Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thanks Flint Expatriates!

I'd like to thank Flint Expatriates for the kind words of support and challenge that dare us to press on with our task!

Some of you may be skeptical of our goal or our credentials. Here is a quick introduction to our team and methods.

Andy, Jason and I have known each other for about 10 years and all went to college at University of Michigan-Flint. We all live and work in Flint even though we have been accused by some of being suburbanite wannabees. Some may call us hipsters, some may call us drunks. We hope you read along and decide for yourselves.

This operation is basically an extension of our normal activities. We like to seek out new bars all the time. We'll be documenting all these bars with pretty low tech equipment. Like pencils and bar napkins. There may be a digital camera involved occasionally, but we may also use cell phones. This is gonna be as organic as we can get away with.

And for those worried about our safety. We drink early and we'll be watching for people hanging out in parking lots with screwdrivers...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What makes a bar a home?

What makes a house a home? It's not the nice cabinet knobs, or the 2 car garage. It's not the 47 inch plasma screen TV or the finished basement with a workout room. Home can be a trailer park. Home can be a tiny hut in the forest surrounded by hungry bears.

What makes a bar a good bar? It's the same unmeasurable quality that gives a home it's... home-i-ness. The Deville Lounge lacks many of the amenities of nicer bar. They don't have many beers on tap, the floors are cold concrete, the food is served on paper plates, but everything in the place is strangely familiar; the bartender unusually accommodating; the booths inexplicably comfortable.

I'm not usually one to recommend a bar with only 2 beers on tap, but The Deville Lounge is the perfect bar for a laid back evening. If you want to avoid the crowds and relax, or you just don't want to change out of your pajama pants before leaving the house, the Deville Lounge is the place you want to be.

I love Lucy

Maybe it's just me but I like my bars to either have 30 beer choices or two. The Deville lounge has two options Bud and Bud Light. While I don't really love Bud or Bud Light there is something so unpretentious about these kinds of bars that immediately puts me at ease. It also takes the chore of making decisions away from me. "Do I feel like watching my figure tonight or not?" That's the kind of choice I can handle.

Walking into this place I immediately felt like I was in my best friend from grade school's basement, where her dad had a homemade bar in the corner for when the fellas came over. The booths each had a separate theme with decoupage sports cut outs underneath the varnish on the table. We sat at the Dale Earnhardt table, (the other booths were all dedicated to various Michigan sports teams). The floors were concrete. My absolute favorite part of the decor though was the fact that the lights over each booth were shaded with a Christmas liquor tin. You know that tin with the harlequins that that bottle of DiSaronno that your aunt gave you for Christmas came in? That one. It was all so DIY. I loved it.

Lucy, the bartender was a super cool lady who is raising three of her 16 grandkids and by the end of our visit here I felt like she had taken us under her wing. She was very friendly while still being real. None of that phoney baloney stuff you get other places. This place was so unpretentious that I very quickly felt comfortable. It's nice to go to a place every once in a while and feel like you're hanging out in someones basement, drinking beer and eating wing dings off of a paper plate. yums!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Deville Lounge

Deville Lounge is a dive. There are two beers on tap, drunks, one person working, and a barely functioning bathroom that makes your hands filthier after you wash them. Its the best kind of dive.
What ruins most dive bars is their attempt to be more divey or deny their diveness. The Deville has not succumbed to such stupidity. This is a place to have some beer, play some pool, get drunk. No extras, just the things you need. It is what it is.

You might ask why the hell would someone want to drink in a dive. Well you shouldn't want to drink in a dive, that would make you hipster. You drink in dives because a comfortable bar has been discovered that lets you drink beer, sit, and talk without having to try to look good and be cool. You are already cool. Dude, you are drinking beers with friends and hanging out talking about stuff you like! Take off your sunglasses, you're inside. Take off your big fat coat and stay awhile.

When you go to the Deville say hello to Lucy. She's a beer angel. Rarely have a gotten such awesome service from any bar or restaurant. She went above and beyond what I would hope to get at a 2 or 3 star restaurant. I will becoming back to the Deville and she is the only reason. Plenty of bars are similar to the Deville but they are lucky to have someone like Lucy there.

While you're there take a look at the hallway floor to the bathroom. Its encrusted with pennies.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Frontiers and beers

"There are no frontiers left." Andrea Newberry 2008

New frontiers are hard to come by. Modern frontiers seem to be more about discovering a nuance instead of a grand new thing. Of course there are grand new discoveries all they time. They just require great machines and sophisticated equipment to explore. We have neither.

We don't have deep sea submarines or interplanetary rockets, so we have to create a new kind of frontier. We are going to have a drink at every bar in Flint, Michigan. It may be part of the known universe and almost all of the bars can be found in the phone book, but most bars in Flint don't have more than an address listed on the Internet. That will not interfere with our sense of adventure in exploring the city. Especially when the it requires us to have a beer.

One night last November we were having a drink together when we started listing all the bars we had seen in our travels around Flint but that we have never been to. Each of us came up with a nearly unique list. There are grimy old holes in the wall, singles bars, biker bars, nightclubs, shop bars, bars that open at 7 am, topless bars, gay bars, etc. The list went on and on and we thought to ourselves, "We live in Flint, we love Flint more than anyone probably should, why haven't we experienced every corner of it?".

That's when the idea for this blog was born. We are going to drink a beer in every bar in Flint, Michigan. We are going to take a piss in every dirty bathroom, eat every overcooked hamburger, generously over-tip every waitress that calls us 'hun', burn our mouths on every 35 cent hot wing, and tip back a few with every kind of person we have in this fair city. Flint isn't so big that it can't be done, but it is big enough that this will be an epic journey and we hope you'll read along as we drink our way to adventure!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

We'll be starting our adventure soon...

For now you can read our reviews on Yelp