Mark holding court in Hell - photo by Primo
I’m sure you’re all readers of Maxim magazine, if not subscribers, so you already know that my favorite bar, Hell, was awarded “Bar o’ the Month” in the January issue. Since I love the bar and all who sail within in her, I will pretend that recognition from Maxim is a good thing.
(My favorite piece in the current issue is called “How to Spot a Bunny Boiler.” It advises me that if a woman cleans her bathroom weekly and always has plenty of toilet paper on hand, she has obsessive compulsive disorder and I should “keep a shrink on speed dial.” I would be worried if I thought anyone actually read this magazine as opposed to just looking at the cheesecake pictures of C-list, D-cup pseudo-celebrities.)
The first time I went to Hell I hated it and swore I would never go back. It was hot and dirty and the pool tables sucked. Then, like many people, I was drawn in by the charms of owner Mark Dorosin, everybody’s favorite attorney/professor/elected official/playwright/bartender. Mark used to drive by my friends’ house during Saturday afternoon yard parties and yell, “Hey you kids, go to Hell!” This was before he knew them. I’ve already chronicled Mark’s vision for the bar and the result in a piece I wrote for the Independent Weekly celebrating Hell’s fourth anniversary, so here I’ll just say that I’ve never been to a bar that inspired so much loyalty other than the now-legendary Hardback Café.
I don’t go there as often as I used to (and it would be physically impossible to go there more often than I used to - Ryan and I once figured out roughly how much money we had spent in Hell and it was more than I put down on my house). But I was there last week for Trivia Night when two young women came down the stairs and stood looking about tentatively. If they had come on Maxim’s recommendation, they were probably a bit disappointed to find a room full of people trying to remember who fought the Crimean War and the name of the transsexual tennis-playing eye doctor from the 1970s.