Amidst the current sports drought taking place due to COVID-19 concerns, binge-watching of television shows and movies has been an extremely popular quarantine activity. I have done plenty of exploring new shows/movies and rewatching others. Upon surveying some of my old favorites, something struck me. Many of these shows and movies feature go-to watering holes where the characters frequently imbibe. Since I'm not able to go to some of my favorite establishments due to shelter-in-place orders for the time being, I got to thinking, which places only seen in TV/film would I most like to drink at? Thus, I decided to come up with a list and air it out to the readers here at On Tap Sports Net. Here goes.
NOTE: This is my personal list. Before you get all bent out of shape because Cheers, Moe's Tavern, MacLaren's Pub, or some establishment from Harry Potter isn't on this list, I'm simply not as big a fan of the shows/movies that feature those places. Feel free to list your preferences in the comments or Twitter replies to this article.
1. The Gold Room at The Overlook Hotel, as seen in The Shining
This may not seem like an ideal drinking establishment due to the dark nature of the film, so let's start with a line from the movie to clarify my tastes. I am what Jack Torrance would call "a confirmed ghost story and horror film addict."
The Shining is my favorite movie of all-time, horror or otherwise. The story of Jack slipping into madness while isolated with his family for an extended period of time may strike even more of an eerie chord with audiences given the current quarantine circumstances, but I've been a fan of this dark and chilling cinematic masterpiece long before COVID-19 times. Onto the bar itself.
The Gold Room is a massive ballroom located within The Overlook Hotel. Jack Torrance visits this luxurious lounge in his delusions throughout the movie, but I'd be looking to attend a fancy party like the Overlook Hotel July 4th Ball 1921. I'd get all dressed up for the "fish and goose soiree," head up to the bar, order a Manhattan from Lloyd the bartender, converse for a bit, and mingle with the crowd. After a few cocktails and a trip to the red restroom (and maybe a visit from Delbert Grady), I'd probably have to take a stroll around the hotel to explore Room 237, the lobby, the iconic staircase and elevator shafts, and if possible slip back into the kitchen and dry storage room just to see where all the madness unfolded. It would be this horror fan's dream. Who knows, maybe the hotel would entrap me in all its lore for poking around too much. I've always been the caretaker...
2. The Drunken Clam, as seen in Family Guy
It may not be my favorite TV show of all time, but Family Guy is my most frequent viewing choice by a country mile. The raunchy lines spewing from cartoon characters' mouths, the quick one-timer jokes, the cutaways, the long-play running gags, I love it all. Peter Griffin is often the ringleader of these ridiculous occurrences, and so many of them originate from a booth at the Drunken Clam in Quahog, Rhode Island.
First things first, I would love to see how the Family Guy animation team chooses to depict me in cartoon form. I'd stroll into the Clam, order a round of Pawtucket Patriots for the boys, make my way into the booth, and let the hilarity ensue. In these uncertain, quarantined times, we could all use some humor to take our mind off the pressing issues. What better way to do that than setting up ridiculous cutaway scenes with the Spooner Street crew? These gags will take us to places and time periods only Seth MacFarlane can possibly imagine, yet we'd end up right back at The Drunken Clam after each of them. It would be a night for the ages. TO THE CLAM!
3. Paddy's Pub, as seen in It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia
In true It's Always Sunny fashion, Paddy's Pub would be an absolute free-for-all. Whatever scheme the gang is cooking up that day, I'd have no choice but to be involved in some ridiculous fashion. Obviously, this day of debauchery would have to take place after season one -- if I'm entering the Always Sunny universe, I'm not missing out on the chance to slam some beers and get into mischief with Frank Reynolds (Danny DeVito). With how loosely Charlie, Mac, Dennis, Dee, and Frank run things at Paddy's, there's no chance I am paying for a drink all day/night.
4. The Offices of Sterling Cooper, as seen in Mad Men
Time for the wildcard. How can an office possibly make this list? Well, this wasn't just any office. This was an office of advertisers working on Madison Avenue in the 1950s and '60s, hence the show title, Mad Men. Despite being an office, there may have been more drinking going on in this workplace than in the previously listed bars. These guys got on the sauce early and often while scheming up advertising campaigns, pitching clients, and instigating/mitigating in-office drama. A bender of a day with Don Draper and Roger Sterling would be quite the experience filled with one-line zingers, creative meetings, drinking away sorrows, celebrating successful business endeavors, and more. I, for one, would love to be in the middle of it all.
Some of the places on this list probably weren't exactly what you were expecting upon reading the title of the article, but throwing a twist into things and thinking outside the box is what we like to do here at On Tap Sports Net. With most everybody on lockdown for almost a month now and no exact end date in sight, fire up those streaming services to recall your favorite TV/movie establishments you would most like to drink at and let us know what your list would look like in the comments or Twitter replies.