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No TBOX? No problem

December 08, 2011|By Emily Van Zandt | RedEye

Merry TBOX, everyone.

Merry cereal throwing, merry 36-bar takeover and merry sticker collecting. Most of all, merry Sunday walk of shame in full-on elf gear.

This Saturday, as the mad crowds descend once more on Wrigleyville for the annual Twelve Bars of Christmas pub crawl, I will be nowhere to be found. Because I’ve done enough crawling for the year. (Well, that and I can’t wrap my head around the idea of letting a stranger pour a few traditional shots of Fruity Pebbles into my face while cluching a Miller Lite at 9 a.m. )

While the majority haven’t been organized, paid-for or particularly classy, I’ve (somewhat accidentally) participated in a number of bar crawls in 2011. And with a little DIY-attitude and a subtle lowering of expectations, you, too, can come up with your own TBOX alternative. Just pick your poison:

The neighborhood crawl: The most innocent of all crawls, this plan is brought on by a general inability to make decisions. Stuck between hitting The Boiler Room, Cole's The Whistler and Revolution Brewing in Logan Square? Give in and grab a beer at each. Just be sure to turn off that Twitter function before your marathon FourSquare check-in. Your followers thank you.

The wine-induced crawl: It starts innocently enough with four bottles of wine for your party of three at the neighborhood BYOB sushi spot and before you know it, it’s all “hey we should go grab a beer” and “you know, I haven’t had Jack Daniels in soooooooo long.” And there goes all the cash you were so proud of saving for going BYO for girl’s night.

The crawl of desperation: You showed up at your favorite bar and it’s dead. You showed up at your favorite dinner spot and you’re stuck on the wait list. You ended up at a Pilsen house party and realized you’ve dated almost everyone in attendance. Whatever the reason, you’ve suddenly got a little extra time on your hands. Instead of languishing away, use the time to discover a new bar or two. Good beer cures all.

The long crawl home: When your quickest ‘L’ stop-to-home route takes you past more than one dive—especially in the middle of winter—the temptation can just be too strong. Guaranteed to make for a much warmer arrival.

The second wind crawl: Dinner. Cocktails. Dive bar. You’re on your third stop of the night when the ugly lights come up. As all good bar patrons do, you climb in a cab with friends and head home. It’s as you fumble with your keys at your front door that you remember—it’s only 2 a.m. To the 5 a.m. bar!

Emily Van Zandt is a RedEye reporter. She actually hopes everyone reading this goes to TBOX so she can look at their drunk photos Monday. evanzandt@tribune.com, @mmxbars

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