Oh. Snap. It's time for the greatest event of your entire year - the 6th annual Wasting Away in Wrigleyville Pub Crawl. Meet us at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at Lucky's Sandwich Company to lay a base worthy of nine innings of drinking. You want rules? We got rules.
- Bring Ca$h. So much ca$h, you feel like Rick Ro$$, who is, as we know, the BAW$$. There are a few dozen people at this fine event, and your credit card holds up all of them. Stop being an obstacle, Diamond Jim.
- Bottles or cans. Much like the last note, every drink poured on draft takes as long as opening 10 beers. I don't care if it's on special. Spend the extra buck so your fellow crawlees don't hate the crap out of you.
- Tip well. We're coming in like a wrecking ball (which is a phrase I just made up) and sweeping out of there in a torrent of booze and noise. These people are working the day shift at a Wrigleyville bar. Treat them nicely.
- Don't be That Guy. I know that our thing is 9 drinks in 9 innings, but if you can't hang, grab a water or a coffee or one of those disgusting energy drinks the kids think are cool. Don't make a scene, don't ruin the bathroom. You're an adult - drink like Paul Bunyan or have the wherewithal to know you can't.
A Rundown of Your Fine Drinking Establishments
Summarized in One Sentence Each
Pre-game: Lucky's Sandwich Co.
This is where you lay your base for a day of drinking - meat on fries on bread on whiskey.
1st Inning: Nisei Lounge
As familiar and warm as a bottle of whiskey in a work desk drawer.
2nd Inning: The Stretch
They were really nice to my mom and gave us free shots two years ago, so they're in forever. 3rd Inning: Merkle's
The Boner and the Colonel. 4th Inning: Mullen's
The alley-drinking classic from my and Steve's 21st year. 5th Inning: Sluggers
Steve v. John - WITH BATS 6th Inning: O'Malley's Liquor Kitchen
If it's open, does it really matter? 7th Inning: Sports Corner
For fans of athletics, spirits, and right angles. 8th Inning: Murphy's Bleachers
Someone get Toto on the jukebox! 9th Inning: Bernie's
Motha Fuckin Shuffleboard.
Afterward, we'll go to D'Agostino's, where they'll delay our pizza and we'll get into an argument with a 22 year old manager who acts kinda shitty. It's as much part of the script by now as the batting cages!
We know what you're thinking, sitting there in your fancy chair. "Whoa, WAIW updated. Must be time for another Pub Crawl!" You bet your ass it is, FancyChair. You bet your ass it is. Once again, it's time to defy nature, good sense, and the naturally chill rhythms of baseball by drinking at 9 bars in 9 innings.Saturday, May 31st - mark it. It's a 3:10 game versus the hated Brewers, which gives us that sweet spot between "Wrigleyville is still sleeping it off," and "Wrigleyville is full of drunken children I hate."
This year, we're upping the game. Corey from Ivy Envy, a blog that has been BLOWING UP as much as we've been inactive and in the whiskey, is joining us with an entourage of Quad Citizens to join our Chicago tradition. He'll also be organizing a pre-game tour of Wrigley Field itself. It's a 90 minute tour that lets you go on the field and in the locker room, and we're assured it absolutely kicks the shit out of the Fenway tour. A mere $20 and this pre-game ecstasy can be yours. Payment details will be posted soon.
After that? Back on our classic Pub Crawl game - straight from Wrigley to our beloved Lucky's Sandwich Company to lay the base for a day of drinkjoyment. Then to Nisei Lounge, who was super awesome to us last year, and who is now our Official First Inning Bar from now until the end of time.
As of now, we're considering the following:
The awesome divey majesty of Nisei finally solved our first inning problems last year. Alternately, the Captain Morgan Club - "the Wrigley experience year round!" - is completely full of shit, and closed for the second year in a row. So that's out. We'll replace it with Club 162, the current incarnation of that Hi-Tops/Harry Caray's/McIrishCrap ship of the damned. (Edit: See above. Seriously, ship of the damned. But best of luck to the current owners of this cursed gypsy sports bar. We'll certainly do our best to buy your fine alcohol wares. Please don't change names while we're there - it'll confuse the drunks.) Hopefully that works out. All your favorite classics - Mullen's, Sluggers, Murphy's, and shuffleboard Mecca Bernie's are still there for your enjoyment.
We'll have that great t-shirt design you see above available for purchase soon. See you on May 31.
It's that magic time of year again, WAIW devotees - Nine Bars. Nine Innings. We have, as it happens, been doing this now for one half of a decade. Which, evidently, was just enough time to finally figure our shit out for the kickoff bar. More on that below.
For the uninitiated, the annual Wasting Away in Wrigleyville Pub Crawl is a tribute to Cubs fandom through the ultimate test of stamina. Ever been out drinking and your mommish-sounding friend says something like "hey there, it's a marathon, not a sprint"? Well, you should get some new friends. And additionally, this event is both marathon AND sprint.
You need to enter a bar, obtain a beer, and consume that beer in the time it takes to play ONE (1) inning of Major League Baseball. And have you seen our fucking offense this year? Half the inning's over before the cap hits the bar top. So, you know, fucking SPRINT! Then you repeat for eight additional innings. MARATHON!
