I wanted to love PS Lounge (3416 East Colfax Avenue). Really, I did.
I wanted to love the cash-only policy for its antediluvian charm. But when I returned from trekking down Colfax for cash and the bartendress wouldn't keep a simple drink tally for me (even though I was nice when I asked), I was less than overjoyed. Okay, I was annoyed.
I wanted to love the compact-disc jukebox, with its slow-flipping pages, its four plays for a dollar or twenty-five for five, its Cheap Trick and Cure and Johnny Cash and Three Dog Night. But the long, inexplicable silences and repeatedly skipped songs were too frequent to be funny.
I wanted to love the blood-red roses given to every lady, but when Maggie didn't get one (me, protective?) and Jessica accidentally dropped hers on the floor, the gesture seemed quixotic, not chivalrous and sweet. Thanks anyway, Pete.
I wanted to love the free shots of Alabama Slammer (SoCo, OJ and sloe gin) for everyone who comes through the door. Everyone but us, apparently, but I even wanted to be gracious about the bartendress forgetting us, even though we'd been there for hours and were surrounded by strangers who had shots in hand. When I finally offered to purchase ten — one for each in our group — and she only brought six, I wasn't pissed. She simply said, "No charge," and "I'll be back when more glasses are clean," and that was fine. In fact, I tipped her five. But then she never returned. How could I not feel burned?
There were things I did love, to be sure: The sweet smell of pizza wafting into the billiards room from Enzo's End next door; the quaint curtains along the windows that were perfect for hiding half-full beers while I smoked; the warning just inside the front entrance, "Be 21 or Be Gone." I especially loved the clutter and kitsch on the walls — the dust-covered trophies, the American flags, the football helmets mounted like deer heads on mahogany plaques, the playbills of Humphrey Bogart shooting pool and Cary Grant driving a convertible, the faded photos of regulars, the posters of ABBA and Elvis, Jim Morrison and Marilyn Monroe.
So what's not to love? One bum employee and a jukebox on the fritz.
Which is still so much better than that Internet shit.
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