-of-shape boy).

And they’re all great. They really are. But there are inevitable peaks and valleys in any relationship, and when one ultimately comes to an end, I find myself always thinking about the same bar to get back on my feet, which is why I’ve broken up and gotten back together with Idle Rich Pub more times than I can count. 

If the Tot was my first love, then Idle Rich was the one that turned me into a man (or a slightly larger, more out-of-shape boy). It was where I first figured out what McKinney Avenue was like at night, for better or for worse. And it was home base on too many summer nights back from college, fighting against the waves and waves of other drinkers.

It became a comfortable union, and I always knew what I would get at Idle Rich, because everyone I knew went there.

For a while, it was good. It was my spot in Dallas. I’m ashamed to say I even forget about the Tot and began daydreaming of rich mahogany countertops and the sight of people missing one of those two steps from the upper level down to the second bar.

But then boredom set in and resentment reared its ugly head. I began to wonder why exactly I was going to a bar that I didn’t actually enjoy and, dammit, I deserve better than this.

From there, it was a sad slide of desperation, as I found myself doing things I’d never thought I do — like going to the Den — before it was all over. I eventually grew so bitter that I would rail against any efforts to go to Idle Rich, complaining that it was always the same and what was the point?

A summer in Dublin brought newfound appreciation for the intricacies of a good Irish pub. As I tried to chase that high back in Texas, I started to reconsider Idle Rich — if not for its being a great Irish pub then for its comfort.

What had been my source of umbrage became the thing that lured me back. But it makes sense under Relationship Logic. Time away had made me forget all the things that I minded about Idle Rich — the crowds and the prices and permanence of it all — and left only the fuzzy memories.

I thought I could make it work this time. Things would be different. We’d work it out. I would try.

Inevitably I found myself back in the same spot of equal parts resentment and frustration, because it was still the same bar, and I was still the same drinker. By that time, Katy Trail Ice House was making eyes and I’m really a patio guy at heart. I made the jolt for Ice House and then a slew of other bars that couldn’t get more than a few dates. 

I still visit Idle Rich every now and again when I get tired of the bar du jour (*stares at Sixth Street for a solid minute*).

I know it won’t last, but we’ve got a good arrangement now, where it gets me drunk and I don’t call it at 4 in the morning, complaining about all the things it does wrong.