WAIW Pub Crawl: The World's Finest Drinking Sprintathon!
But we didn't become the finest by doing this willy-nilly like a couple of suckers. It's not 'Nam. There are rules here:
1. Cash only. When the twenty-six people behind you also need to get a beer while Nate Scheirholtz waves his bat somewhat in the direction of a pitch, you do NOT pull out a credit card. And if you do, those waiting are each allowed to huck an item of their choice. Rule exception: You're buying a round for the house.
2. Bottles, not draft. You know what your friendly neighborhood bartender can do in roughly 1.4 seconds? Open a bottle. You know what takes much longer? Pouring a draft. Even longer? Pouring a draft for every non-savvy motherfucker in the bar. That draft special on the board? That's not for you. Move along. Pitchers? Share with your WAIW editors and we may have an exception.
3. Know thyself. As previously mentioned, this marks our half-decade anniversary. We haven't had anyone wake up in county lockup yet. Don't be the first to overdo it and punch a police horse.
4. Watch the game. Even if it's a shit-kicking of a game, it's important to start the transition to the next bar with two outs left in the bottom of the inning. Gotta keep this drink train a-rollin'.
Pre-game: Lucky's Sandwich Company
Steve and I will be at Lucky's Sandwich Company (3472 N. Clark) at about 12:30. If you ordered a shirt, he has it, and will accept $15 cash. We'll also have spanking new WAIW koozies for order, which you don't need to pre-order. $5 for those. Also, load up on some delicious motherfucking sandwiches. You're going to be drinking all day, you monster.
1st Inning: Nisei Lounge
We did it. We finally did it. We figured out a fucking bar for the first inning whereas previous years have rendered the shirt obsolete by Crawl time. Blarney Stone was closed. Schoolyard was renovating. Dark Horse burned to the ground (okay, so actually it was just that they were showing a Pittsburgh Penguins game). But not this time. NOT THIS FUCKING TIME.
This time we start at Nisei Lounge, the finest baseball dive bar in all of Chicago and proud home of Malort Night. Are you brave enough to start the Crawl with a drink that tastes of the screaming souls of the thirce-damned? We'll see.
2nd Inning: The Stretch
Some bars might be put out at a mid-afternoon pub crawl rush. Not the fine management of The Stretch last year. They proffered tiny mason jars filled with Fireball Whiskey. Clearly they're some upstanding Lakeview citizens. Two years ago, we caught the Kentucky Derby there during a rain delay. We drank whiskey. I'm starting to sense a theme.
3rd Inning: Merkle's
Every year the same - pictures with the Colonel Sanders statue and jokes about Merkle's Boner. This is also where people tend to order draft beer for some unknown reason. So if I'm yelling, that's probably why.
4th Inning: Mullen's
The back porch (actually an alley) at Mullen's is still one of my favorite places to drink in the entire city. But on this day, we savor the interior for an inning of Pub Crawl madness. This is traditionally the point where people begin to loosen up and become Drinking Friends for Life.
5th Inning: Sluggers
MOTHERFUCKING CAGE MOTHERFUCKING MATCH
STEVE V. JOHN
One man wins the esteem of the Crawl community and a year of glory/bragging rights. One defeated son of a bitch lives in squalor and shame for the rest of the year, his very soul transmuted into a veritable Greyhound bus station of torment and ennui. HIGH STAKES BATTING CAGES
(Note: In the years we've been doing this, we've never actually agreed upon who the winner was.)
6th Inning: Captain Morgan Club
A little taste of Wrigley, provided it's open. It has the unpredictable hours of a 1980s photomat run by a cokehead. Off-day prices for pitchers are AWESOME, which is another reason it's here.
Should it be closed to the public, we can always attempt an audible to The Dugout, which is very much like if your drunken "we should open a bar, bro!" talk in college came to fruition in a dank El-adjacent basement.
7th Inning: Sports Corner
Nice and big and recently renovated, the perfect pivot point going toward Murphy's and into the home stretch. There's a rooftop, but our typical Pub Crawl forecast from the Weather Channel is, and I quote, "Scotland."
8th Inning: Murphy's Bleachers
Perhaps the finest bar in Wrigleyville, site of Mark Grace and Rick Sutcliffe's extracurricular slump-busting in the glory days of the late 80s. It feels like a bar, not a "bar," which you will understand if you've spent any significant amount of time at Lakeview bars.
Fun fact: I karaoke'd Ke$ha here last fall. You know, right before that Red Bull guy parachuted from SPACE? Yeah, you're welcome for that.
9th Inning: Bernie's
The finish line, featuring shuffleboard, hearty congratulations, and last year a Crawl patron who managed to fall asleep while sitting completely upright on a bar stool.
Drunk people need pizza. And this is some good damn pizza.
Oh, and there's a drink special on? Don't mind if I do. That 9pm pass-out isn't going to make ITSELF happen.
This is likely where you'll hear me yelling that karaoke at Trader Todd's is a great idea. I may have a point.
Nintendo! Malort! Crawling! These are a few of our favorite things. They can be yours as well, with the simple purchase of this shirt. Timeline's tight on this one folks, so don't delay, as you need to get the order in by Friday. EARLY. What? Haven't you looked at the posting frequency? We're lazy.