Spanky's Roadhouse

I believe Spanky's Roadhouse (1800 East Evans Avenue) chose its name in hopes of generating buzz before patrons even crossed the threshold. Whenever anyone who was born at least twenty years ago hears the word "roadhouse," he immediately thinks of the cheesy '80s movie with Patrick Swayze and then almost as quickly questions his masculinity -- unless he assumes Sam Elliott was the star of Road House, which he wasn't. The Jewish Representative feels that Elliott's presence in the movie makes it much less sexually ambiguous, but he also admits that he sometimes visits a website called -- which we assume really stands for "" Because a real guy remembers that the true star of Road House was Kelly Lynch and her killer bod.

Then again, the word "Spanky's" also reminds us of Chris Farley, which meant our entire night at Spanky's Roadhouse was peppered with cracks from Tommy Boy pertaining to self-pleasure and undersized clothing. I'm pretty sure I heard a "niner" in there at some point.

We'd actually chosen to meet up at Spanky's because of its food, not its film references. I'd gone there recently with an Institute pledge for a lunch burger that was so good the only thing missing was beer, and I'd sworn to return at a time when it would be more socially acceptable to need a cab home.

The Jewish Representative led our advance team, staking out a nice corner table and making a fast dent in a bucket of beers. The Redneck Liaison, his wife and I were running late, since the Jewish Representative usually has his watch set to Jerusalem Standard Time. This time, though, he beat us there, and we got a couple of increasingly urgent messages relating lascivious ruminations regarding the bar's clientele, which included several college coeds.

Although what he needed was a cold shower, we found the Jewish Representative being sweated out underneath Spanky's ceiling heaters. Clearly, these infernal heaters were designed to both increase beer intake and help guarantee that uncontrollable yet predictable physiologic response when women move to a colder clime -- a response that inspired the creation of padded bras and the Girls Gone Wild series.

We also discovered that you need to drink fast at Spanky's, because it doesn't take long to overstuff yourself on the fantastic food, especially if you are silly enough to indulge in the Bronco burger -- essentially a chili burger that will prove a social liability over the next 24 hours. While the beer quickly and magically appeared in large buckets, the overall selection of brews was disappointing. A Fat Tire would have perfectly complemented my meal, but Spanky's was "out." We settled for Newcastle until the bar ran out of that, too; luckily, my tastebuds were dead by then, so the subsequent Coors Light didn't kill me.

To be honest, Spanky's isn't really a roadhouse at all. A true roadhouse is a place on the outskirts of town that serves booze and food and often offers gambling and/or sex on the side. There's no evidence of such illicit goings-on here -- and even if there were, you'd have to finish your risky business by 10 p.m., because this is the only bar in North America that's located next to a fairly major college campus yet closes just as students are ready to get at it. Still, the Institute recommends Spanky's if your crew is looking for buckets of beer, a collegial crowd and good bar grub.

Just get there early.

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Patrick Osborn