Reader e-mail from 'The saddest places to drink'


I am writing to share my thoughts on this week’s column posted on I am usually in awe of the amazing work posted up there, but, alas, five minutes ago, when I read this week’s column, I felt like someone had punched me in the ovary. First off, let me congratulate you on being able to include the sentence, “The bartender – she had the cold, lifeless eyes of a great white shark.” I’m not really sure how often one is able to throw great white shark eyes into comparisons, but I like it. That was the only shining star of the article. Here are my other thoughts:

1.  Mall bars do suck – but why are they always so fancy? They often include waterfalls and blown glass. I just don’t understand. Those things will not instill happiness into anyone. 

2.  I am indifferent on old sports bars, however I have this one friend who tends to puke in them and then get kicked out of cabs.

3.  Now the airport bar is where I begin to have issues. Who doesn’t love the airport bar?  When you have to sit in an airport, where is a better place to sit than at the bar? I’d also like to point out that airport bars are the places where great loves begin. I’ve met many a future fake boyfriend at an airport bar. Once I even stayed after a flight and hung out with my new fake boyfriend at an airport bar…
4.  Chain restaurant bars are pretty much the most amazing inventions ever – especially during happy hour. And these places most often also have a reverse happy hour. Who can argue with cheese sticks and $3 giant beers known as a Brewtus. They even managed to come up with a clever name for their creation and proudly display it on each and every giant beer glass. Also, I have never been sad or had any sad moments in an Applebee’s or Chili’s. Ever. In fact, I usually get ridiculously happy by entering one of these establishments. It’s like a kid getting to ride a carousel until they throw up. The only difference is people often end up leaving Applebee’s walking in circles and then throw up … and there are no ponies involved. And there are chips – usually accompanied with a vat of cheese! I don’t need to say anymore. 
5.  I don’t even care about this one anymore. I’m still all steamed up about #4. I can’t think. 
Thank you for your time,
Chain Restaurant Bar Drinking Extraordinaire 

JD: Hey Chain, your love of all things suburban and tacky is remarkable. I admire anyone who can consistently have a great time in an establishment where all of the drinks, appetizers and entries end in the letters “-jito.”


Before you deride the theme park bar, I must defend one. Disney’s California Adventure has the most fabulous bar I’ve been to in a long time. It doesn’t hurt that it’s situated in a five-star hotel, the Grand Californian. You can get in and out of it directly from the park, so I think it still counts. Craftsman-style architecture, fireplaces, amazing mixed drinks and great hot toddies in the winter. If Sean takes you there, it’s a MUST.

– Sarah

JD: I would like to explain to my readers that Sean is my friend who has a season pass to Disneyworld. I don’t normally let grown men take me to theme parks like Disney. Unless it’s for money.

You know, my mother works as the snack bar manager of the bowling alley.  And it’s true.  It’s so, so, so true.

– Neva


Joe Donatelli
Joe Donatelli is a writer in Los Angeles

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