Best New Bar - 2005
Lucas Park Grille
A new bar is like a puppy. It's all fresh and cuddly and clean, reckless and cute. In a puppy, as in a new bar, lies hope. Hope that it will be a devoted companion, that it will provide respite from the drudgery. And that it will be a chick magnet. Men with dogs are handsome, like Sam Malone on Cheers. But as the puppy grows, the master begins to realize that the little devil gets dirty, that it requires constant attention, that you never get a day off from its pissing and shitting. Congrats. Your puppy's now a dog, and you are Moe Szyslak. The customers at your bar are goddamn drunks who will not shut up. They come here, meet each other, get plastered then go home and fuck. It's pathetic. Read a goddamn book. As is the case every year, we've seen our share of bars come and go. Good riddance to the old; we weren't welcome anymore anyway. But so far we're not barred entry to the Royale, which serves the freshest drinks in town; we've been welcomed with open arms at the new (and improved) Baileys' Chocolate Bar. But the cleanest, most adorable puppy of the lot is the Lucas Park Grille, which resembles a baby beagle: pretty in a downhome way, always drawing a crowd, well manicured and majestic. Snoopy, downtown. A little pricey, sure, but corduroys are expensive. Still, Washington Avenue's been starving for a clean, well-lighted, Cardinals-fan-friendly environ. Here it is. May its customers venture out and spread the love, and may the puppy turn into a well-trained, regal companion.