Arts & Entertainment | October 17, 2014 9:00 am

The Pulitzer Prize of Drinking

53 great bars as seen by 53 great writers

By The Editors

Your local bar may not be nice. It may not be clean.

But it may also be your second home.

A second home full of friendship, sticky floors and cheap drinks.

And the source of some truly fantastic stories.

Like the ones in new drinking tome Come Here Often?, out this week.

Divided by category (dive, far-flung) and themes (romance, identity), Come Here Often? is an ode to 53 unforgettable bars as witnessed by Pulitzer Prize nominees, booze-friendly musicians (Andrew WK, Duff McKagan, Craig Finn from The Hold Steady) and A-level travel/magazine writers.

The imagery here is poetically boozy (e.g., “So here’s a bar—a great bar—named for a poet, to which I was led by a policewoman, where I met a punk hero, and where, I like to think, one drinks with greater purpose than usual.”)


The tales: unexpected. Sometimes bleak and violent. All romantic in their own ways.

Some faves:

  • Finding (and losing love) in the Antarctica bar Southern Exposure … where, yes, there is a Fight Club

  • Neal Pollack’s ode to dingy Chicago watering holes (“I spent a memorable night licking Lucifer Elixir off a placemat with infamous penis-mold artist Cynthia Plaster Caster”)

  • The hotel bar drinkings and musings of a war correspondent during the first Palestinian intifada

Drink up.